‘Leisure’ is a poem by W.H. Davies and is one of my all time favourites. It’s message is all about how nobody has time anymore to just stand and stare and take in the beauty around us. Well, I use the term ‘anymore’ loosely as this poem was written in 1911, so I guess no matter what, we never seemed to have time to stand and stare.

Which is actually quite sad. Hence why one goes on holiday. I am in Bergamo at the moment with my sister and I am here because I need a break from my rather stressful life. Sometimes my head gets so over-crowded with things to do, people to meet, patients to take care of, hospital politics that my brain must begin to look like a giant elastic-band ball.

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So now is the time to pick off the bands one by one and sort them according to colour and shape.

1) Coming to the grave realisation that I am 30: yes. Wow. I’m not in my twenties anymore, I kind of need to get my shit together. I don’t party all night long anymore and I believe I have my stuff pretty much in order but there is still a part of me which seems a little too young and naive. My favourite item of clothing happens to be a pair of green shorts with cats all over them with the words ‘I have a bad catitude’ threaded amongst the cats. I recently did this to my nails:

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And I suppose it’s no longer appropriate to wear things like these in one’s hair:

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The big conflict is that I absolutely love all these things. And I worry because I ask myself if this stuff makes me immature. I know for a fact that my thought processes are definitely not immature, but then again, who is going to take me seriously with a huge flower-crown in my hair and kitty cat finger nails? I know that at the end of the day, I need to be true to myself but I want to be a successful self. I’m starting to realise that when you are thirty, you need to swallow your pride a little bit and conform; at least until you get your foot through the door.

2) I need to be smarter with money. Yes, that gorgeous Desigual dress is on sale and I would look fab in it. But I would also look fab behind the wheel of my brand new Chevrolet Spark. In lime green please. But do you know what would look extra fab? Me in a Desigual dress behind the wheel of my brand new Chevrolet Spark. I want it all. I believe I can have it all, just not all at once. As long as I am smart with money.

3) I need to utilise my talents effectively. Yes, I am a great nurse. But I am also a decent stand-up comedienne and a good cook. I also write well. I am not planning on joining ‘The World Stands Up’ neither am I going to be on ‘Masterchef’. But publishing is something feasible and I have a number of short stories which I feel ready to let loose on everybody. It’s all a question of sitting down and seriously editing them. They are all there in a folder on my computer and its such a terrible waste.

4) I need to continue my studies. A full four years have passed since I read for my Masters in Bioethics. It’s high time I start my PhD. I know I am capable but I also know it will be a project that consumes my entire being. And like most things adult, laborious but worth having: I am terrified. I am terrified of failure. What if I start and never finish? What if my research question is not good enough? Will my home life suffer? And the biggest question: my life is stressful enough as it is. Do I really want to invite more stress in with open arms?

I think of all these things while observing the beauty that is Bergamo.

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And Milan is pretty cool too.

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And only in Italy would one find a carbohydrate tree.

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This is a food blog after all.

Leisure

WHAT is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

W.H. Davies

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