This morning I looked in the mirror and spotted a whole big bunch of grey hairs.
I’ve noticed the odd one here and there over the past few years, but suddenly this morning there seemed to be rather a lot. I felt excited and also a bit weirded out. Some things about ageing – like stiff knees or a gently decelerating metabolisms – are kinda subtle and you don’t notice them creeping in. Others – like grey hair – are damn big symbols, items on a women’s magazine checklist of Things That Happen That Prove You’re Getting Older. As if anyone needs proof they’re getting older. Time is time. And, as a wise greetings card once said, ‘growing older remains the only way to live longer.’
Do I want to live longer? Hell yeah.
Each day, I live a day longer. Each day, I grow a day older. How great is that? But also terrifying, in that each day is one day less I have ahead of me.
But what’s the point in thinking things like that? It’s not big and it’s not clever. What it basically boils down to is, if there’s something you want to do, get and do it.
As a wise woman’s email signature once said, ‘Crack on, it’s not a dress rehearsal.’
Okay then. I’ll procrastinate just one more moment and write a list of things I might do today. Item one: write my book. Item two: clean my bike chain. Item three: make a start to become a qualified herbalist. Item four: Order a bottle of propane gas. Item five: mess around on the internet all day.
Hmm. Notice the interspersion of mundane – but useful – household chores with loftier life-goals. Is it more important to write my book or order the gas? If I don’t order the gas then at some point this week I’ll stop being able to cook my dinner. Whereas if I don’t write my book… well, I don’t think life is going to grind to a halt. Which will make me happier? The book, probably. Or will it be the gas? Considering how unhappy I will be if I don’t order it?
Meh! Lists. How about I just go outside? Oh, but the weather is so changeable. It might rain. Oh no! Then I will be a bit wet. Maybe being wet will be nice? Why is being dry better than being wet?
And so on. And half an hour goes by and I’ve probably grown one more grey hair and I sure as heck still haven’t gone outside.
The Seven of Cups, from the Robot Tarot by Jaeme Newton
The Seven of Cups
There was me, exemplifying the Seven of Cups. So many choices…and I’m not doing anything! Anything except procrastinating by overthinking the options. In fact, there are so many things I would like to do, that I feel dazzled, and as a result…I do nothing.
This is my procrastination card.
Sometimes it’s about making the wrong choices – usually for me that’s because there is something else I really should be doing. Sometimes it’s about being completely stuck – possibly because I’m actually afraid of the length of my list. Sometimes it’s because I genuinely don’t know where to start.
The Seven of Cups doesn’t just point out that you’re in danger of doing nothing, however. It also asks that you make a wise choice. It’s not a moment for ‘argh Beth! Stop procrastinating! Do something! Anything!’ It’s about choosing wisely. It’s easy to be dazzled by the most exciting item on the list, when the best thing might be somewhat less attractive. What is the wisest choice? It’s something that’s not even on my list. The wisest choice for me today is to get on that bike and head out into the sunshine.
And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.