Something I’ve noticed over the past weeks is that it isn’t always easier to write after what might be considered a particularly ‘interesting’ day. In fact, the most seemingly dull of days have often resulted in the most inspiration. Thurs proving my initial suspicion that it is not always a case of having an exciting experience, but rather of how you relate and respond to your environment. It is our state of mind which determines how we feel, our external circumstances are, to a certain degree, irrelevant.
On my way home from work this evening, my mind was spinning with all the things I need to do and the timeframe in which I need to do them. Whenever I start thinking this way, I begin to feel out of control, incapable and overwhelmed. The image of the head above water but legs frantically kicking under the surface comes to mind.
My thoughts were interrupted by a group of school children piling onto the train, they must have been about five or six years old, on their way home from a day trip. It is very rare that I am around young children, and I found listening to their conversations not only very amusing but also thoroughly enlightening. You could be excused for thinking that they were on a high speed roller-coaster rather than a commuter train by their vocal reaction to us starting and stopping. While pleading Toby to please hold hands with Sophie, their teacher simultaneously sighed that she would need a large glass of wine this evening. To which Sophie unhesitatingly replied, “Nooo Miss. Remember when you were drunk and you had a bad headache so we couldn’t do our times-tables?” To which, the majority of the carriage, who until now had been pretending not to notice this inconvenient disruption, erupted into laughter.
This and other completely earnest observations including, “You love being a teacher because you love bossing people around”, succeeded in skewing the way I had seen the day so far. A child’s perspective, honest and entirely without agenda, made for a refreshing view of my Monday evening commute. Something happens as we mature, which removes our capacity for excitement, fun and unaffected honesty. It can’t do any harm to remind ourselves of the wonder and simplicity which comes so naturally to children.