Dealing with Disappointment

I had planned to be in Cornwall on holiday, but last week I decided not to go. My stay would have coincided with the G7 Summit, held in Carbis Bay, where I lived for a year – what are the chances! There will be security restrictions in the village. They’re even closing footpaths for two weeks from the start of June. It doesn’t sound like much fun.

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Short Story: On the Way Down

My people brought me down the mountain. I was shod with dirty, cap-split walking boots, no longer fit for purpose; my backpack was weighty, sharp corners jabbed my spine through bulging material, and my ancient head was numb, paralysed.

The Snowdon Railway ran alongside our path. A train chugged past. Its passengers gazed through smudgy windows. I couldn’t afford such luxury, and my people didn’t need it. We’d trekked for hours with few rests.

Thick clouds were nauseating, but as we descended, the air became fresher and the sky clearer. My woman, my adventurous love, would have exclaimed how beautifully green and perfect the view was. I’d conquered another peak from her list, but it meant nothing without her.

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Your Best Work is Yet to Come

Sometimes I get bogged down with the thought that my best writing is in the past.

As well as being extremely happy, I have an underlying anxiety whenever I get amazing feedback on a story. What if I can’t live up to it? This happened with ‘Those Charming Birds’, which was published on Potato Soup Journal recently.

It’s not just readers’ reactions though. I panic when I edit something and it just doesn’t work whatever I do. I worry that I won’t ever have that lovely feeling when I know it has clicked. (Don’t worry, I do realise the world won’t end if I write something terrible.)

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Go Outside and Walk Slowly

I’ve made resolutions to spend more time outside and to walk slowly sometimes.

I’m a natural home body. I can stay in my room indefinitely. Once, when I was in Cornwall, I realised I hadn’t left the house for six days! It’s not good for me. Some of the most precious memories I have are when I’ve braved the great outdoors. I now take a daily walk, come rain or shine or migraine.

I stride along, absorbed in my thoughts. That’s fine if I’m in a rush or want some exercise, but sometimes people I know see me and comment afterwards that I looked ‘grim’ or ‘focused’. I’m not always focused on what’s around me though. I need to get out of my head, slow down, and appreciate nature.

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