My friend Pauline has just reminded me that it's been 30 years since we did the Pennine Way.
Wow. Time for a reunion I think.
Over the years I think I have changed. Hopefully for the better.
Gone now is the unaware, bloody minded, stubborn, dogmatic, at times abrasive youth.
I feel calmer. More self assured. I look around and take my time and I care less what other people think.
I get frustrated less, especially with people. I accept them for what they are. I have more understanding now - I don't blindly run through my day expecting people to react as I do and then get angry when they don't (A friend of mine when things don't go as planned is fond of saying 'Well, I just assumed [insert plausible but unexpected explanation here].' Makes me smile) and I understand that people can experience a moment of thoughtlessness. Including me!
That mind set comes in quite useful on a bike!
I still get angry or frustrated at events but now I realise it's because I haven't planned properly. For instance my current object of frustration is the missing VIN plate from my old car: The garage owner gave it to us for safe keeping in case he lost it. Guess what... We picked it up and then went shopping, not thinking to put it in a 'SAFE PLACE'. Lack of planning, see.
Another old friend, who I had grown somewhat apart from, met me for a drink a few months ago and seem genuinely surprised he had a goods time! I must have been bad!
I think it's down to the changing focus from worrying about what I think I needed but didn't have (more possessions, better job, more money) to appreciating the world around me and the genuinely precious thing in my life: Time. Time spent with family, friends and on the things I enjoy doing.
But especially my wife. I've learned to appreciate time spent with my wife.
Thinking on it, it's probably the time I've spent with my family as it grew that's educated me. That, and going on a good walk. A good walk is like a meditation that straightens your thinking out.
I wonder if this is something everyone goes through...
Perhaps is just that I've grown up. I've matured. Like an old cheese (smellier and with more blue veins? Perhaps that's the wrong analogy).