This morning, readers, we host our favourite pub-landlady-turned-analytical-chemist Sandra, with her first piece for the blog. One part analytical chemist, one part wise owl and one part funny lady – this post is the very essence of Sange.
It’s a timely reminder to not sweat the small stuff, though written in a way that has made me wistful for change. If you need me I’ll be reposing on a tropical beach somewhere…
If you were a water molecule, where would you like to be? Do you know how amazing and unusual you are chemically? You exist on the earth in your three states together-crystalline ice, fluid water and energetic gas. Under ambient conditions. This is an exquisite equilibrium.
Racing down a gorge, white-water stylee? Being a small part of an icy pool atop a mountain? Reposing near a tropical beach? Vapour arising from a sulphurous geyser? An integral part of a biochemical transformation? It’s all yours, my watery friend. But there’s a catch. You have no choice, sadly. You are at the mercy of Mother Nature and her temperature and pressure trade-off. There is no queue which you get to the head of and decide where you’d like to be. Oh no, siree.
At some point in your life you’ll fall as rain. Will you fall on a temperate grassland and be incorporated into the infrastructure of a tree? Will you fall right back into the ocean to spend a bit of time following currents to some far-flung clime, only to be evaporated up into the clouds again? Or will you fall as rain onto a mountain and after what must seem like a never-ending journey, end up in an aquifer, the dark world of the underground water system on which us mere mortals depend? Not in a much imagined cavern, but making your way through the pores in the rock. Slowly, in response to elevation and pressure. If you’re in a permeable rock, you can travel up to a metre a day. You don’t want to be trapped in an impermeable one. Oh no.
As you’re travelling along in your aquifer you may reach the top of the water table and emerge in a stream. Still moving, perhaps travelling up into the atmosphere at any point, depending on the temperature. It’s still all beautifully beyond your control, remember?
Remember what it was like to be young and to have life be beyond your control – every waking decision taken for you? As you gain in age and experience, you can revel in ‘making your own decisions’ and ‘thinking for yourself’. All of which are good, grown up (eek!) things which have been a long time coming for us ladies and which grow us as people.
It’s not always a good thing. It leaves us prone to relationship straining micro-management, endless anxiety about doing the right thing, or making the right choice. And it’s tiring. I’ve spent more energy than I care to mention agonising over the ‘right’ curtains, shoes, paint, job. It doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t matter.
Next time You. Cannot. Possibly. Choose, don’t try. Do both. Do neither. Try not to focus on making the ‘best’ choice, perhaps making the ‘least worst’ choice would be more appropriate. People will still love and cherish you. You’ll still be alive, the world will not have juddered to a halt. Just let stuff happen. Because it will, whether you want it to or not.
What matters is having friends and family to love and share times, good and bad. Having your health with which to be able to share those times. Sometimes letting stuff just happen to see where it takes you. Like the water. Sweet freedom.
You’ll be surprised where it might take you.