I was thinking about limitations yesterday as I hacked through some undergrowth in the garden. When I was younger I thought nothing of moving paving stones around to make new paths, chopping down or re-planting trees, and climbing ladders to reach the top of the fence or the higher branches of the big pine tree. I’m not quite so adventurous in my gardening these days, but what I really have to watch out for is that my knowledge of my own limitations prevents me from doing anything at all! This is also the case in some other areas, especially as I am quite lazy about walking and doing anything else physical, and I think I have tended to use excuses such as ‘old age’ and ‘backache’ to get out of doing any of these things. It seems to work better if I just push on and walk further than I want, usually because there is someone younger and fitter with me, and try not to worry about how I’m going to get back! (I sometimes joke with companions about them having to carry me, but I don’t think that is going to happen)
Oddly enough these ideas about limitations don’t apply to other spheres such as work, where I can’t stop myself volunteering for new projects even when I know in advance they will just be one big hassle from start to finish, or to my writing, where my ambition knows practically no bounds. In fact I am contemplating writing in a completely new and challenging genre before long, although of course I will always return to my mystery series in the end.
This weekend I’ve been working on a sequel to ‘The Lion and Unicorn Quest’ – working title ‘The Four Seasons Quest’. It has been planned even less than my other novels and in fact a murder took me very much by surprise in Chapter 1, but on the other hand I am the proud possessor of a ‘story arc’ for a 3 book series about the characters, and I know how this novel will fit into that, so I don’t feel completely at sea. It’s set in 1952 in Norfolk, Perthshire and London.
After spending some time this weekend chasing bees out of the conservatory, I am also contemplating an exercise video based on this activity. There’s a lot of stretching and bending involved, and sometimes I have to climb on chairs and stretch at the same time, but most of the activity is based on tennis strokes I learned when I was much younger. I think the video will quite likely go viral as it will be hilarious, but it may need to be edited for language!