Almost there. Within 48 hours (all going well) I will be at Mumbai airport, boarding the two hour Kingfisher flight to Delhi.
I am feeling a mixture of excitement and anxiety, but good news! The EFT tapping seems to have worked. The prospect of a nine hour flight to India does not fill me with the usual dread (although, of course, I might feel differently as I clip my seatbelt on for take-off). So a heartfelt thank you to Eva, and keep at it. There’s lots of nervous folk out there who need your help.
The build up to my departure has been a delightful slowing down, seeing lots of friends, and having a jolly good clearing out. There is not a cupboard in the house which has not had me bottom up, hurling things over my shoulder into the charity bag or into another one labelled ‘the dump.’ Some of this stuff has been with me for years, festering in drawers rarely opened and even, shamefully, moving house with me eight years ago. I guess you can only get rid of things when you’re ready.
But why, in the west, do we accumulate such unnecessary clutter? Because we can, I suppose. I am very conscious that I am going to a culture where vast numbers of people can’t afford even a pair of shoes. It’s a humbling thought.
I still have no idea in what form my IVHQ volunteering is going to take shape. But I’m not particularly bothered about that. I am taking with me a Bon Voyage card that my dear friend Luchinda sent, reminding me that ‘Life is a journey, not a destination.’ I’ve decided that’s going to be my motto throughout my adventures and hopefully it will be sustaining when things get interesting.
I am also going to use my adventures to gather research for my next book, Older and Wiser. It will be the sandwich filling between writing about Sex, Meaning and the Menopause and The D-Word: Talking about Dying. More about that anon but the book will include much of what I experience as an older volunteer. I suspect I am heading for a major learning curve.
In the meantime, it’s back to packing my last bits and pieces, thoroughly enjoying these last few hours of living in the gorgeous Cotswolds, and knowing they will be here when I return.
The banking system might be a different matter…