In the spirit of embracing nature and adventure, I went on my first microadventure the other day – a gentle 20km stroll along the banks of the River Wandle from Croydon (or rather Waddon) to the Thames in Wandsworth.
|The River Wandle at Waddon
The River Wandle has always held some allure to me. Not just because it’s a rather sweet river but because the past three houses I have lived in have all been in close proximity to its flow – Waddon, Wandsworth and Colliers Wood.
“Why volcanoes?” you may ask. It’s a fair enough question. So why indeed? Or rather, I might say, why not?
Sure sitting in a cushy office and working the nine-to-overtime drill provides a degree of stability and routine, not to mention financial security, but there are downsides. For one, it can give rise to complacency. It’s easy to perhaps find yourself no longer challenged or you become comfortable with the situation – even if it’s not what it’s cracked up to be – just because you might be scared of change or can’t be bothered with the extra effort that comes with challenge and growth. In the end you’re at risk of becoming bogged down by the daily grind of it all. You become stagnant.
The thing is you may not even realise until you find yourself pondering life. Are you happy? Who are you? What makes you tick? What have you achieved in your life? What do you regret? What is your potential? What are you capable of? What can challenge you to find this out?
It’s the making of the all-too common identity crisis.
And what’s more, it doesn’t have to strike when a milestone birthday is looming. A wedding, a breakup, a death: all of these can trigger a bout of anxiety and self-doubt and the realisation that life is too short.
As I sat on an empty commuter train home after being the last to leave the office (again), the setting sun already cocooned in the blanket of night, I found myself pondering.