A Blank Slate Life


Are you a planner, a goal setter, a diary filler?

Or are you a floater, a free agent, a take-each-day-as-it-comes-er?

Is one better than the other?

As last year began, I was commencing my first rowing regatta season, training for my first half marathon, planning a trip to New York and about to begin rehearsals for a Shakespeare play. And then the year got really busy.

This year began and in my diary was…. nothing.

The regatta season was something I watched others participate in.

My fitness training entailed walking from the couch to the kitchen for another cup of tea.

There were definitely no holidays on the horizon.

And although Shakespeare beckoned once again, he had no place for me this year.

It felt weird.


But as I sat with it (on the couch with a cup of coffee and a piece of chocolate and a period drama on television), I began to see its attractions.

No commitments. No expectations (mine or from others).

I decided a Blank Slate Life would be an interesting experiment.

Blank slate

Within weeks I was tested.

I was invited to join an instrumental and singing group of which I had been a part in the past and one that I had attempted to rejoin at the end of last year until a clothing moth intervened and put me in hospital instead. (It’s hard to play the banjo with six broken ribs.)

I ummed and I ahhed.

And I caved. Besides, I really wanted to go and a Blank Slate Life is not about doing nothing but doing things a bit more spontaneously. And it was only a five week commitment.

Then, on the day I was to attend the first group session, our city was hit by floods and instead of plucking banjo strings that night, I was plucking items out of the flooded rooms of a relative’s home.

Maybe it was a sign.

But then more temptation came in the form of William Shakespeare and his Midsummer Night’s Dream. Seems there was a role for me after all.

How do you say no?

And this week, my spontaneous, relief teaching, I Wonder If They’ll Call Today worklife turned into a Three Days A Week in the One Classroom for the Whole Term setpiece.

Maybe I’m just not meant to live a Blank Slate Life.

Would you, could you do it?

If you already do, can I have your secret?



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