The weird thing was that, having made the decision to have a tattoo every five years, I then didn’t. I didn’t change my mind about it; I still had every intention of doing it, but I didn’t do it. I loved tattoos, and liked looking at them on other people, but I didn’t go and get my own five year tattoos. My forty-fifth and fiftieth birthdays came and went and I didn’t get another tattoo. And another five years went past.
What I did do in those years was a lot of change and a lot of thinking about change. I hit the menopause and had a bit of a mid-life crisis, which I’ve written about on here (What I think about when I think about swimming). I lost my dear old cat to kidney failure and got two new and equally beloved feline friends. I got a new job and learned to be as confident and happy in it as in my old job. I reconsidered some of my priorities. I started to write. I discovered, in swimming, a new love, new friendships and a new community. And somewhere inside me something started to shift, and to be ready to move on.
I’m afraid I can’t say something much more about that for now, although I may well in later posts. Suffice it to say that it feels as though, after a long time being in some ways stuck in outmoded ways of being, in the last few months I’ve started to move forward. Things have started to move from “should do” and “must do” to “will do” and “have done”. Amongst them, my outstanding tattoos, which were triggered by a conversation with two of my writing friends, who were also eager to get tattoos. Aha! I said, I know a great place! Why don’t we get them done together?