Last month, I was sent a new credit card – a different colour, with contactless payment and a new three digit security code; so not that much to celebrate, you may say. Except that, in a quiet way, I did.
It’s three years since I had chemotherapy and surgery, and all the brouhaha that goes with breast cancer. Not the best of times. Some of you may remember (and thank you if you do). During those months, every time I used my credit card I would see the renewal date, November 2014, and in my more miserable days, it would occur to me that I might not live beyond the expiry date, that this might be my last ever credit card.
Of course, that wasn’t the priority. There were always more important things to be around for than a new credit card – family, friends, work, the Olympic Games – but there was something about the anonymity of my credit card and the ever-present date which itched away in my mind. If I died, all kinds of things would be canceled – my credit card, my twitter account, my Labour Party membership – and it would make absolutely no difference to any of these organisations. They would grind on regardless. In the same way, films would keep coming out, books be published, The Archers broadcast. No one associated with any of these things would have been bothered in the slightest if I watched their movies, read their books, sent my tweets.
Does it sound like a bleak celebration, the arrival of a new credit card? Well, either it isn’t or I don’t care. It is not so bad to mark these small, anonymous steps. I’m not talking about the personal anniversaries – birthdays, Christmases, summer holidays – but the day to day things on which we have no real impact, the impersonal stuff that comes and goes but which mark the passing of time.
It’s almost three years since I finished chemo. Time has passed; perhaps I should be “over it” and indeed, to a point, I am, but being around to open that new credit card, that was still something.
So, here are a few events to which my presence is completely irrelevant but that I will be using to celebrate the passing of time in the near and not so near future.
- Final Hobbit film – this week, the end of the saga.
- Labour winning the next election and/or electing a new leader.
- Batman v Superman, Dawn of Justice (2016), indeed the whole 10 film, DC series, finishing with Green Lantern, 2020.
- Publication of the final Hilary Mantel, Thomas Cromwell novel.
- Completion of Cross Rail.
- And, of course, my next credit card (2017).