Hands up if you’ve been a bit of a bloggy shitbag? A writing-wrong ‘un? A copy-dodger?
Yep. It’s safe to say that, when it comes to updating this here blog ‘n’ ting, I’ve been a gigantic douche. I’ve been rubbish. I’ve made excuses, I’ve totally blogged off. And for that, I’m really honestly very sorry.
It’s not like I haven’t been thinking of the blog though. In fact, a few weeks ago, I pretty much had my next online offering planned and perfected by way of the shenanigans that were my first ever family holiday. I mean, when it comes to the bleak, black comedy of my family life, a trip abroad with two ‘spirited’ toddlers was surely going to be ideal blog fodder, right? And really, it pretty much was. Yes, I was all set to tell you that, while the world, his wife and her right-royal highness were basking in the drizzly glow of British skies, bunting and a four day boozathon, me, my husband and our two kids turned our backs on Union Jack and his piss-wet Jubilee, headed to France and…
…drank wine that came from this fetid-looking tap in a wall, the fear of contracting typhoid totally trounced by way of the fact the booze cost just TWO EUROS A LITRE….
…on a similarly grubby tip, bought sangria in an old lemonade bottle, from a stall at the side of the road….
…wrestled my daughter’s head free, after it became wedged in this here chair-back….
…got a lot of mileage (pardon the pun) out of this comedy numberplate…
I was thinking of relaying the story about how, not even ten minutes into our three-hour journey to the airport, a can of de-icer went off in our boot and, already running late and not wanting to stop the car, I tried to convince my husband it was actually our kid making the weird hissing noise.
I was also considering mentioning the bit about my son yelling ‘WE’RE GOING DOWN’ as the plane began its descent, much to the absolute hilarity of the jittering wreck of a plane-o-phobe sat across the aisle from us. I would probably have then thrown in some kind of comment relating to the bizarre-but-oddly-compelling 10ft Sexy Cat statue in Toulouse airport and my 3 year-old son’s fascination with her kind-of-inappropriate-for-a-public-space, sticky outy nipples…
…All before rounding-up with the at-the-time-quite-miserable-but-in-hindsight-ho-ho-ho-how-funny-are-my-anxiety-issues? tale of my ’what the FUCK happened to my life?’ panic attack as I, my husband and various other parents with children too young to be left at the campsite’s kids’ club stood in the middle of a baking hot field, dicking about with two nonchalant holiday reps, a clutch of toddlers and a parachute whilst all internally asking ‘is 10am REALLY too early for a drink?’. I mean, I get it – you can’t leave your kids if they’re below a certain age. Fine. But please, beautiful Dutch reps with awesome tans and the BEST of your years ahead of you, can you not just take some pity on me and leave me to sit here on this scorced patch of campsite and read a book/catch some sun/swig neat Campari straight from the bottle while YOU work out the parachute game WITHOUT ME? Christ, if the ghost of holiday future had paid me a visit five years ago with that little vision - my 33-year old self, sweating over a swathe of mutli-coloured Early Learning Centre polyester while singing This Old Man - it’s more than likely I would have had my tubes tied on the spot…
Anywaaaaaay. Anyway. That was my plan. To chirpily tell you about the occasional lows, mainly highs of my trip. But then we got back. And the happy aura of a week on the continent kind of got its arse kicked the moment we arrived back in the UK. Yes the weather. And then normal, day-to-day life. And then me, being a bit of a cock-end and forgetting that whole ‘don’t dwell on the past, live in the moment’ bullshit I promised to abide by on New Year’s Eve. Because while holidays are lovely, that huge low I feel when they’re over sometimes makes me wonder if it’s a worthwile pay-off? 7 days in the sun in exchange for one month+ of feeling really, really sucky? It’s not ideal is it?
So. Yes. There you go. The more time passed, the more I struggled to get my shit together for long enough to write about my jollies.
If you have read this blog of mine before, you’ll probably have gathered that, while I like to look for the funny stuff in the crappy side of life, there are also times when the lift of a laugh doesn’t come. Having been pre-disposed to some pretty grizzly depression in the past, being a mum and all the emotions that come with that (well, the emotions that come with that for me, in my self-destructive, out-of-proportion mind) can mean there are moments or days or weeks when I find it almost impossible to shake that sense of gloom that likes nothing more than punching me in the knackers. Having been a huge fan of the benefits of meds in the past, more recently these little tablets of joy haven’t been doing it for me, so I have decided to deploy Plan B - a bit of therapy. Therapy. I hate that word. I think the connotations are of me being some sad, shaky wreck, seeking spiritual guidance from some kind of sentimental-spouting weirdo with a dead-gaze and manic smile. A bit like Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise maybe. But therapy is what it is. So there you go. A couple of months back, I swallowed the fear and got me some therapy.
Anyway, so far, so reassuring. Talking to someone experienced about the things that fuel my anxieties is hugely helpful, but so too is the way the lovely woman I visit gets me to look at stuff. She makes me realise that, while a lot of my low moods may be based on unwarranted fears, as standalone things they are real because they do, definitely make me worry. i.e. The way I think isn’t wrong or weird – it’s just the way the world works to me. For the first time, in a long time, rather than berating myself for the stuff I do/say/think, this whole concept of being allowed to regard things in my own way, rather than the way you’re supposed to look at them has been kind of liberating. Obviously this works well for the mum stuff – i.e. just because a lot of ladies love the mum-job, doesn’t mean I have to – but it also ties in nicely with other walks of life too. It sort of takes the fear away when it comes to saying or doing things that go against the grain.
Before this turns into some kind of crazy-fest, I’ll get to the point. Recently, I was talking to a friend about getting older and the weird shit you do* and we were joking about mid life crises. And then it struck me – what if a mid-life crisis is just that defiant part of you who thinks enough is enough, I’m sick of going along with things, I’m old enough to know what I want, I’m confident enough to pursue it. If that means digging my BMX out of the shed so I can bomb around my tiny village on it, so be it. That tattoo I quite fancy? Bring it. Those 90s dance compilations that I want to blast from the car when I have the luxury of a journey without the kids? Dario G – let’s DO THIS.
Full-time mum. Working mum. BMX. Bike-with-a-basket. Dario G. Darius. The top-line of this VERY long-winded entry is that I’m starting to realise the importance of going with what you want to do, rather than what you think you should do. It’s all good if it makes you happy.
And yes, sexy cat sculptor of Toulouse, that includes YOU**
* her: wear false eyelashes to work; me: dress like Jesy from Little Mix
**you mad bastard