For quite a while now I’ve been focused on getting my Work/ Life balance right. In younger life we’re told to work hard, play hard. Then parenthood came along and I felt I needed to work hard, mum hard. So where does the play part go?
When I do (happily) sign up to nights out with friends, I’m subconsciously calculating the correct amount I time I need to dedicate to my kid, before or after, to balance out time away from him. These are the rules that Mother Guilt has set for parents.
It’s not actually about the night out, because of course he’s asleep for most of that – it’s the day after when I just can’t be arsed going on a day trip or getting the monopoly out. Sometimes I force myself to do stuff half-heartedly and end up grumpy and shouty which makes my hangover headache even worse, and my kid has a shit day. Nobody wins. Sometimes I think, it’s best to lay off the drink or come home early so that I can be extra special Supermum the next day. Pay the debt. Restore the Mum/ Life balance. But that’s not right either is it? Is it?
I look back on my pre-kid life where it felt normal, actually humanly natural, to balance a big Saturday night out with a restful Sunday. If I’ve thrown some big shapes at the discotheque, my body should have as little movement as possible the next day, otherwise my head may literally fall off my delicate body. Mathematically that makes sense. But of course life is not two-sided scales – life is 3D. Balance is much more complicated.
My delicate body does need that rest. My head might not actually fall off, but it won’t be at its best. So why make my kid spend time time with my broken head? Is it not better to rest up and THEN be Supermum later? Or even tomorrow?
And here’s my big revelation…. my boy doesn’t actually want to spend every minute of his weekend with me. If I offer him a morning playing board games together he’ll hesitate for a millisecond before saying ‘Erm, maybe later mum. Can I play on the Xbox first?’
I’m now seeing that Mother Guilt doesn’t exclusively visit parents. My boy also has an inner voice telling him that he SHOULD want to spend his every waking moment glued within his mother’s loving embrace. But honestly, 3 minutes is plenty. Perhaps longer if we’re snuggled together on the sofa watching a film. Otherwise, he has boy things to do. He wants to spend time with other people, he wants to spend time on his own. That’s OK. In fact that’s fucking brilliant.
So here I am, with my feet up, writing, dossing, resting. And there he is, in a different room, happily playing without me. Later we might watch a film, snuggle up on the sofa, together but still resting. This week is half term, I’ll be back in full-on mothering mode, and I will Mother the shit out of him, as my best self, rested and all the better for a night out with adult friends.
Mother Guilt ignored. Mum / Life Balanced restored.
I love Christmas songs, I really do. The carols, the pop songs, the kids songs. Pretty much all of them. So I thought I’d have some fun updating the lyrics of some classics from my Christmas playlist, so they feel more relevant to life as I know it now – as a knackered mother…
1. To the tune of ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’
You better watch out, she might start to cry Can’t believe all the shit still to buy We’re all on the Christmas count down
She’s making a list and checking it twice Goose fat and cranberry, carrots with spice We’re all on the Christmas count down
She panics when she’s sleeping She’ll soon jump wide awake That present’s not arrived yet Now she’s screaming “for fuck’s sake!”
Oh, you better watch out, get out of her way Wrapping and cleaning and swearing all day We’re all on the Christmas count down.
2. To the tune of ‘Last Christmas’
Last Christmas I sent loads of cards
But the postage I paid, just seemed such a waste This year to save me some time I’ll just post a pic on Facebook (Facebook) oh oh.
(Merry Christmas) I wrote them all and sent them With a note saying “Love from…” and I meant it But now you know, that you won’t get a card You haven’t pissed me off, I haven’t lost your address.
Last Christmas I sent loads of cards Now the postage I saved, will not go to waste This year, to charity sent So they can do something special (spe-e-cial).
3. Sing this one like Bing
(Remembering Christmases when I lived with my parents and had no real responsibilities)
I’m dreaming of a boozy Christmas Just like when I still lived at home Where my mum did the shopping, so there’d be no stopping, My after-work drinks and late night discos
I’m dreaming of a drunk Christmas Before I had kids of my own May your children sleep right through the niiiight And may all your hangovers be light.
This is a real modern day Christmas song by my favourite comedian, Tim Minchin. I listen to this every year and it gets me every time.
It’s a beautiful song about his love of Christmas because it’s when his family comes together in Australia. Please give it a play, listen to the words (and maybe grab a tissue if you’re as sentimental as me!)…
Whether you celebrate Christmas in the snow or the sun Whether you are a dad, a sister, a brother, a mum Whether you believe in Jesus or just the family traditions… I hope your Christmas is magical, fun, sentimental and filled with love.
And perhaps Unbalanced for all the good reasons!
Merry Christmas xxx
Link to White Wine in the Sun on YouTube: https://youtu.be/fCNvZqpa-7Q
Question: What do you do when your Head-voice and your Heart-voice are at war in your head? When one is saying… ‘Do it, do it!’ and the other is saying “You stupid fuckwit of a woman – don’t even think about it!”
Answer: Get yourself a therapist
This one is hard to write. I’ve been putting it off for a while. But as I started this blog as a sort of therapy, I always promised myself that I’d write honestly about the ACTUAL therapy I’ve had this year. So here goes….
When I became unwell last year, the hardest part of the initial journey was that I didn’t know what was wrong with me. Lying in an MRI scanner and listening to the mechanical beeps for an hour, I was mentally writing my will and thinking about leaving my 5 year old boy without a mum. But once diagnosed (with a Vestibular Dysfuction*) I was able to concentrate on getting physically better. Knowledge is power as they say. Once I knew what I was dealing with, I could fight it.
*Vestibular Dysfuction – when the brain can’t properly orientate and you feel constantly dizzy, sea-sick and can only move about slowly, acting as if you are seriously drunk – without actually drinking. It’s shit!
For the next six months I had a goal, a plan and a belief that I could return to ‘normal’. I made steady progress through Neuro Physio (re-training the brain to balance) and I could cope. I was absolutely determined to become me again, and be able to do everything I previously could.
Having that vision and that belief was, I’m sure, a contributor to me making such great progress.
So when I had a relapse in February and started getting worse again, I hit a new low – possibly worse than my first MRI, because I was back to having no knowledge. Now I was wondering if this was going to be an on-going cycle – did I have to accept that I may never get better? It hit me really hard. My Neuro Physio told me that I needed to come to terms with the fact that this could be it. Even with all the brain training, I may only ever be able to do 80% of what I could before. The idea of living with this illness forever was just heart breaking. The idea of not being able to do everything that I could normally do, and everything I had planned for my life, was overwhelming.
One thought kept coming back to me – Disney Land. It’s been my dream for most of my life, and I’ve promised myself that I will go as soon as my boy is tall enough to go on all the big rides.
I couldn’t accept it. Mentally, I just couldn’t cope. Micky Mouse became a symbol of everything I was losing. The me I was losing. The me my family was losing and the limits that would put on them too. I lost my will to fight, and just became sad and angry. I didn’t know whether I needed to keep fighting to get better, or to accept defeat and make new plans – ones that wouldn’t ever involve Micky fucking Mouse. (I also started swearing a lot more, and taking my anger out on fictional mice!)
I realised that I needed help. My Neuro Physiotherapist was a wonderful woman helping me retrain my brain and make physical brain progress, but I needed help with the emotional side of my brain too. I needed to sort out how to THINK – how to DECIDE – how to KEEP GOING mentally.
So a made an appointment with a Counselling therapist, and it’s possibly the best thing I ever did. To be honest, for the first 3 sessions, I really wasn’t sure! I felt that she didn’t understand the problem. But to be fair to her, it was ME that didn’t understand my own emotions. I wasn’t giving her the right details. I was still too angry at my situation. I was linking my physical condition and my mental state too closely together, I couldn’t separate them – when I felt physically poorly I was sad, and when I felt physically OK I felt… well, OK, but overwhelmingly frustrated by my limitations.
The regular fight in my head was:
Physical Brain: I’m so tired. The more your push me, the more I need to rest. You can’t do everything you used to – accept it; do less; enjoy the quieter life. Let’s sit on the sofa and have a brew.
Emotional Brain: But that’s not who I AM! I’m missing out on LIFE. I don’t enjoy quiet, I NEED the variety, I need the party, I need to be who I WAS.
My Emotional Brain thinks in shouty capitals a lot!
The break-through happened in my therapy session after I did the worse thing I could have possibly done as a person with balance issues – I went on a roller coaster. It was definitely an act of rebellion. I knew it was an absolutely stupid risk that could totally fuck up all the neuro-physio progress that I’d made. But I also felt that I was leading a restricted life, and it was breaking my heart. It was head versus heart, or my Physical Brain versus my Emotional Brain, and Emotional Brain was now calling the shots. It wanted to know what would happen, like a child pushing boundaries… I needed to know if the Disney dream was ever going to be achievable.
I picked a day when all the circumstances were right – I was feeling reasonably good, I had people with me who could look after me if I crashed into a spinning nausea, I had the next 3 days off work if I needed to recuperate. I was still scared shitless though! Physical and Emotional brains were battling in my head as I queued up:
EB: It’s the Dora the Explorer roller coaster, it’s fine for a 6 year old – how bad can it be?
PB: You absolutely crazy fuckwit of a woman – there’s a sign that says ‘Not suitable for people with motion sickness’ – that’s an understatement for what you have!
But because I’m either feistily determined or stupidly stubborn (you can decide which), I did it. And it wasn’t at all as bad as I expected. So… I went on three more, each progressively bigger and faster.
I’d love to say that was the moment when I realised I was better, but oh no, I just got the consequences later. Somehow the adrenaline must have kept me going, but later that day I was crying, and the next day I paid the price properly. I felt awful. I could hardly move off the sofa. I thought I’d broken myself and I had a new reason to be angry – at myself – for being a crazy fuckwit of a woman (PB: Well, I told you, didn’t I?!) However, by the next day I felt a lot better, and the day after that, better again (EB: Ha. I knew it -it was worth the risk)
And this is where my therapist, Jeanette, comes in. She helped me realise that instead of being a straight battle between Physical and Emotional thoughts, I’d rather cleverly brought in a third voice in my head – ‘Intellectual Brain’. IB was the one who made sure I took the risk at the right time, considered the consequences, and made sure I was ready. It sounds so simple, but she was right. She helped me to think about other times I’d used this third voice to make decisions, and that this was the voice I had learned to trust. I needed to listen to them all, but IB was like the mediator.
This was my turning point. I started to feel more positive about making decisions, taking risks, testing my physical limits in a sensible way, and keep my emotional side happy that I was making progress.
When Jeanette and I booked our last session I said that I wanted to do some drawings as a way of remembering what I’d learned, and to help me easily recall the concepts of balancing my physical, emotional and intellectual voices.
This is what I drew…
… and what it means:
1. I need to stop looking back at who I was, and understand who I am now, and what I’m capable off. Being able to do 80% of what I could before may be true, but are there new things I can do too? If I’d lost a leg, I wouldn’t try to grow it back! I’d work out how to live the best life I could with one leg.
2. My roller coaster rebellion taught me how to push my physical limits to allow me to have fun, but in a safe way.
3. I had felt restricted by my illness, like I had tethers holding me back. Jeanette helped me to see those more as a harness, which helped to keep me safe. And when I was seeking to push the boundaries I was using intellect to ‘measure’ how far I could go.
4. I finally accepted that resting is not lazy – it’s essential. I can still do almost anything I want to as long as I accept that my body will pay the consequences, and I make time before and after to give it chance to do that.
Will I get to Disney Land one day? Yes, I absolutely will. Maybe not for a while yet, but I am still a determined / stubborn bitch, and I will not give up that dream. I know that it’s possible, as long as I plan ahead, take sensible risks and make time for the consequences.
Packing for a holiday: Women vs men (or just me vs my husband..?)
One week before holiday
Start mentally packing, putting things to one side in my wardrobe
3 days to go
Start wearing old crap underwear so I can save my least grey stuff for packing (not sure why I need to to only take my best knickers away).
Become laundry obsessed. Even more than usual. Everything must be washed NOW in case I decide to pack it.
Pack my toiletries bag.
2 days to go
Freak out because I’m going to a party tonight and nothing in the ‘won’t be taking these away’ section of my wardrobe seems acceptable. Try on everything in the hope that it has suddenly become suitable.
Go shopping and get over excited by ‘Travel Sized’ bottles of everything. Spend 10 minutes deliberating if it’s OK to buy 50ml versions for £1 when 200ml is £1.50. Find empty travel bottles in the next aisle. They are also £1.50. Kick myself for being so indecisive. Return to mini bottles and and buy mini everything.
Buy a new pair of shoes I don’t really need.
Day before holiday
Choose the clothes I definitely want to take, attempting to achieve the coveted ‘capsule’ set where everything goes with everything (who am I kidding?).
Limit myself to 3 pairs of shoes, including the new ones.
Try on every outfit to make sure it goes with one of the 3 pairs of shoes.
Decide on my travelling outfit and hang it on my wardrobe door.
Pat myself on the back for being decisive and limiting myself. I have NOT overpacked.
Morning of holiday
Spot things in the ironing pile that I could probably squeeze in. That top is a bit nicer than the one I packed. It’s only one top. Oh but if I take that I’ll need to pink shoes. That’s just one more pair of shoes.
Repeat two more times
Mentally shout at myself for over packing.
Accept it and move on. I am the boss of me.
Morning of holiday
Put on some clothes.
Pack whatever else is in his wardrobe that he fancies taking.
Parent Dilemma. You want to go to a music festival. Should you take your small offspring? Is it still a proper festival experience if you might not see all the bands you want to and you don’t get slowly shit-faced?
This has been a tough one since I became a mum. It sounds amazing to integrate something you love from pre-parent days into family life. But is that realistic for us?
I have heard of many parents who throw a tent and wellies in the back of the car and head off for a mud and music filled adventure. I’m guessing that they are the types of families who love camping trips anyway. We are not. Or more specifically, I am not.
Since going camping with the Guides aged 12 I learned that it only takes two days for my curly hair to turn into a Medusa-like state without the aid of a power shower. I also like my own toilet.
So for the past few years I’ve just not bothered, instead choosing to watch ‘Live music’ on the TV red button, with a brew and my slippers on.
But now my Unbalanced Man plays guitar in a band that are getting invited to play at these festivals. So I want to go even more. Would 6 year old Joe enjoy watching Daddy play? Probably, for about 20 minutes from past experience. But, if you give him a choice between time at Granny’s where he can have bacon butties and ice-cream on tap, or being taken from tent to tent watching all the weird and wonderful artists perform songs that are NOT recognisable tunes from Disney and Pixar films, there’s no contest.
So that’s the answer then. Weekend at Granny’s, and off we go.
But uh-oh, here comes Mum Guilt. I absolutely hate sodding Mum Guilt.
“Going off having fun on your own are you?
Drinking are you?
Don’t think I’ve forgotten that you were away without him last weekend,
AND working away the week before that.
Look at THOSE parents who’ve brought their children.
Look how much fun the kids are having.
Joe would LOVE jumping on hay bails with them.
They are GOOD parents who REALLY love their kids.”
I tell you what Mum Guilt, you can absolutely fuck right off. Yes, perhaps Joe would have enjoyed BITS of the weekend, but probably not the whole of it. Instead, we’ve had an amazing weekend as a couple. Joe is back, more than happy and of course, full of ice cream. Next week Ste has another gig but I’m not going, and the week after we’re setting off on a family holiday. So everyone is happy. You might even say it’s all balanced as it should be.
I’ll admit that festival-ing as a mum wasn’t the same as pre-parent days. This time around we managed to stay up till the early hours on the first night, but didn’t get anywhere near shit faced, and on the second night we came home early and were in bed way before midnight.
So I’ll accept that I’m not a full-on Rock and Roll Mum, but I had a wonderful time. And, I’ll tell you a secret… I slept with* that guitar player!!
Celebrations like Fathers Day, offer a fantastic insight as to whether you are a naturally an ‘Organised person’ or a ‘Disorganised person’. Or it could be an opportunity to prove just how Unbalanced you are and have a total melt down.
My mum commented that she is fascinated that there were people in the supermarket in the afternoon of Fathers’ Day, flicking through whatever cards are still available on the shelves, even though they have known this celebratory day has been in the calendar all year. Clearly her disbelief proves that she is an organised person. Organised people don’t understand Disorganised people.
Organised people plan ahead for these days. They carefully choose just the right card, with an appropriate picture and oh-so-personal words that will evoke exactly the right sentiment, humour or abuse appropriate for their loved ones.
Organised people set aside time to consider a choice of gifts, and perhaps even compare prices while wandering round the shops on a day of shopping that has most certainly required A List. Organised people always have A List. Or perhaps, the modern version of organised, where they peruse multiple websites, allowing plenty of time for their gift to be despatched and delivered ahead of the calendar-marked day.
Organised people will already have a choice of wrapping papers, cello-tape (in a handy dispenser), and if required, a packet of stamps in their purse or wallet.
Organised people are brilliant. I want to be one.
Then there are Disorganised people. I know quite a few of these, and I have to say as a sweeping generalisation, that many of them are men. Disorganised people don’t understand Organised people. They don’t see the point.
Disorganised people embrace, and often celebrate that cards and gifts are purchased at the last possible minute. An absolute maximum of celebration minus 48 hours, (more likely minus 2 hours).
Disorganised people buy a card and gift that is ‘exactly’ what the recipient wants. Even if in reality their choice of gift is something the recipient has vmnwver before clasped eyes on, or even knew existed, the Disorganised person will have convinced themselves at the point of purchase, that the fact the items are are a) in front of them, b) within an acceptable price bracket and c) gender appropriate or neutral, means they have chosen wisely and can move on with their day.
Disorganised people will usually remember to buy wrapping paper too. Even if they have 15 other half used rolls and sheets at home, it’s best to get some more.
Disorganised people are brilliant and worry free. I want to be one..
And then there are Unbalanced people. Me, of course.
It’s fair to say that I fluctuate between the organised and disorganised camps. I have a very strong desire to be organised. I even sometimes write A List. I rarely complete many of the activities on it, but I’m fine with that.
And I’m not unthoughtful. I THINK about the presents I want to buy for even longer than organised people spend shopping. I just might not make that essential purchase until the last minute.
My Fathers Day experience this year…
My mum’s birthday is two weeks before Fathers’ Day, so in a fit of ‘watch how organised I can be!’ I ordered personalised Funky Pigeon cards for my husband and my dad, 3 weeks in advance. Yep, 3 whole weeks. Someone should have given me a Well Done sticker.
Suitably proud of myself I set about the long-term present choosing thought process. I even somehow managed to make a decision, go to the right shops and have gifts in my hands with 72 hours to spare.
I didn’t seek out wrapping paper because I remembered that only a few weeks before I had bought suitable paper and there was enough left over for the size of presents just bought.
Smug smile, I am (for once) Little Miss Organised. Seriously, why do people not make stickers for that?
Until the day comes to go visit my Dad. Now, where did I put those cards? Seriously, where the fuck did I put those cards?
You know when perspective goes out of the window? That happened. I had a total melt down. I turned the house upside down. I looked in the same places at least 20 times. I made my husband and child look in all those places, while I followed them round watching them do it. No amount of my husband saying ‘just get another one’ would stop me. In my head this was a symbol of everything that is wrong with my Unbalanced life. I just HAD to find them.
And the end of the story is that I didn’t find them. I still have absolutely no idea where they are. So I had to join the Disorganised people in Tesco, to panic-buy any card on the way to visit my Dad. But I took with me an utter frustration and self-loathing that I had qualified for the Organised person Olympics, in the run up to the race, and then fell flat on my face just before the finish line.
So there we have it. Whether you are an Organised or Disorganised person, this Unbalanced person is jealous of you. Because whether you bought a card two weeks or two hours in advance, you know where your fucking card is.
There’s a song and video doing the rounds called ‘Slow Down’. Everyone gushing how they sobbed when they watched. But I didn’t. I’m clearly a cold-hearted freak. Am I missing an essential mothering gene?
Apparently Mothers around the world are hailing it the best song ever made. Accompanied by a compilation of videos of children playing, smiling with their parents and siblings and showing beautiful memories of everything in a perfect childhood.
The message is clear, “time with your children moves so fast”.
I get the message – there are plenty of ‘blink and you miss it’ phases of raising a child. I’m just not feeling the sentiment with quite the same emotion, for two reasons:
The stages the singer wants to Slow Down weren’t that fucking picture-perfect in reality
My experience so far tells me that actually it just gets better. So bring on the future!
I can honestly say that every age my Ginger Boy has been so far, has been my favourite. When he was a new born baby, I remember people saying that babies are boring until they start to talk and show some personality. I was absolutely outraged! Had they not met MY baby? My completely gorgeous, expressive baby whose gurning face made me laugh every single day?
But of course, as he grew in size and expression, I have to admit, babies are pretty damn boring compared to what comes next. And while I cherish all those memories of me bursting with love as his tiny fingers wrapped around mine, they are also entwined with memories of a period of no sleep, a mini breakdown and phoning friends asking how long this period of crying through the night (him and me) would last.
I most certainly did not want that time to Slow Down!
Last week my friend made a sad face because her youngest is now potty trained. I was amazed that this was not a celebratory event. She explained that it signifies he’s growing up and he’s not a baby anymore. Apparently many people feel the same way when their kids hit a significant milestone.
I get it (I think), but again I was left thinking that I must have a heart of stone. When we reached that stage there was absolutely no mourning period. All I felt was a joyous realisation in a garden centre that when Ginger Boy told me he needed a poo, I was no longer required to perform the obligatory shit-sniff before taking my toddler into a disabled toilet, lay him out on a plastic tray, stinky end nearest my face, and hold his windmill-propelled legs away from my head with one elbow, to stop me being hit in the face by a shoe, a wet wipe or, let’s get real… actual shit. It never EVER occurred to me that I might look back on that phase with anything more than a vague fondness for the comedy shit related memories. I certainly don’t ‘miss it’!
And that’s how I feel about life, not just motherhood. Life phases are amazing. I don’t mourn for any of them or want them to Slow Down because there’s always something else ahead to look forward to.
‘School days are the best of your life’. Yes they are but…. I couldn’t wait to grow up and be old enough to go to the pub
The butterflies in your tummy for a first kiss are fantastic. But… Look at what comes later (sex obvs!) – a long term intimacy that’s well worth moving on from those butterflies
My single, party days were amazing. But…. then I got to meet my husband.
Does my practical attitude mean I’m cold? Maybe. Should I take the video’s advice and Slow Down? Perhaps. The good phases and the bad phases and everything in between, all move fast. Thankfully I have a good memory and about 1000 photos to help me remember the good bits (I never took any photos of the poo windmill in action, so maybe I’ll forget those bits. Maybe that’s not a bad thing).
I guess in summary…. I’m thankful for where we’ve been so far, happy with where we are now, and excited about where we might go to tomorrow. I don’t want to slow down OR speed up. I’m just grateful to be on this roller coaster of a parenthood ride.
When I first meet someone, a new friend, partner, work colleague, whatever, I ponder ‘do I like them?’. I assess their characteristics: Are they a nice person? Do they make me laugh? Do I enjoy their company? Do we have things in common? And so on.
But when they have been part of my life for a while, like a few years or decades, I stop thinking about it. By then I assume I must just love them – love them enough to keep them in my life rather than just let them drift away.
So I’ve been thinking… If you’ve loved someone for years, or you are family, does love replace like? And is that OK? Whether that’s your partner, your sibling or your best friend, do you ever stop to think ‘do I still like them?’ or even perhaps, ‘do they still like me?’!
When we love someone do we take for granted the things that we once noticed as good characteristics? I think that just possibly, as time goes on, we are more prone to notice and acknowledge their faults and the things that niggle us. I’m pretty sure that if a made a tally chart of the times me and my husband comment on each others’ flaws, vs the times we point out each others brilliance, the flaws list would be just a touch longer. I doubt we’d need a recount to be sure.
This week me and my Unbalanced Man went on a date. Just us. It’s a rare thing. Usually the need to get a babysitter means we’ve been driven by a specific reason – an invitation to a party or night out with others. Very rarely do we make a conscious decision to spend sociable time out of the house with each other. Only each other.
And let’s be totally honest, on a normal night – mid week or weekend – when we reach that special time where it’s just the two of us, we don’t set the table, light a candle, pour a glass of wine and debate the deep and meaningful topics of life. Don’t be ridiculous. We plop a plate on a tray table (you know those ones with the bean bag thing underneath), choose something to watch on TV and act like we’re on Gogglebox.
Other than comments about our chosen TV programme, the sum our our conversation post kid bedtime is not much more than three questions and answers:
1. Q: How was your day?
2. Q: What shall we watch?
A: Whatever, you choose.
3. Q: Are you making a brew or what?
A: Sigh… Yep
So do we actually still like each-other? I know I love him, I know I appreciate lots of the things he does and I know that we’re a good partnership. But, that’s all a bit grown up and a bit practical.
Then…. date night. Suddenly I become acutely aware that our conversation will probably need to run past the usual 20 or so words (Yes, I did just count them).
I found myself getting giddy on the train into town, telling stories from my day and talking about plans for the weekend and I actually paused and thought, ‘slow down crazy girl, we’ve got all night to talk. Don’t say everything now or we might run out of things to say later.’
Is that bad? I was actually sort of nervous. I know that’s ridiculous, but in a weird way it was also exciting because it turns out that we did have plenty to talk about. And before you get suspicious, it wasn’t all about planning the practical stuff we need to do next week, or the typical parent cliche of talking about our kid all night. We just talked. Not about anything in particular, just about stuff. And that’s when I remembered how much I LIKE him. Truth be told, I’ve never even stopped liking him, I just forgot to think about it for a while. Perhaps that’s a good, comfortable, natural progression, or perhaps it’s a little sad.
We came out of the restaurant to find a bar with a live band playing and immediately knew that was what we both wanted to do. Because we have things in common! There it was. Just like being on a first date, I was assessing him all over again and I LIKED him. We find it easy to talk, to make each other laugh, to be nice to each-other.
Even better…… later, I got lucky!
We might even go on another date soon.