Sometimes all it takes is a really great weekend with friends, and sunshine and, yes, some Jagerbombs, to remind you what life is really all about.
Gaz and I have both been taking things a bit seriously of late. It’s no wonder really, we’re both pretty work oriented at the best of times – I love how driven he is, and I think he feels the same way about me, but within the last five years we’ve gotten married, bought a house, become parents to twins, been laid off (me, not him), gone self-employed, diced with death (me again)… In short, lots of pretty serious stuff has happened, and I’ve wondered whether we’d ever rediscover what it’s like to relax and just have fun. All the good times seemed a long way away, and although the girls provide their own particular brand of hilarity, parenthood means you can never totally let go.
I recently spent a week looking for easy and interesting ways to relax for a magazine. I didn’t realize what a Stressed Eric I’d become until I tried to spend a couple of hours ‘truanting’. I thought I’d mug work off and take myself to the cinema instead. Now, back in the day this would not have posed a problem, I used to be great at skiving – a legend- but when the time came to shut down my laptop and leave, I just couldn’t do it! Such a wanton waste of time seemed dumb, to be honest.
I never stopped seeing the humour in the complexities of our situation (well, that’s a lie, I have had momentary lapses), but I definitely forgot what it was like not to be looking over my shoulder wondering when the next major life-altering event would come hurtling in our direction like a juggernaut. There have been a handful of times when I really did want to just stop and tell everyone to get stuffed, and there have been plenty more times when I preferred not to go out and face the world at all. I suppose I was a bit frightened that that stonking great metaphorical anvil I’d been expecting might just pick that particular moment to fall out of the sky onto my doom-laden bonce.
I might be tempting fate, but this weekend I realized that I’m no longer expecting that anvil. I mean, it’s going to fall when it falls, isn’t it? Wringing my hands about it won’t change a damn thing. It turns out all we really needed was 24 hours to ourselves, with good company and a few drinks followed by lunch in a nice pub and a few hours mooching round flea markets. Huh. It’s amazing what some time out can do. As a matter of fact, I had at least 3 bolt-out-of-the-blue ideas while we were ‘relaxing’, so with a bit of luck I’ll be releasing those into the wild sometime soon.