When I was younger, all I thought about was the boys I fancied.
You know what it’s like when you’re young, there really isn’t all that much to think about. It’s that, what’s on TV, or which one of your friends you’ve fallen out with today (and trying desperately hard to remember why – was it because they wrote ‘Charlotte loves Maths’ on your pencil case – when they KNOW English is your jam – or because they took three crisps from your bag when you specifically said they could only have one).
I think I believed that if I thought about boys enough they would just magically fall in love with me (I can’t even blame Disney movies for it. I made that up all on my own). But – and spoiler for any young’uns reading – that doesn’t work at all.
But now that I’m older (I’ll be 30 on Saturday, in case you missed my telegram), and as the sense of urgency to do the right thing with my life grows at a rate so fast I wonder if I have time to sleep any more, my mind is focused on other things, like:
How I can get more time into my life to do the things I want to do? How can I make the days longer, or change the week altogether so that more of it belongs to me? What time does a person need to get up to truly fulfil themselves – is it 5am? 6am? But what if you’re not a morning person, by which I mean, inherently lazy until at least 10am?
How I can get more inspiration into my head? Over the last few months I have devoured books written by female comedy writers like I would previously consume marshmallows (although in the ideal scenario I would do both at once). And I can’t get enough of them. Tina Fey’s book Bossypants made me so happy that I never wanted my commute to end when I was reading it – and when do you ever hear a Londoner say that? I want to do things that make me think – talks, workshops, classes – to find endless things to write about, and to consume all the books that make me say YES I AM GOING TO LEARN FROM YOU (and ideally laugh at lots too and make people on the tube think I am a weirdo).
How I can do it all without burning out? Getting so tired that I feel sick has become a regular part of my life. I’d say about once every fortnight I have to send myself to bed like one might a five year old because I’ve become overtired and unreasonable. We have to build relaxation time in don’t we, but that should happen before we’ve got to the point where we think we might punch somebody just because they’ve asked if they can borrow our pen. I recently discovered the incredible power of having a bath and listening to Desert Island Discs, which I intend to do more of and strongly recommend. It’s like medicine but with added David Attenborough or Steve Coogan or Dawn French. I think I even prefer it to Calpol.
And how do you do all this whilst remaining a good friend, wife, daughter, sister, niece, mama to your pets? Because that sh*t MATTERS. There are people to see, lives to catch up on, and food to be consumed in the presence of others. And I want to do all of the things, achieve all of the stuff, whilst doing the most important thing of all which is just being a part of people’s lives, chatting it all out, and laughing or crying until we’re spent. Because what is the point of doing anything unless you have good relationships in your life? I mean, really?
It’s amazing how your brain and your focus changes.
Sometimes I wonder how we ever managed to fill our minds up before we became so grown up and serious. But of course we did – Neighbours was on, Monster Munch were delicious (I mean, they still are) and how on earth we were supposed to live this life alongside other people was something we were just beginning to understand – one tear shed over ill-advised stationery graffiti at a time.
So tell me, where’s YOUR head at?