It’s been one of those weeks. Not an altogether bad week by any stretch, but a very full-on one that’s left me feeling wrung out with not a lot of steam left in my engine, gin in my tonic or jam in my doughnut.
This is basically a result of all the various areas of my life requiring attention all at once. I normally juggle things (it’s the way of many parents of young kids I think) but usually it’s a case of some things needing more attention while others need less, in a kind of fluctuating dance. It might not be the perfect pirouette but it works. This week though, all the different aspects came charging at me a whirl of school engagements, kids parties, tricky work documents, long commutes, really-need-your-brain-to-function-meetings, angsty phone-calls, important decisions and various bonfire events that, while fun, meant more rushing around and an ever increasing pile of muddy wellies and soggy socks littering the house.
The only blog post I managed last week was written way too late at night (probably why it was all about ferrets), this one I’m writing right now has been in my drafts folder for days and although I’m desperate to getting going on the bajillionth edit of one of my picture books and get my plan for my limerick collection further along, I’m stalling badly.
With all that going on, there have certainly been moments when I’ve felt overwhelmed. And yet, amidst it all have been loads of lovely moments with friends who’ve scattered my week with emails, chats over over hot chocolate, funny messages and supportive blog comments. But best of all, I had two fantastic evenings this weekend that reminded me I’m right on track.
One evening was with one of my closest friends. We live over two hours drive apart but for the last five years we’ve been meeting for dinner in the Scottish borders about once a month. It does me a power of good every time. Even the drive relaxes me (the landscape from Northumberland up to Scotland is stunning) and then four hours of constant chatting with no distractions is brilliant. We almost always go to the same place – the food’s great, the people are friendly and they even have roaring fires to toast our toes by in the winter – it’s perfect. Nothing warms the soul like a good chat with a life-long friend does it?
A second soul-toasting evening involved meeting up with another old friend – this time one whom I hadn’t seen for a decade or more! We went out for a delicious meal and had a good old chat and a laugh just like in our student days nearly twenty years ago (am I really that old? Oh God, I really am). And the lovely thing was – and this I hadn’t quite expected – how immensely reassuring and kind of life-affirming it felt. To be reunited with a friend and to realise that despite everything that has gone on since you last saw each other – the marriages, kids, jobs, travel, houses, and just, stuff, that makes up life – you are both still who are you are and who you always were. And that the friendship has somehow endured.
This week seems to be taking over where last week left off – the toddler has come down with a nasty cold and simultaneously decided now is the perfect time to begin potty training, just to add to the general mayhem. But overwhelm is being held at bay: I have my friends.