I go up, I go down. I suspect we all do if we’re honest. I have been on a somewhat manic high for a while and now the wheel of fortune is turning and I’m plunged into the slime. Half-term passed in a frenzy of activity. We went up to London to see the rugby and we had a folk festival in town – you can check it out on my blog for The Lady. Then, last weekend, there was a big party down at the cricket ground in aid of a local family who’re going through sheer hell coping with life-threatening illness.
It was a great night, the whole community pulling together, everyone spending money they probably don’t really have on stuff they certainly don’t really need in a seriously good cause. I’ll never lose the image of Darren the gamekeeper (with a Zidane shaved head) bidding furiously on a cut and blow-dry. Or the moment the phone bid came in from John the vicar for the full body aromatherapy massage.
The music blared, the wine flowed, the burgers (donated by the Co-op) sizzled on the barbie.
As we walked home, under the stars, a little unsteadily, I remembered why we had been there and said a swift prayer of thanks that our little family is (fingers crossed) okay.
‘We’re very lucky,’ said my mate Jools, a few days later, as we sat sipping G&Ts by the river, watching our boys float like logs on their bodyboards down the slow-flowing water. ‘It’s not about money or what you have or haven’t got: it’s about being okay. It’s about times like this.’
She’s right, I know she is. Yet still my mood slumps. Am I just a spoiled silly middle-class woman indulging myself in depression, as Janet Street-Porter would suggest? Is it that horrible cliche – the mid-life crisis? I do feel in need of a new challenge, of something different. I am also horribly aware that I must pull myself up by the bootstraps and get myself into some semblance of shape. I am now very nearly as heavy as I was when I was full-term with James. What I really need is three weeks at Viva-Mayr or even a week at some kind of bootcamp – quite like the look of this one. But, if that won’t happen, then some healthy eating (back AWAY from the cakes, Jane) and a return to exercise might help. I’ve been trialing the Reebok Easytones lately (trainers which tone your bum and legs) and have to say that, after two months or so, my legs are pretty firm. Shame they don’t do ones that work out your stomach as well.
But really I know that I just have to give it time. Life isn’t all about up, up, up. How could we appreciate the highs, if we never hit the lows? So, while I’m waiting for the wheel to turn again, I am trying to be kind to myself and just do lots of nice little things to help the mood. Small pleasures like a bath in Aromatherapy Associates scrummy bath oil. Painting my toenails in glittery silver. Having a long indulgent hug with my boy. Listening to my favourite Seth Lakeman (and looking forward to the new album). Reading Exit Music the last Rebus (by Ian Rankin) which I have been saving up for a rainy day. A day just like this really.