Am I The Only One Awake?
Just back from holiday in Corfu – had a lovely peaceful time – and now back, this Monday morning, at work. Oh, the joy. Husband is away on a fishing trip ( he didn’t come to Corfu, which is probably why it was so peaceful) and I am sitting at my computer in a house full of gently snoring teenagers/young adults. Eldest daughter and her boyfriend are here for the duration while they look for jobs – really not easy at the moment – and eighteen-year-old is preparing to go to art college. By preparing, I mean, sleeping until about one, spending an hour putting on make up and glamorous clothing to accompany me to the Co-Op, and then getting back, exhausted, to start watching ‘America’s Top Model’ on Sky.
Meanwhile my life is trundling back onto its usual tracks. There’s nothing quite like a holiday, is there, for throwing you off course? I was relatively happy pre-holiday, in my usual groove, but then you have a week of utter bliss – sunbathing, reading masses of books, wandering about olive groves looking out for snakes, drinking cocktails and eating food cooked by other people. You rest, you drift, you flower in the sun. My old skin turned honey-coloured, my hair bleached and for once I could look in the mirror without flinching. I even did an hour’s yoga every day ( have discovered the ‘Yogalates’ DVD’s, which are brilliant, if presented by an Australian woman with a very odd intonation and a habit of saying, ‘Feel the peace and spirit of the universe’ which always makes me snort – with unfortunate consequences – while doing downward facing dog) which resulted in a small but satisfying amount of weight loss.
Now that’s all over. Life is back to normal, and boy, do I feel dissatisfied. It doesn’t help that I am behind in delivering first chapters of a new book, which is a mighty thing to hang over one, and work seems even more complicated than ever. I know I’ll get back into the groove soon, but am I alone in feeling, post-holiday, that my life isn’t exactly what I want? I know one should not grumble, but they do make you question the validity of sitting in front of a computer for ten hours every day, when the world is out there waiting to be explored, even by a fifty-something woman with a slightly bad back? I mean, how much longer have I got, and should I spend it like this?
But then I – and like most other women my age, I imagine – have still many financial responsibilities which make buggering off into the sunset well-nigh impossible. University for youngest, no doubt financial help for eldest, mortgage, tax bills ( oh lord, tax bills) and the what seems like daily incidence of leaking guttering/car needing servicing/vets bills for the myriad animals.
How simple life was, lying on a sun lounger by the swimming pool. Should I read my novel, or a guide book? Should I slide into the pool now, or later? Would I like some more freshly-squeezed orange juice, or a peach? I know it isn’t real life. But the trouble with golden holidays is that they make real life so grey by comparison. Next year, I think I’ll spend a week staring out of the window at the rain in Argyll. But then, how many years of having honey-coloured skin and hair the colour of wheat, do I have left? On that cheerful note, I leave you until I have pulled myself together and buckled down.