The last few weeks have found me feeling restless. A combination of longing to escape the grey, damp days, frustration at the slow progress of the barn and that innate feeling of wanting to run away for some adventure. Just the mention from Mr D of colleagues on assignments has me wishing another for ourselves – just don’t tell the children!
I often wonder how different I might have been had I remained living in the place I still call home. Could I have found a life-long career that would have given me pleasure and fulfilment alongside being a wife and mother? Would I have been part of ‘the crowd’ and enjoyed the accompanying feeling of belonging? Or do I just imagine that those who are part of an established community have a greater sense of belonging? I have been lucky enough to make many lovely friends and connections in many places over the years, but have never quite managed to accomplish the feeling of really ‘belonging’ somewhere or being part of something bigger. This has left me feeling upset and inadequate from time to time, envious of those who are part of an established group with whom they have a long shared history, and I feel this acutely for our girls who lack the lifelong friends so many of their contemporaries seemingly have. They do however benefit from a fabulous network of contacts to visit around the globe when they choose to do so!
Having had discussions with more than one friend recently about my favourite childhood cartoon Mr Benn it occurred to me that perhaps this treasure from the 70s had more influence upon me than I had ever considered. The pleasurable prospect of slipping into a changing room and emerging in a different place, equipped for the adventure, was appealing then and remains so now. Perhaps if it were not for Mr Benn I would never have said yes to the many opportunities that have come my way over the years, and would thus not have had the excuse to reinvent myself from time to time. Just in case you don’t remember him well I hope you’ll enjoy this:
I have stayed away from the barn this week in the hope of appreciating greater progress when we visit tomorrow. I actually opened my computer just now in order to record the dimensions of kitchen appliances etc in preparation for planning the kitchen next week, and to search once again for the perfect cooker hood. It has been surprisingly difficult to feel any enthusiasm for such a mundane part of the kitchen!
Hey ho, sometimes a little navel gazing is a good thing. It helps me acknowledge how very lucky I have been and how hopeful I am that creating our special place at the barn will not only offer us a chance to spend time as a family making happy memories, but that it will calm my restlessness. I hope that once I am able to spend more time there the escape from suburbia will give me a chance to enjoy planning and planting a garden, learning more about the spot I call home, and to gain pleasure in sharing it all here. Of course, I also acknowledge that leopards remain spotty, and I reserve the right to change direction if required (sorry Mr D!).