“If you don’t do things that question your choices from time to time, you forget why you ever made them.”
The other day I wrote about how much of a good time I am having with the baby, being off work. I wrote it on Friday, just as I was about to go on a weekend away in London to stay with friends – no wife, no baby.
Well, now it’s time for some humble pie, and maybe a lesson.
This week, I’m not having a great time. It’s been shit. Nothing real has chanced – same options, same weather, same people around. But something unreal did change – which is my perceptions. All of a sudden, I’m not enjoying it. And that makes it harder – I plan less, I concentrate less, and things take longer and are more effort as a consequence.
The reason for the change in perceptions is pretty obvious – I went away and had a brilliant weekend with no responsibilities. Had a great time (missed some sleep etc) and came home totally unprepared for resuming my responsibilities as a husband and a father. This must be how mid-life crises start.
So clearly, the trick is to restart somehow – to find a way back in to this lifestyle of responsibilities without missing what freedoms I used to have (and briefly regained this weekend). It isn’t hard, once you realise you need to do it. In fact, it’s exactly what I did when I first started this blog – by writing aims, making commitments, and investing something in this life…
But it has made me wonder whether the break away from being a Dad was worth it. I had a great time, but the comedown (purely emotional, not chemical I add) has been despairing. I mentioned this to a good friend and she said the most useful thing – if you don’t do things that question your choices from time to time, you forget why you ever made them. She is right. (Thanks, Lisa!)
So I will go away for another weekend of freedom at some point, and I will come back and feel shit, be unproductive and lame for a few days, annoy everyone I speak to with tales of existential angst, and after that, I’ll realise again why I’m in lifestyle in the first place.
So, the wider point, I suppose, is that finding it hard or not is often linked to your perceptions, and they can be controlled with some effort. I’m a believer in action – we have to take responsibilities for our situation and if we don’t like it, we change it. Staying positive is a cliche, but it certainly helps (twinstiarasandtantrums blogged about this today too – v interesting).
Humans can cope with anything, if we try.