When asked recently what I did for leisure I had to really think. I don’t have a leisure past time. I dutifully watch No 1 Son or Middle Son play rugby because they want to play, not because I gain any pleasure seeing my child or anyone else’s throwing themselves at each other in a frenzy of force. I stand and cheer on the wet soggy sidelines, jumping up and down not through emotion but cold, as Mini Son’s football team score another goal. I meet Sexy Sporty Dad for coffee after he has completed his weekly trial of cycling. None of these are my sporting choices.
I don’t have a leisure sport. In the summer when all the boys traipse off to the harbour to sail the boats, I pack the picnic, I hold the ropes then I stand thigh high in cold water to launch the boats. Later I sit lonely and lost, pretending to read, casting surreptitious looks over the horizon to check they are all safe. I have tried pilates and power plating, I have danced through zumba and aerobics, I have swum and cycled the length of Britain, but none of these have I done for pleasure. Exercise is good for me; they say and so I dutifully put my body through the painful experiences expecting immediate long lasting benefits. I am still waiting .
I do however steal an hour each morning before the world has woken, for writing. I am quite selfish with my hour and anyone daring to approach me before the hour of 7 O’clock is risking two full barrel loads of pent up missive which should by rights be making its way to the page. I do have to admit that I am finding writing a struggle at the moment. I am not out of ideas; quite the opposite the concepts and notions constantly head butt each other in a duelling dance around the depths of my inner cortex; but I am out of time.
A blank screen is a scary site in any scenario particularly when I claim to be a writer. I have spent time this week creating a magazine article, running No 1 Son to and fro with his sports activities followed by an early morning meet to send him off to Barcelona with his school. Mini Son has after school matches and a swimming gala to attend and then Middle Son requires lifts to and from his friends because the weather is just too wet. I have prepared meals on time for everyone to eat. I have even managed to squeeze in the odd bit of shopping, food of course, washing and general tidying. In between times I have gone to work as well. What I haven’t been able to find is the extra time to write for the pleasure of writing .
Stop the world I want to get off.
So I did! I joined a group of my close friends and we took ourselves to a Spa for a complete chillax day of just laughing and enjoying each other’s company.
Six of us managed to escape our manic worlds and off we all went. We had in common; our 16 year old sons some already turning 17 had all played youth Rugby together. These were friends that had seen each other through our sons’ successes, battles on and off the pitch, injuries, and growing up.
For the whole day time stood still. We talked about us, we learnt things from each other that we did not know despite knowing every breath their boys took. We laughed like carefree children who do not have all the worries of the world upon their shoulders. We did nothing; well that is not strictly true we did sit and float and steam but we relaxed.
Relaxing is not an activity I find easy to accomplish. My life obviously allows little me time. I have never been a good sleeper and this does not seem to get better with age. Letting my worries and cares stay firmly at home while I go out and have fun is a difficult and unusual occurrence. However with help from some just as busy friends we did all enjoy the day and we had fantastic fun.
I think I have found a pastime that might appeal to me. I think I must work at taking the time out to enjoy these excursions. The peace and slow pace has given me much to contemplate and even more ideas are sprouting through the medulla to grow into short stories, novels and articles. The mind is clear of mundane rituals and brimming with a world of luxury and exoticism waiting to branch out and create a new sapling of creativity.
This is not a past time that will be repeated too often but one I will certainly look forward to again. In the meantime I will rise early tomorrow and transfer all my excited threads of stories to the screen in front of me. Who knows one day they might just be the beginnings of the next big best seller.
Stop your world for just one day and enjoy being you.
Check out my cooking blog at Teatime Treats with Tiggy