Life changes

I think I’m a little high from the fumes of a certain cleaning product. We have incredibly hard water and a limescale problem; I’ve been standing in the kids’ shower scrubbing and scrubbing the glass doors, occasionally sticking my head out to breathe fresh air, and contemplating life. I’m waiting for a delayed manuscript to edit, so in the meantime I’ve been getting ahead with all the housework and laundry. All this housewifery means I’ve had brain space to draft a blog post in my head. Dog walks and housework are when I do most of my thinking.

My first-born will be 18 next month. This time 18 years ago I had no idea, no idea at all, about how my life was about to change. I had absolutely no idea how much love it was possible to feel, how much pure joy, how much fretting and worry, how much mess and chaos, how much disorder, how much your life is thrown into the air and how it settles back to earth completely reordered, priorities totally changed. To be honest, I can’t really remember how we filled our days before parenthood. There was work, of course, and there was a lot more socialising, eating out and going to the cinema and theatre, and travelling. We certainly had a lot more spare cash! But I wouldn’t change a thing. Not one thing.

It’s an exciting time for my boy and I keep finding him lying on a sofa with his eyes shut, headphones plugged in. I suspect he might be finding it all a little bit overwhelming. He has a lot to do – a personal statement for applying to university, working out where he wants to go and which course, keeping on top of all the essays for school, working the occasional shift at the local hotel, socialising, sleeping. And he’s flying to the Washington DC at the weekend on a school trip. I’m cutting him some slack.

I’ve made a couple of big personal decisions recently. The first is trivial but a big decision for me nonetheless. I’ve decided to stop dying my hair. You know, it annoys the hell out of me that I have felt the pressure to keep looking youthful by colouring my hair. I’m cross at my conforming. I don’t judge anyone who chooses to dye their hair, but I don’t want to do it any more. I’m fed up of sticking chemicals on my scalp just so I’m not reminded of my ageing when I look in the mirror. For a start, there are the health concerns but it’s also blinking expensive. I did start growing out my grey hair last year but chickened out after meeting up with a friend who gave me a good talking to and told me I was effectively letting myself go. I was at a low ebb, took it to heart and promptly booked a hair appointment. Shallow, no? Grr. Well, no longer. I am embracing my real self. It is perfectly possible to look gorgeous with grey hair by keeping it healthy and having a good cut. If people don’t like it, it’s their problem not mine. (Of course, I can always change my mind but I hope I don’t!)

My second big decision was to enrol in a local adult education art course. I did Art A’level at school and always intended to go to art college. It was the only thing I ever wanted to do but I lost my way in my late teens and ended up following a completely different path, putting away my brushes and paints for a very long time indeed. I still have them. I’ve been carting around my old palettes, brushes, paints and portfolio for over 30 years. I held on to the tiny thought that one day, one day I might give it another go. Well, I am and it’s so exciting. I am rusty but there was a spark in my brain when I started drawing again. It feels like I’m rekindling a fire.

That’s all for now. Back to the housework. Hope your week is going well.