Monday, 6 August 2007

Staying in

Sometimes I wonder how I ended up where I am; working alone at home in a teeny semi-detached house in the suburbs when really I'd have been better off living in a commune.

I'm at my happiest when I'm surrounded by people. My dreams often feature me living in a large house which I share with lots of friends; the door is always open for visitors to drop by and there are usually an assortment of children randomly running in and out at will. Just once, when I lived on a compound in the Middle East, I almost achieved this ideal, but like all dreams, it was not to last.

The reality of my daily life now is so very different. Our house is on a main road and there are no friends nearby. My children are quite happy to lounge around at home and my husband works so late that we rarely meet up with friends except on the odd weekend (which usually takes ages to organise). I try to make up for the potential lack of social contact that my current lifestyle promotes, by getting out of the house at least once a day and meeting up with friends as frequently as possible. The contact, the exchange of ideas, the companionship, boosts me up and keeps me going during the times of social scarcity.

Most of the time, I can just about handle things as they are, but the past week I've been driven almost spare. It's the school holidays and my husband was off work last week. THREE days were spent just kicking around at home. The children were quite happy and showed little desire to see anyone, my husband being less keenly social than I, was also happy pottering and doing very necessary DIY. Meanwhile I champed at the bit. Why didn't they want to go out? DO something fun? Go swimming..ANYTHING. I thought of previous trips we'd had, camping in the desert in huge groups and mourned the loss of those days. What kind of 'sad' family were we, I thought, with nothing better to do than DIY and housework?

But then I thought, what kind of 'sad' person am I who is not simply content to be with her family? I shouldn't need to be busy 'doing things', schmoozing and socialising to feel good about myself; I should be simply enjoying my children's company, while they still want to be in mine.

6 comments:

belle said...

Somehow the grass is always greener, Mid-lifer, isn't it? I want excitement, unpredictability, thrills; my family want playstations, msn, cordless drills. Doing a Shirley Valentine sounds so appealing ...

Mid-lifer said...

Sigh.....we can only dream. meanwhile, back to the washing up and other cliches!.

Flowerpot said...

I need to get out and be with people - writing all day is solitary so my friends are vital! I do know just how you feel.

Around My Kitchen Table said...

I have a HUGE family and people are always dropping in, which I love. I work full-time and on the
rare occasions I have a day off in the week, I don't tell anyone. I love the hustle and bustle of visitors but occasionally like to have a day to myself!

Mid-lifer said...

Kitchen Table - I'd love that. My family is increasingly large but very scattered and disjointed as it includes an assortment of half and step-siblings.

My dream is to have people drop in all the time and a kitchen table large enough to accommodate.

In a couple of days I will have 11 people in the house and am hoping for a sunny day so we can stay outside.

Dee said...

A bit of both worlds is what I aim for. I can see the dilemma though with a family and kids. I swerve between wanting to be with the ones I love, and wanting to go out and find excitement elsewhere. The 'people dropping in around a big kitchen table' sounds like a great compromise and scenario!