Now, as most of you are aware this weekend is Glastonbury festival in the UK (so far I have enjoyed U2 and a drunk-geography-teacher version of Morrissey).
Whilst watching the revelries from my sofa with a hearty Cab Sauv – my usual summer solstice ritual – I questioned how much my dreams and limits have changed since having kids.Or maybe just growing up. And it’s quite sad really.
Watching Glasto, I start thinking about how I would hate being cold/wet/tired for a weekend so far from home. As most parents know, sleep is a precious commodity so actively choosing to forgo sleep and comfort seems plain madness at this stage of life. In my 20′s I would go to parties/festivals/opening of envelopes and sleep as and where I fell, get up and do it again. Not so now, my friend.
A few things I guess have changed – the fact that a hangover is vastly unpleasant with little ones to look after, and weekends are precious precious family time with all 4 of us together. I don’t take drugs anymore so the devil-may-care approach to meds has long gone. I drink less – a lot less – these days mainly due to trying to help my endo. Alcohol messes up my body balance so much.
So, as I watched TV with parents and young kids singing along to music in the crowd I started to wonder where my free spirit went. Did it grow up or just exit the scene stage left completely?
I haven’t done the whole big gap year travelling thing. I loved my career from the moment I started it and was clear that I wanted to work and do sabbatical trips later in life. This is still very much the plan, and the fact that my job enables me to work from anywhere gives so much freedom. I do plan to travel a lot more when the kids are older, and when my endo has left my insides alone so I can enjoy life without pain.
I always had notions of buggering off round Europe in a campervan ( still very much on my radar) and I love the idea of life-schooling kids on the road, of getting out there, LIVING, being, seeing life first hand.
What actually seems to have happened though is that convention has set it and I am now worried about catchment areas, childcare and the minutiae of suburbia.
I don’t want to let go of the dreams I had and still have, but I also want to enjoy the here and now. This is the constant dilemma of people with ambition, I think.
I have dipped a toe in to taking the kids to festivals, we are lucky enough to live near The Secret Garden Party which I love, and took the ladies along there last year. As we live 10 minutes away it was nice and easy to pop in and out for a bop, boogie, and burger, but the payoff is that we don’t actually live it and get elbows dirty. Frankly, the last couple of years have been so physically and emotionally trying that I think the idea of purposefully creating a situation like camping, outside, no sleep, small children, grumpy parents is a no go .
I know that people do break from convention and do their own thing and I think it’s amazing. I have always held dear a plan to live in Barcelona for a while, writing and designing from my favorite city and even planned to go with the girls before they start school, but the it takes guts to leave a support network, family, friends, normality – and I am not sure I have them.
I wonder whether it’s that dreams need to be let go of, or that dreams change. Having my wonderful life right here and now is gift enough.
What do you think, lovely readers? Have you dreams changed? Are you out there doing what you want to do?
Image: Miles O’Carroll