We recently had a lovely few days working in St Ives, and obviously as I’ve written about several times before, we’re used to the hectic lifestyle. This time was slightly different; we were staying in a beautiful house overlooking the sea with a few other practitioners. But these weren’t just colleagues; involved in the half term week were fellow colleagues yes but also some very dear friends. Friends that we don’t get to see very often (three of whom we didn’t realise we were going to see until they jumped out on us on a tiny Cornish road at 1.30am line dancing…but that’s another story!) and therefore as well as the very full days, we made the most of the evenings too! Like I said, we were in a beautiful house, and it was large, so worked as an ideal base for everyone to come back to for a big Chinese takeaway or mammoth roast dinner. Then after dinner came wine, prosseco, whisky, and all kinds of other bubbly beverages! Now my husband and I were the only ones there with a baby; a very sociable baby who happily went to bed at 8.30pm each night and slept through till 7am (except one night but we’ll skip over that for now!). But however ‘easy’ Scarlett is, staying up till 3am and getting up at 7am definitely starts to take its toll after three nights of doing so!
Coffee was in vast supply, and every day it took till at least 2pm to feel human again! The fresh sea air and plenty of walking definitely helped, but we couldn’t have done it any longer than we did! There were younger people there staying up till 5am and being (relatively!) fresh and healthy at 9am but (they didn’t have a baby!) and that’s the joy of your early twenties! A close friend of mine when we got back exhausted and doing a second load of washing whilst making my third cup of coffee still in my pyjamas at 3pm in the afternoon, asked me the very sensible question, “why do you do it to yourself?!” And it’s a valid point, and the answer is simple, ‘because I love it!’ My priority is that Scarlett is well looked after and as long as that’s happening (and she was more than doted on for the few days and certainly wasn’t negatively affected in any way!) then everything else I hugely do by choice!
After getting home, I had two days with no plans except staying in my pyjamas with only extravagant dinner plans (we do love an extravagant dinner!). Scarlett and I have enjoyed naps on the sofa and we’ve relaxed enough to be able to give Daddy some TLC when he gets back from the couple of workshops he’s had booked in since getting home. Early nights all round and we now feel recuperated. Now I know these extremes are not everyone’s cup of tea, another friend regularly tells me she couldn’t do what we do because she needs her routine and we happily share stories of our days, because equally I couldn’t do the same thing day in day out as I love the randomness and the adventures. This doesn’t make us clash, this gives us lots to talk about when we meet up! The people we saw over the few days, we won’t see again until August, and in the future, we won’t remember being tired, we’ll remember an amazing ice cream cake that had 18 flavours between 18 people; we’ll remember our friend Gareth giving one of the Strictly Come Dancing stars a manicure at the dinner table whilst we were all out with her and her dance partner on the last night. We won’t remember the headaches in the morning, we’ll remember the view from our bedroom window or the countless ‘family eleven’ jokes and laughs. We won’t remember the five hour journey home, we’ll remember getting bored on the way home and taking a spontaneous road trip to Weston Super Mare to have an evening walk along the pier and the beach!
Things like half terms, Summer holidays and other bank holidays are always busy for us, and we could turn some things down to try and ease our schedule…but then we also have some weeks with very little on when we can spend plenty of delicious hours at home playing with Scarlett or going on day trips in the countryside. When we have a particularly busy period, we ensure we have a quiet period following it, even if sometimes (in particularly busy times) means keeping one day in the middle of it sacred, we’ll make sure our family time is prioritised so we can make the most of days like we’ve just enjoyed.
Yes we’ll definitely be staying off the red wine for a few days, and yes it was so nice to have a quiet night in when we were back home. But both are completely different sides to our not so ordinary lives!
I completely understand why our lifestyle wouldn’t suit others, it’s unpredictable, it’s exhausting and it involves a lot of time away from home. I know my own family often find it hard to understand why we make some of the decisions we do. I grew up in a very typical 80’s way of life, Mum worked part time, Dad worked in the office and I had an idyllic upbringing; my lifestyle is not any kind of rebellion, I was able to grow up developing my own passions and my life so far lead me to where I am. I say this because I’m not worried that Scarlett will be forced into a similar lifestyle. She’ll certainly grow up with lots of vibrant and different experiences but we don’t know whether it’ll be who she wants to be. It’s just as likely she’ll want to be an accountant as it is circus performer!
We spoke to lots of people this past few days with really varied lifestyles, interests and skills. In the house on the Sunday night; I had a discussion with someone about the benefits of their vegan diet, chatted to someone about their upcoming stint on Strictly, got my nails done (and my husband got a massage) from a beautician, spoke to a singing teacher about becoming a Grandmother and discussed life passions with a call centre worker. And that’s just mentioning a fraction of the amazing people we spent our time with. Between the early hours of Friday morning and leaving on Tuesday evening, we barely stopped laughing and I learnt so many things about so many different roles, interests and hobbies.
Next week we’re off again for a few days although I very much doubt it’ll be quite as hectic as this past one! Our trip to St Ives was an amazing one and an extreme example of our chosen lifestyle, getting very little sleep on this occasion was more than worth it, and always makes us appreciate our nice quiet little house when we return to it! But one of the best things about getting out and around is learning about other people’s lifestyles, and hopefully when Scarlett’s older, she’ll not only know that we support whatever path she chooses in life, but that it’s so rewarding to experience other people’s with an open mind. A lot of things won’t be her cup of tea, some things she sees she won’t understand, but by keeping broad minded, she will find that her own life is enriched.
As for us, you’re never too old to try out new hobbies (and we are only in our thirties after all!) and after only this few days, we’re going to give a vegan theme week a go sometime soon, we’re going to watch Strictly Come Dancing for the first time (vote for Phil and Janette!), we’re going to travel to Bristol for some singing lessons, and regular massages are now definitely on our agenda!
Who knows what we’ll learn on our next working week adventure, but right now…I’m off for a nap!