Sometimes you get an overwhelming compulsion to run away or to radically alter yourself/your life; perhaps both. Either way they are escapist notions born out of sheer boredom. Suddenly the life you lead becomes insufficient, mundane, frustratingly routine. The work you do is no longer challenging; the relationship you are in becomes stagnant; the stay at home mum gets tired of laundry and relentless tidying. Life gets dull for us all from time to time. And this is where I’ve found myself recently.
It’s taken a few weeks to get to a point where I needed a time out, whereby my tolerance for everyone and everything fell through the floor – not ideal when you are mentoring trainee staff that constantly need answers to their questions. Suffice to say I had to apologise to one patience-testing individual who, on the second occasion that I snapped at last week, I told to ‘piss off before I slap you one.’ Fortunately I am well known enough for my reaction to be seen as both out of character and in jest (ish.) No lasting harm done; not that there is ever an excuse for having a bad attitude, hence my apology. This, and other coinciding events, brought me to one single conclusion – I needed to be alone. Frankly, and ideally, a month or two on an isolated beach with zero interaction with any human being is what I fantasised about; but for the self-employed woman, just beginning a renewed contract, a long weekend had to make do.
I sat on my bench on the green after work on Thursday night and called my Mum regarding the day, the decisions, the tears with colleagues, aka my mini meltdown. I said that I have so much planned for May/June that I barely have a weekend free and that, while I am looking forward to them, I’m not excited. I’m not excited about anything lately. I have become increasingly unhappy, and when you feel unhappy there isn’t a physical thing you can do to change it; you just have to let it pass. Happiness is an inherent state of being; not a beach you are on, not the job you are in, nor even the company you keep; but all of those things can perpetuate your happiness if you are already within that place. I digress.
So my Mum wished that I would hurry up and settle down, preferably up North nearer to where they moved to, put some roots down, instead of always, “Chasing happiness.” Those two words, unbeknownst to her, stopped me in my tracks. ‘Chasing happiness.’ Is that what I do? Given some thought it becomes a desperately depressing statement. Am I the (relatively) young, free and single girl with money to spend, places to visit, experiences to have whose ideology is spontaneity? Or am I the middle-aged purposeless woman, filling my free time with adventures and escapism to evade an otherwise crippingly lonely existence? Do my escapades from hotel to motel; North coast to South coast; theatre to opera and everywhere inbetween simply fill an aching void before a meaning, a reason, a purpose for my time on Earth finally presents itself?
I don’t regard myself as unhappy, generally; I’m just having a blip. Mundanity has crept in. Running away, as idyllic as it sounds, is never a solution. Problems will simply pack their bags and tell the cab they just got into to follow yours. Time out is good though, to find some peace and quiet, some solitude away from the daily clucking of fellow battery caged office workers.
The long weekend of doing what I pleased and having quality time with the tonic that is my best pal has calmed my stormy seas, for now. Old routines must go, mundanity is not acceptable. Big changes are a must, but for now, it’s back to work tomorrow….more relaxed….and hopefully with a better attitude.
Perhaps I should apologise to my colleagues in advance….just in case…!