I don’t know if I’m unusual but, as a child, I never really dreamed of what I would be when I grew up – I knew that I would have to work hard, go to university and get a job and other than that I didn’t have the ambition to be an astronaut or a ballet dancer or a Nobel prize winner
I’ve been asked what I would be if I could be anything and I am stumped
I know that I would love a job that I enjoy – that makes me fizz with excitement and enthusiasm, that I feel I am doing something worthwhile in and where I am recognised – I would like to work with people I like, who respect me for being me
But what that job is I do not know – is it the job that I have spent 15 years learning or is it something new and exciting?
I would love to be able to spend more time with my family – I don’t know if that is that I work like a nutter Monday to Thursday in exchange for a Friday at home and uninterrupted weekends or if it means more time off with them in the holidays but I need to carve out more space for us to be together as a family without the intense pressure that comes from having just too little time together and the resultant urge to Make Every Second Count (you know what I mean, the compulsion to have to Do Stuff and Make Memories rather than just veg infront of a film or nap)
I want to be able to make time to meet up with friends, to reclaim a social life (I suspect this one needs Littlest to start sleeping better so we aren’t blacklisted by every local babysitter), to reclaim time for more exercise, to reclaim time to do nothing or to be creative but without all the pressure
I suspect that this is all tied up into something that looks a lot like a mid-life crisis. Although this crisis is not so much driven by the angst that the best years of my life have gone but more that the best years of my life are ahead of me and I don’t want to spend them being miserable or missing out time with the people I enjoy spending time with
I think that part of me is scared to dream – to wonder what life could be like if I had enough confidence to say I could do anything and be anything. Except the reality is more complicated – I need to keep earning a certain amount to cover our family costs and with that comes a certain amount of conservatism and inability to say enough of this and let’s see what the future might bring
Is the answer to build up a little bit of savings (after we’ve replaced the windows at home, after we’ve put aside money for the emergencies that seem to crop up every time we think we’re a bit more settled) and to go for it? To give myself 6 months off to come up with a bigger plan? But what if there isn’t an answer, there isn’t something that will pay for the mortgage and everything else?
And so you see I am slightly stuck – scared to dream about what might be and yet beginning to want to dream
What would you do if you could be anything? Should I embrace the fact this is my only life and I want to live it on my terms?