I’m not sure why, but Monday evenings often turn out to be an impromptu booze fest. Perhaps it’s the shock of going back to work after the weekend. Or perhaps it’s like I’m toasting the week ahead. Or perhaps it’s just a case of bee to honey, since actually Thursdays and Fridays are also heavy, as are, more often than not, Wednesdays.
In any case, I’m nursing a white wine hangover today. Surprisingly, it’s a rather forgiving one. Usually it makes me want to die as I hug myself in a sweaty panic, limbs jittery, stomach churning and mind paranoid. But today the alcohol gods have been kind, or they’ve run out of ideas, because they’ve only given me a dull head, a craving for ramen, and a burnt tongue from the Turkish tea at the kebab place last night which then hurt this morning when I drank my ‘fat burner’ smoothie – and these are as much middle-class problems, as tweeters would say, as a piss-head’s problems.
I feel at peace with the world.
It’s strange to think that as a diplomat’s wife in Beijing, with allowances from the Foreign Office totaling up to the same amount as my current income, I could potentially just sit around and drink all day. Or watch YouTube. Or re-read the whole of Shakespeare. Or perhaps join the gym. Or write a blog.
It will be the first time in my adult life that I won’t need to work. Obviously I want to keep working, and I will. And I should take this opportunity to do what I really want to do. Except I don’t know what it is that I really want to do.
I’ve asked this question of myself a few times in the past; when choosing subjects at school or for university, and when going for jobs. But there were always obligations and limitations besides my desires and ambitions which I had to attend to, and which I could blame if things weren’t working out. I could only pick exam subjects that were available at my school so if they were useless I didn’t have a choice, I had to earn a living so even if the job was boring I stuck with it. Now, though, I have the luxury and the freedom to do practically anything I want. This is fantastic, and I can’t believe my luck. At the same time, I’m scared because if I fail – not fail to deliver but fail to try – I can’t blame anything else but my lack of courage and, as DD calls laziness, lack of ‘ass’.
It’s easy to coast through every day just doing the minimum that’s required, or rather, it’s hard enough fumbling through every day averting disasters without also expecting to work miracles. Going to work, seeing friends, paying the bills; surviving tense meetings, avoiding social faux pas, lugging the heavy shopping home. This is all exhausting enough without also trying to find the ‘ass’ to write that best-selling novel. But if I don’t have to work and don’t have a routine or commitments, then the minimum that’s required of me will simply be to breathe in, and breathe out. I hope, when I get to Beijing, I will find the ‘ass’ to re-assess what I love and what I’m good at, pursue it, and succeed in it.
Maybe I should allow myself a little drink tonight.
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