The Balance of Purpose and Pleasure

Every feel like you’re coasting along? Of course, I mean productively coasting along. Highly effective at work, tidy home, happy family – well, apart from the pee on the floor incident by the toddler earlier. Everything is just tickety boo right? Well, kind of. Some thing I’ve noticed is that in the pre-parenting days (ah, those heady times) I was very focused. I was very organised. I was also probably a little bit stressed if I’m honest. However, I didn’t half achieve some stuff. I had a brilliantly well paid job, did a masters degree part time, awesome social life. But perhaps looking back, it wasn’t all that rosy. The occasional random anxiety attacks (oh yes, those unexpected ones are just such a joy), lack of time to exercise (too busy eating out) and the yearning desire to have a child at the same time of saying to myself ‘is this it now that I’ve spectacularly made it?’

Clearly things were a little unbalanced back in the day – I was rather high speed with my days as was evident by the ever present knot in my stomach that I certainly do not miss.

But there was a sense of achievement. Sure, having a child and watching as they start to develop their speech is way more exciting then any job promotion. And I’m not even saying I don’t get a sense of satisfaction when I manage to actually hoover every room upstairs. Indeed my work balance is the best it has ever been. No 3 hour daily commute for me anymore – 5 mins and I am in that office ready to go.

However, I’m kind of ready to go through the motions. I’m not sure I’m seeing the world at the moment with the same sense of anticipation. Its almost like I’ve stopped noticing noticing stuff……..if that makes sense??

My daily world is a whole lot narrower than it has ever been. I see less people, I travel less miles and, most disappointingly, I drink less wine. But that doesn’t mean its any less rich because of it.

So I’m going to go back to my tried and tested methods. Yep, I’m back to what I know – on Amazon down the ‘what does it all mean’ book aisle. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine I must say and I’m about to order ‘Happiness by Design – Finding Pleasure & Purpose in everyday life” by Paul Dolan.

I’ll let you know how I get one!

Making Precious Memories

Its the tradition here in England for our Bank Holidays to be rainy and for us English to be determined to participate in outdoor related activities regardless of any potential hyperthermia risk it may incur. This weekend, our activity of choice was going along to Sundown Adventureland which is situated close to Markham Moor off the A1. We went along with my parents and I’m not sure who was most excited, us adults or the somewhat oblivious 18 month old who was wide eyed with wonder at the grown up over exuberance. With a journey time of less than 20 minutes from our hometown of Lincoln, we arrived as soon as the park opened at 10.00am – great planning as there were no queues and we were straight through the gates in no time. The slightly damp and drizzly weather wasn’t about to dampen our spirits as we took the nipper on the first ride we came across which was the Father Christmas one. Yes, I am fully aware its the beginning of May and yes it was a little surreal listening to Jingle Bells in a darkened room with twinkly lights and Christmas trees. However, the tiddler absolutely loved it and refused to get off it at the end – so the Grandparents had to ‘reluctantly’ jump on so he could go around again.

Though it has a few, Sundown Adventureland doesn’t  have lots and lots of rides which is actually what makes it ideal for our little boys age and older – no snaking queues, no stressed out parents anticipating the next toddler implosion. Its somewhere the kiddywinkles can explore relatively independently. There’s a wild west themed street where they can try and break the safe and then visit the jail house next door. There’s a sweetie inspired colourful castle where they can clamber over giant sized treats and enter rooms smelling of mint and liquorice – a sense sensation. There’s also an array of the usual play parks and climbing frames for any excess energy to be burned off. The place has a slightly psychedelic feel about it but it certainly seems to have the formula right to fire the little peoples imagination. Sure it was cold, wet and windy but the look of wonder on the nippers face as he rounded corner after corner of adventure was enough to keep us all warm!

Thankfully, we did have one sunny day on Monday when we met Ellis’s cousin and his parents at Peterborough (its the 1/2 way point between where we and they live) so the suncream and sunhat did get broken out for a few hours of the bank holiday at least. But overall, it was just lovely to have some precious time together to make some precious memories……………Tuesday today and I’m feeling oh-so Mondayish! Oh well, not long until next weekend, not that I’m wishing the working week away or anything!

*This post is not sponsored – I just really enjoyed visiting Sundown!