Sometimes, all you need is a week away to appreciate everything that you've got.
After not seeing the children for seven whole days, right now they could refuse to eat everything I cook, lose all their homework and turn their bedrooms into cess pits, and I'd just smile benignly and wrap them in a bear hug.
After a week with absolutely no household chores, I've even fallen back in love with my domestic appliances. I watched my (previously loathed) washing machine as it valiantly chugged through the fourth load of laundry with a feeling akin to awe.
I threw myself at the Times yesterday, like a man in a desert discovering an oasis. I'd missed my favourite columnist: Caitlin Moran.
I have a girlie crush on Caitlin. I love her witty, intelligent writing. I adore her fearlessness. I'm grateful for the way she's made feminism cool again. And I love that blondish, badger like streak in her hair. She's awesome.
So, I thought I'd share my favourite bit of Caitlin, because it's really helpful. She wrote it for teenage girls going through the onslaught of puberty, but it's totally appropriate for all of us....
Here is a promise, and a fact: you will never, in your life, ever have to deal with anything more than the next minute.
However much it feels like you are approaching an event – an exam, a conversation, a decision, a kiss – where, if you screw it up, the entire future will just burn to hell in front of you and you will end, you are not.
That will never happen. That is not what happens.
The minutes always come one at a time, inside hours that come one at a time, inside days that come one at a time – all orderly strung, like pearls on a necklace, suspended in a graceful line. You will never, ever have to deal with more than the next 60 seconds.
Do the calm, right thing that needs to be done in that minute. The work, or the breathing, or the smile. You can do that, for just one minute.
And if you can do a minute, you can do the next.
So, if you're finding things hard right now, then listen to Caitlin, and just deal with the next minute....
And HUGE CONGRATS to Melanie from Boston who's dealt with a whole bunch of minutes - in fact a whole year of them. Got sober, moved across the country and set up a fabulous new business.
Happy Soberversary, Melanie!
Love to you all,