Saturday, 14 August 2010


When the phone rang early this afternoon it was my friend Jane in Manchester. "Come for dinner," she said. "My French friend Myriam is over with her partner, and we are having a proper English roast beef dinner to celebrate!"

Immediately my response was to trot out the usual litany of excuses. It is a nearly two-hour drive each way - I will spend more time in the car than I would with them. I'm tired, I've been working hard all week, there is too much to do tomorrow, I have a deadline to meet and don't know when it will be finished. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

Jane, who knows me far, far too well, simply replied that they would be eating at seven. I should think about it and give them a ring later to say what I had decided. At which I muttered something to the effect that I was unlikely to change my mind, and put the phone down. And grumpily went back to work.

As I finished up the job, proofread it and sent it off, one of those "Good J, Bad J" conversations played itself out in my head. What were the alternatives? A nice meal, a change of scenery and good company for the evening. Versus something to eat involving eggs and courgettes (again), an evening of CSI re-runs and my knitting. So what if you don't get back until one in the morning - you haven't got to bed before that for months now, you aren't suddenly going to change this evening. Stop thinking about this and JFDI.

It took a good couple of hours of batting this back and forth before I finally gave in and rang to ask them to set another place. The old J would have been in the car and off without a second thought. The new one, it seems, still needs a darned good talking-to before the message gets through, but at least she gets there in the end!


  1. Hmmm ... I seem to find myself holing up ... and know I probably shouldn't. Socializing seems such an EFFORT at this point.

    Hope you had a great time ... I'm sure the effort more than paid for itself.

    Spontaneity is a good thing. I like to do thinks on the spur of the moment ... that way I don't have too much time to think on the matter/get in a stew what with expectations and all.

    My husband was great at living in the moment and doing the thing at hand.

  2. A two hour drive? You're practically an Australian just for doing that, :)

  3. Or a Canadian! (-:

    I'm still in a state of sometimes doing things, or not doing them. It's funny in the sense that I'm very "Oh, what the heck" these days (for example, letting the couchsurfer from France camp in my garden for a few nights a couple of weeks ago). However, it's a lot harder to make myself go somewhere - a dinner party or other event. I wasn't much for that before, so perhaps no surprise. I like unusual things happening in my life though - here at the house, or on the road, so perhaps that's just a different variation on spontaneity.

  4. Terran15:32

    Hope you had a great time! Even if you didn't, it's a good thing to get out, keeps you from getting rusty :)

    I'm still trying to get that spur of the moment do things feeling back. My new neighbor and I are going out today. I'm going to show her all the must-sees in our area. I found myself almost dreading it all week. Absolutely no reason for that at all. I've enjoyed getting to know her, taking her to the bank, etc. while her hubby is out of town. Something about a set time for socializing has put me off.

    Maybe we isolate ourselves emotionally a bit. It has been all too easy to throw myself into the kids and roll the sidewalk up after work. Conserving my energy for what I don't know!

    We still have a lot to offer the world even though our partners are gone. It just still feels weird even after all this time:)

  5. Yay! However you manage it, that's OK.