I looked at my calendar a few weeks ago and found that I was busy five nights in a row, and started panicking about the amount of things I was committing too. I wrote this post at that time, but then decided it was too personal to share. HOWEVER, Debbie's Time Out post on the fantastic Safe Space blog recently made me think again about the post, so I asked her to take a look at mine, and she thinks it's worth posting.
Looking at my calendar at that time got me wondering just why I find it so hard to resist trying to do all the things, all the time. I think it's partly related to how different my life is now from five years ago. At that point, I'd fairly recently moved to a town near the village where I was working. I didn't know many people, and I'm slow to make friends, so my social life consisted partly of drinks with colleagues, and mainly of lots of theatre and cinema by myself.
When I moved down here, I was expecting my social life here to be fairly similar, and for the first six months or so it was. I grabbed some cheap theatre tickets, joined Curzon Cinemas, and spent a fair amount of time at the South Bank centre relaxing and reading. Then I started to go to book events, made some incredible friends, and the opportunities to socialise seem to have become more and more frequent over the past 2 years or so.
Obviously, this is a VERY good thing, and I am super happy that I get to spend time with so many awesome people.
But I have realised that I'm overdoing it at the moment. My sleep pattern is screwed up, I'm constantly tired, and there are things I'm not enjoying as much as I'd expect to because of this.
I think part of the issue is that I still feel like ending up with so many incredibly awesome friends was some sort of cosmic mistake. At some point, surely they'll all realise they could be spending their time with people so much more interesting than I am? So I desperately feel I need to spend as much time as possible with them before that happens. Add to this perennial uncertainty about how long I'll be living down here (tied in to part-owning my old flat which I CAN'T seem to sell), and I've been just trying to do everything I want to do, socialise all the time, and it's draining me (and my bank balance!)
Having said that, it's taken a fair while, but I'm starting to feel more confident about my friendships down here. I feel more convinced that if I go a while without seeing someone they won't immediately realise that they could get better friends. (Even though they totally could!)
So I'm taking a step back and thinking about things more. I'm concentrating on what I really enjoy most - cinema/theatre trips with my closest friends, book launches for authors I'm a big fan of, touristy stuff I've not yet done (I finally went on the London Eye with Faye a month or two ago and it was brilliant!) and cutting back on the solo cinema trips, the wandering around trying for last minute West End show tickets because I have nothing else to do, and the heading to a pub to pass the time on a quiz machine, and replacing them with more time sleeping.
That said, if anyone knows of a way of getting a cheap ticket for Aladdin... feel free to test my resolve!!
(I shared this with Debbie a week ago, by the way. Since then, I've been out every night except 2, and have plans to be out for 10 of the next 12 nights. But AFTER that, I will stand taking that promised step back, honestly...)