If we were having coffee, I’d start by making sure you wouldn’t rather have a tea or hot chocolate or water. And that you were happy with the venue I’d chosen. That the seats were ok and that you wouldn’t be happier away from the door. Or in a comfy chair? Then I’d get cross with myself because I’ve wasted 10 minutes fussing when we’re probably both short of time and I really wanted to catch up with you.
I’d apologise for not doing this sooner. I feel like a terrible friend but the only times I’m without Freya, until now, are when I’m working or already have appointments booked – and if I brought her with me I’d spend the entire time attempting to get her to stay in her seat and I really want to listen and hear how you’ve been.
I miss our chats and I know you’ve had things going on that would probably have been good to share. I’m pleased that you have other people who have been there for you but sad because I feel I’ve let you down. And not just you but my other friends too. Sometimes it feels like I’m always letting someone down.
But now we’re finally here.
You tell me some of what has been going on with you. It’s been tough but you’re getting through it. You’re positive but then you always are. And you know what it’s like to be busy, to feel a bit like life is overtaking you sometimes so you tell me not to worry.
Now it’s my turn.
I make an effort not to just regale you with stories about Freya so I start by telling you how, despite all my fears and worries, I aced my MRI on my shoulder yesterday. Even though the scanner was smaller than the previous one (and my nose was about an inch from the top) it was open at both ends (the last one was solid at one end) and that seemed to make all the difference. There were a few moments when I had to talk myself away from the panic but I made it through the 30 minutes and felt very proud of myself afterwards. The results should be back in a week. Hopefully it is just a lipoma but because I’ve had the MRI we will know for sure. I’d tell you how lucky I feel that the health issues I’ve been having are (hopefully) not more serious and that I’m grateful to get them dealt with so easily because I know many other people are struggling at the moment.
What about work? You ask, knowing what a big part of me journalism has always been. I sigh a little, trying to work out how best to explain it. I stopped taking on any freelance jobs in November when I needed my eye op and because of my shoulder I haven’t gone out of my way to get back into things because I worry about having to cancel or postpone jobs and seem unprofessional. It’s the first time since I was 21 (aside from maternity leave and a month-long sabbatical) that I haven’t been working and I’m struggling a bit to just enjoy it because I feel guilty for not earning (not to mention I miss writing). I’m lucky I’m able to take a break, I know many people wouldn’t be able to, but then it isn’t without sacrifices – although I (we) gladly make them.
And then you ask about my favourite subject, Freya. I tell you how entertaining she is now and the fun we have. And that in a year she will be off to nursery and then school and it feels like the time to bond with her and shape her is slipping away from me, which is why it’s even more important I make the most of my time off. What about sleep? You ask. Hah! Still not much sleep, although it’s better than it was. She had a hospital appointment recently and now has to have skin prick tests for allergies and also see a constipation nurse (doesn’t that sound like a fun job?). Since we cut out the gluten though her behaviour has been so much better, just the usual two-year-old stuff rather than the uncontrollable angst of before. The doctor seemed a bit unsure that gluten was the problem but everyone noticed the difference in her, not just me. Mark commented that she’s my ideal companion because she loves being outside and going on adventures but she also likes crafting (and cooking) and reading and, very occasionally, just sitting still and having a cuddle.
Now we both glance at our phones to see the time. We’re late but I’m not sorry. It’s been so lovely to catch up. I promise not to leave it as long next time, although I know it probably will be. You tell me not to worry, again. That you know if I was really needed, I would do my best to be there. And I would.
I’ve seen several bloggers joining in with Part-Time Monster’s Weekend Coffee share and I thought I might have a go at it too. It seems like it might help me to get some thoughts down which wouldn’t make a blog post on their own. You can see what other people have been writing about by clicking the link.