Certain things stop happening once you get older. Hangovers (quite so much) lie-ins (if you have kids), spontaneous travelling (if you have a job and a mortgage).
But I’ve noticed there are other things that I used to do a LOT that I don’t do so much anymore, and am not sure why that is. So I’ve decided to start injecting a little more soul into my life, and take back some moments that don’t focus on the daily routine.
Go to a gig/find some new music
Not In the Night Garden Live, or an obvious band in an obvious place (I’m thinking the biggies in Hyde Park). Find something local, a pub band with some mates, or or try an old venue you used to love and see what’s on. These days it’s all about planning, seeing whose free, organising babysitters, calendars. Just pick a day and turn up and see what’s on. And while you’re at it, do what you used to do – find some new bands to love, download and play them loud! I’m off to see Izzy Bizu in September – should blow away some cobwebs.
Take a trip
This means a proper trip if you can. Not a day out to the National Trust, or a work trip. Take yourself somewhere new and have some time on your own – even if it’s just a morning to a different town where you can wander about, think. If you can get a night away even better. I went to Bath a few months ago for work but managed to have the afternoon there and I felt completely rejuvenated. Just being able to explore by myself without anyone talking.
Make some friends
Apparently we stop making friends once we hit our thirties, and even start losing them, what with people setting down, having kids, getting mortgages. But life doesn’t have to stop once you’re in your 40s. Take the time to reconnect with old friends, even if it’s just on social media. Be proactive – ask people for drinks, get a few work colleagues to go to some comedy. Do what you used to do in your twenties – you won’t have to do it so often to enjoy it, and you’ll appreciate it all the more.
Enroll on a course
Do something you really enjoy. I play football once a week, but I want to do an evening class – I’ve even seen one on blogging I really want to do. Sign up for something – anything – even if it’s a free talk, a guided tour, anything that gets your mind working and you away from the 9-5 of daily life. It’ll spark all kinds of ideas and could lead to bigger changes. I tried a storywriting online course a few years ago which was great – I didn’t write a bestseller but it was better than sitting in front of the telly every night.
Chuck stuff out
I’ve hoarded stuff for years – school books, first issues of magazines that were going to be worth something (they’re not), clothes for gardening, makeup that I never use. I’m now following two mantras (can’t remember who they’re by). The first is: Never leave a room without throwing something away and 2) Don’t have anything in your house that is neither practical or beautiful. Of course you have to draw the line with certain plastic toys but the premise is there, and I am feeling far freer from having less tat.
What else do you do to get a break from the routine?