It’s a funny thing, mojo. I think having kids mutates it. The moments that fill my ‘I love my life’ mojo cup have changed. Or so I thought. But this week I’ve asked myself, have they really, or is that the illusion I hold onto to love my life rather than wish it were different?
And check out the lovely posh make up in front, all new and full of the promise of nights out, especially when coupled with sparkly feet.
…And a soupcon of London cool (‘scuse the sex shop photo, but it’s actually the front of La Bodega Negra, an uber-cool Mexican taqueria in the heart of Soho, inside below, complete with gimp suit behind the restaurant reception desk!)
And voila, my twenties mojo resurfaces. You know, that mojo that lives in the city, knows where the cool hangouts are, stays out late drinking fabulous cocktails (bugger the hangover) and having conversations not about kids or domestic life or hardworking husbands or schools or the mother’s juggling act, and then goes dancing. Mojo that ends with pictures like this:
We used to have loads of these – us on a night out, looking a bit rosy in the cheek. But, as we realised when asked by the fabulously fun women we were out with, the last time we went out properly like this together was at least seven years ago. That’s a loooooonnnnng time. Plenty of nights out separately, but together and in the big smoke – that’s a whole different babysitter ballgame.
And do you know what, it felt brilliant. My sister-in-law asked me if the evening made me feel old. Quite the opposite – it made me feel young – young, alive and happy. I wasn’t a mother, I was me. The me that loves letting my hair down and going a bit mad, especially with Mr H. Not the comfortably middle class domestic me who stays local, has an allotment, mostly socialises with gorgeous but pretty similar / similar lifestage people, and chooses the cultural or physical options like opera or ballet or hiking or biking for any time Mr H and I get together sans enfants. Now, I’m all excited about using up some grandparent looking-after-the-kids points to go up to London and go out clubbing and stay with our new friends without rushing back for sitters or horribly early bouncing children.
Funnily enough though, re-finding that mojo hasn’t diminished the joy of its family and domestic life mutations. Nor has it made me resent where my life is now. I love my life – I have a gorgeous husband, two beautiful children (even if they do wind me up immensely too often to think about), a nice enough house in a good town, a load of amazing friends and right now, some pretty exciting personal projects on the go, whether finding my voice through writing, learning to swim freestyle for my first triathlon or exploring a potential business opportunity with a dear friend. Do I wish I were a young Londoner myself again? Not really. Way more angst, sore heads and shopping than I can be bothered with, let alone haemorrhaging money every weekend (ahem, let’s just ignore the haemorrhaging children represent…).
But last weekend did teach me something. It taught me it’s important to indulge the old mojo every so often, even more so to do it with Mr H, and, when possible, up in the thick of life, in the big smoke. Not to play it too safe, not to always take the more sensible options. Not to forget we’re still young, the big 4-0 on the horizon or not. There’s life in the old girl yet…