Get dropped off at the same station I used to commute from, all those years ago. Look down the platform and remember countless mornings of Rightmove and JobSearchUK and howtogetpregnant dot com. Today, I’m off on a spa day, by myself, to get a little break from life at home with three adorable-yet-oh-so-exhausting kids. Say a prayer. Feel very warm inside. It’s going to be a good day.
Leave the train completely unhindered and drama-free. Arrive half an hour early to an empty reception area and a sign saying “help yourself!” Don’t mind if I do.
Break the mold slightly and opt for the gym first, as I can’t actually remember the last time I did any intentional or enjoyable exercise.
Point soon proven as I pull the Primaani tags off the oh-so-obviously new gym clothes I bought two whole years ago, before unexpectedly expecting again! Go into the thankfully empty gym and realise the only thing in there I’m even tempted to use is a treadmill as the rest of it absolutely terrifies me. Resolve to quit dreaming of a gym membership and maybe just go for a free run once in a while, yeah?
The room fills with young blokes and I take that as my queue to leave. Just as well really, I’m knackered!
Get changed into pool gear, bag full of books and journals underarm. Take bags back as all of the loungers are full. Pass lounger-hoggers on the way back in… fetch books… and on and on it goes!
Try not to be annoyed at the couple teaching their kids to swim in the jacuzzi.
Have more success when they leave.
Enter jacuzzi and, as I live in a world where every experience is vocalised… Loudly… forget myself and let out the biggest satisfied sigh ever. I mean not quite Meg Ryan but you know, enough to make the young guy with his back to me turn around, go red as I catch his eye, and promptly pull out his phone with a smirk. Try to ignore the fact he’s almost definitely texting someone about the weird woman getting her kicks under the bubbles!
Dry off, sit back with a journal and a Bible and have way too many thoughts to include in this list. But it is reflective, it’s exciting and it’s all good.
Go for treatment.
Don’t fart. Don’t fart. Don’t fart.
End of treatment.
Ooooh my goodness, fart.
Leave the hotel and head for cake. Get a little too excited at the thought of ordering something I don’t have to share with small hands, and…
Slightly. Over. Order.
Joke with the guys at the next table, as they point and gawp. Feel slightly uncomfortable as they continue to watch me eat. Not entirely sure if I want to prove I can finish it or if I ought to make sure I don’t…
They leave- thank goodness- but I’m genuinely defeated.
Feel quite proud of myself… until the waiter says, “oh well done, most people don’t get half as far as that!”
Walk about the busy streets and observe the many young professionals finishing work in the city and going to trendy places for drinks. Wonder for just a small moment if I miss any of it at all…
See a grown man in a suit with a top knot, crossing the road on a scooter.
Go into Lush with my gift card and spend half an indulgent hour, on my own, sniffing absolutely everything.
Leave with one shampoo bar, one conditioner bar, one solid deoderant, 2 tin containers and a bucketful of hypocritical shame over the single-use plastic cup I used at the gym this morning.
Wonder if there’s a place in hell reserved for people like me…
Walk past yet another shop doorway sleeping bag, remember the leftover pancakes and think yes, there probably is.
Get on the train, observe that every other person is glued to a device. Think that’s quite sad, really. Then get out mine and write this. The force is strong today.
Get off the train and realise I have no change for the bus. Ring poor Husband, (who is in the middle of his first solo three-child bedtime), like an absolute brainless baffoon. He tells me to use contactless.
I mean, of all the many deep and profound thoughts I’ve had today…. this has blown my mind!
Arrive home just in time to learn that Tiny went to bed with a cup full of cow’s milk and no regrets.
Try not to die inside.
Thankfully, however, home in time for sofa snuggles with the other two, just before bed.
Grateful, reflective, challenging, productive … a decent day off in my head!
And as I relish the boy in the Dinosoar Pyjamas,
And return his big hug and kiss.
I think how I wouldn’t change this life for anything in the world…
But sometimes it’s nice to be missed!