I had lots of chores to do in the house today so was looking for music to play while I busied myself. I had a sudden urge to listen to an old favourite album of mine which I’d not listened to in years. ‘August and Everything After’ by Counting Crows. I was instantly transported back to a bus, travelling through the stunning scenery of New Zealand. I was 24 years old, I’d just finished university, was falling in love for the first time, and had my future ahead of me and the world at my feet. No responsibilities, a fit body, and the innocence of youth.
I used to listen to this album on a discman (that’s how long ago it was!) on the long journeys from place to place on this trip around the islands of New Zealand and it has become so synonymous with that trip for me. I was introduced to Counting Crows by the chap I was falling for at the time which makes the album all the more nostalgic as it brings up those feelings of the flush of first love and everything that comes with it. Of diving into love with both feet and your eyes closed because you don’t know any better.
I’ve never been someone who freaks out about the aging process or about facing up to my responsibilities, but I must confess that listening to that album today made me feel really quite sad. I looked at myself, a 30-year-old wife with a house and two cats to look after, spending the day cooking, cleaning, and doing about a million loads of washing, and I felt a pang of longing for the days of flitting off to the other side of the world and jumping out of planes. I have become so sensible. I have a wonderful life and don’t resent anything in it but I wish that I had made more of the time I had when I could be silly and impulsive without having to get up for work the next day.
My thoughts turned to monsters and crafting, and it dawned on me that this is my form of rebellion these days. Leaving the washing up and disappearing into the craft room to play with buttons. Running out of clean pants because I was too busy cutting out flowers to do any laundry. Craft means so many different things to different people and today I realised that for me, it’s partly a way of sticking two fingers up to adulthood and of stopping me from becoming too sensible. I’m no party animal and I can’t be doing with wild nights out in clubs anymore. For me these days, wildness is shirking my responsibilities and taking some time out to monster, because sometimes, what you want to be doing is so much more important than what you should be doing.