Thursday a-week-and-a-bit ago, an old client asked me if I could "come in for a couple of days".
Because I'm ultimately a soft touch (and I'd been watching nothing but outgoings for several weeks and thought a little incoming might be good for the nerves), I said yes. Two or three days turned into five, and served as a Very Useful Reminder of why we're going to do what we're going to do.
For me, I'm leaving behind leaving the house before the kids are awake and returning after they are asleep. In between, finding, in words and pictures, the best possible solution to a given brief. Then trying to beat that idea. Again. And again. All the time pretending that what I'm producing is not going to be crapped on by the agency and/or their client, only to end up looking like a pile of shit that could have been produced by a handful of monkeys with a half-dozen computers. Then, after another two-hour commute, getting home with only enough time to cook, eat, wash and ablute before getting up and doing it all over again.
Clare, meanwhile, is walking away from playing the role of single parent. Finding, in nourishment of every kind, the best possible way to fill a given day. Again. And again. Constantly cooking, cleaning and clearing up. All the while pretending that her efforts are being Valued And Appreciated by the kids, without the need for them to say thanks. Believing that, one day, she will be able to complete the million and a half creative projects she has in mind.
Millions of people do it. It's just not what we talked about during that Perfect Weekend in Key West almost exactly eight years ago. (Happy Anniversary us!)
Just so's you know, about the house. We're due to exchange early this week and complete early next. We're so done waiting, it's not even funny.
This is, though: I read in a newspaper about a survey on favourite words. For women, the word was "love". For men, it was "antidisestablishmentarianism". (Although, I suspect, only because floccinaucinihilipilification is so hard to say.)
Just so's you know, about the work. Someone I haven't spoken to for ages phoned on Thursday and asked if I was available next week. See above.