Life has always seemed to me to be a series of compartments. Probably as a result of having a very itinerant childhood, when every three or so years our family would move countries and begin again - different house, different friends, different routine. Each phase has a box of its own in my mind.
But for the past couple of weeks, it's as if someone opened a couple of the boxes of my life onto the floor and gave them a good jumble.
It is taking a while to process, but I have reached some conclusions.
- Having your school room mate back in the UK for a visit is exhausting.
- Growing up with someone gives them total carte blanche to wade in and mother your children, in spite of never having met them before (and their reaction is extremely funny to watch).
- My thirteen year old son, who allowed himself to be cuddled in front of his entire school rugby team and bore it with a smile and good grace, is an exceptional human being.
- Parenthood undeniably makes you more cautious and responsible.
- Friends from your formative years will know you in a way that is totally different to friends made later in life.
- I am a quieter and more introverted person than I once was and I need some time alone each day in a way that I never used to.
I am trying to pack up this crazy week or two and pop it back into an appropriate box on the shelf in my mind, but it is proving to be harder than I thought. Are you still the same person you were 25 years ago?