Man flu

My husband has just diagnosed me as having man flu. Having greeted me this morning by way of ‘you look like sh*t’, accusing me of over-dramatising a mild sense of unwellness seems like a compliment in comparison. But he’s right on both counts: I’m just ill enough to not function in any real capacity, but, with no fever in sight, not actually feeling bad enough to be officially sick; and I do look like sh*t. And actually, he’s been very kind and told me to rest up and get better, while he runs about with the boy all day. This is a luxury I am not about to say no to; I have taken him at his word and vanished as fast as my shakey legs will carry me. However, it being the weekend, I am stuck in our bedroom and can’t sit downstairs watching TV and drinking hot Ribena, which is how I would like to be spending my confinement. I’m tired, but awake. I’m bored but don’t want to do anything. I’m hungry but I don’t want anything to eat. Except maybe a chocolate digestive would be nice, if only we had any. Also, no one likes me very much. On my occasional forays downstairs even my little boy has been full of helpful comments like ‘go away mummy, I don’t want your germs on me’. So instead I’ve laid up here for hours wishing my headache would go away and making a list of things I need to do when it does, that finally got so long I started to go crazy. In a last ditch attempt to rescue myself from utter boredom I’ve grabbed my laptop and decided to write a long overdue post until my head gives in and falls off.

So, happy new year and all that. 2014 was a terrible year, all things considered, and I’m rather glad to see the back of it. When your 40th birthday is the highlight of the year, you know it’s not been a good one. Turning middle aged should definitely not be as awesome as I think it is. But there’s been so much loss and sadness in our family this year that I just can’t say I’ve enjoyed it, despite it being peppered with personal highs like finishing my MA and rocking the improv world (okay, maybe that’s a gross exaggeration, but I’m sick, remember, and taking that cold and flu stuff that makes your head go la la so cut me some slack). Looking back, I’m really just relieved to have got through it with my sanity intact.

Onwards and upwards. I’m totally excited for 2015. It’s a blank canvas for me, in many ways. No more assignments to finish, no feedback that has to be given by Monday night every week. No more milestone birthdays for at least 10 15 years. No more musing that I don’t know what to with my life. I know exactly what I’m doing with it and I love it. I have gasp – spare time. The boy is settled into school and I have successfully avoided all kinds of PTA nonsense this academic year that I so foolishly volunteered for the year before. I am working a few days a week doing something I love that earns me some money, and hit the theatre once a week to be applauded by strangers who think I’m funny. The rest of the time I get to write, and in theory, go to the gym and have a nice long swim in the pool. Mostly I just write. Apart from the possible collapsed lung I am suffering from, life is GOOD.

But it would appear that 2015 is not charming the pants off of everyone. Me, who is renowned for her generally glass half-empty state – or more accurately ‘what f-ing glass?’ – logged off Facebook on Thursday because it was full of grumpy people arguing, posting depressing news and statistics and generally being miserable. Where’s the happy, people? I know it’s January, and January is always a bit rubbish, and maybe it’s the weather, or the dark, or whatever…and I know there are things going on in the world that suck, but there are always things going on in the world that suck. We need happy in our lives to balance all that. Especially when you might have japanese encephalitis.

And that’s what I like about social media, or, at least, what I used to like about it. For every person bemoaning the evil in the world, there was another one in the wings waiting to fill your heart with joy. I know it’s not for everyone but I genuinely enjoy logging on in the morning and seeing what’s been going on around the world while I’ve slept – and I don’t mean ‘the world’; I mean the worlds of the people I’m friends with, who give me a window onto their lives. But those windows are open less and less, holiday snaps and snippets of personal news replaced by quizzes and newspaper articles and marketing. And yes, before you say it, this is a middle aged person speaking. No doubt something waaaaaaay cooler has already been invented that’s taken its place, like, three years ago, and I just don’t know about it. But I’d like to know about it, because I’m fast falling out of love with what I’ve got. Facebook seems to be more of a place to air your political views or promote your business or watch videos of cats than check out what your friends are doing these days. Linked in is just a convenient way to stalk people. Twitter – ugh – is there anything more exhausting than Twitter? – seems to be much the same as Facebook, but just 170,000 times more prolific and annoying. Instagram? Is this my only choice? Do I have to??

Where do you go these days to just hang out and be happy, make sure your friends are happy, and then log off? It may be the rabies talking, but come to think of it, I vaguely remember that it used to be called ‘the pub’.

Happy new year everyone. Now log off, and may your year be filled with happy people and pubs.

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