Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

I am stuck on a treadmill. I work. Long hours. Go home. Grab some food. Sleep. Wake up. Make my lunch. Get on the tube. Go to work. Long hours. Go home. It has been like this for two maybe even three months now. I just can’t seem to jump off.

The long hours started due to changes at work. The prof was leaving and I had a new Dean coming in. I was managing a transition period and I didn’t mind. They are both nice people and I wanted to support them the best I could. However, now I seem to have got myself stuck in a loop. My own ‘Groundhog Day’ which I can’t break out of and unlike Bill Murray, I am not honing any skills. No piano playing. No editing my book…

I talked to a friend at work about it. How that morning I had made the impulsive decision to turn left out of the front door, instead of right, just so I could experience a little bit of variety.

I always get twitchy when the years of my life add up to the end of another decade. At 18, I packed my bags, left home and moved to London. At 28, I packed my bags and moved to France. At 38, I stood still but fell in love and that brought its own adventures. Now I am 48.

I have been toying with a dramatic shake-up – selling or renting out the flat and moving back to France, that way surely I would have time to edit and write my book. The thing is, I learnt from the last time I did that, it doesn’t stop the same issues in your life cropping up. Moving house, moving job, moving countries – yes sometimes it can help but mostly you just get into a new routine which after a while once again becomes repetitive. Turning left can be a novel change but if you do it every day there is no difference to turning right.

My motivator here should be my book. I went to CrimeFest in May and did one of the ‘pitch to an agent’ sessions. It was a magical ‘Simon Cowell’ moment when at the end I got three ‘yeses’, one from each agent that wants to see the manuscript again – once I’ve made some changes. So although not a golden buzzer, there is more work that needs to be done, at least I didn’t get three doors shut in my face. But whether it is the treadmill I am on or fear of failure – a thread I really don’t want to pull at right now, I don’t know. I just know my imagination and creative neurons have dried up and they feel like a handful of raisins sitting in my palm.

When I moved to France I was happy. Life revolved around good food, good company and I was fit and healthy – in fact super fit and healthy, whether it was the gym, skiing, tennis or even one friend who got me back on a bike.

LT in France 2

LT in France 1
Rocking a pair of padded bike shorts in France

So today I booked some tennis lessons. Maybe clearing my head and trundling around a tennis court will help.

And if that doesn’t work? Well I am also renewing my passport.

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