About a month or so ago I was involved in a car accident. Not my fault – somebody went into the back of me in a queue of stationary traffic. Luckily nobody was hurt, but one of our cars – admittedly an old, beat up runabout – was written off.
Which presented an opportunity to do the type of thing that you can talk about doing for years without ever getting round to doing.
I bought a motorbike.
I actually started riding motorbikes when I was 16, but a nearly 15 year hiatus meant that now I fitted not just into the cliche of ‘mid life crisis’ but also, at the ripe old age of 34, ‘born again biker’.
As with so many things, I had a logical, rational reason for getting a bike again. Slipping through the traffic on a bike would both halve my commute time and save a ton of money in parking and petrol.
But really, honestly, I was mostly just looking forward to getting on two wheels again.
I don’t know if it’s a function of getting older, having kids, or both, but as time has gone on I’ve found myself doing fewer and fewer of the things that made me, me.
I love my kids, and I love being a mum, but I realised that my so called hobbies were almost all things I hadn’t done for years – the required accoutrements still there, but packed away neatly in the wardrobe and the loft.
Playing musical instruments, rowing, riding horses, making jewellery, designing, drawing and painting (badly), going to gigs, and of course riding motorbikes, were all still things I considered to be part of ‘me’, but which in reality I hadn’t done more than thought about in some cases for more than a decade.
Which is a long time in anybody’s book.
So getting back onto two wheels is about more than just reclaiming an hour of my day from the drudgery of queuing in traffic.
It’s about reclaiming a piece of me, that’s still hidden inside there somewhere.
It’s about being not just a mum, but someone that hopefully my kids can be proud of, maybe even inspired by.
It’s not about them doing the things that make me happy. It’s about letting them know that they can follow their dreams and do whatever they want to do in life.
Because if I can’t manage to keep some of my dreams alive, who am I to tell them to follow theirs?