I’ve always loved live music, there’s nothing quite like it in my opinion. In my late teens and early twenties I’d frequent live gigs and paid out huge amounts of money for tickets I couldn’t really afford to see bands I loved, I liked, and some I’d never heard of. It’s a time of my life I look back on with such joy, a time I wanted to bottle up- I knew it wouldn’t last forever. And it didn’t.
I went to the first live gig I’ve been to in years the other night and it was amazing. When I say the first in years, that’s obviously excluding all the live acts I’ve seen since having children- The Wiggles, Bob the Builder, Circus shows and various other low budget productions. It did feel strange not purchasing a range of overpriced glowsticks for the event, but I managed to navigate my way through the foyer without too much difficulty.
Getting ready for the event was a bit of a drama in itself, looking at my wardrobe instantly made me feel old and very out of touch, my wardrobe is definitely more suited to the Wiggly type of live event. I felt old, so so old. I considered selling the tickets, even giving them away. I persevered and stuck with an old staple- jeans, black top. Done.
We got to the gig early, because we’re old and that’s what old people do. But I’d forgotten that, I forgot how I saw old people at events when I was younger and I was elated to discover that nearly every person I saw was my age or older. Woohoo. I was surrounded by my people and I felt safe.
The music started and I instantly forgot age, jeans, expensive drinks (VERY expensive drinks) and just relaxed. The beat in the floor, the lights, the sound- perfection. Music allows me to live in the moment, it’s probably the only time I completely switch off from all my list making and mental organising and just exist. I wasn’t a mum, a teacher, a responsible adult at a gig, I was just there listening and enjoying and being like all the other people around me.
I’d forgotten how much I loved to people watch. What a joy, stand back and take it all in. I’m not talking in a judgey way, I just love watching different people and seeing how they interact. I was provided with plenty of fodder for my willing eyes, plenty. I met people and I laughed with strangers. And then the young ones came with their long legs and braless bodies, all bouncy and firm and full of life. They didn’t cramp our old style, mainly because we were safely tucked up at the side, not too close to any big speakers or looking directly into bright lights that could set off a migraine or a seizure or something I didn’t even think of 20 years ago at these events.
I got chatting to a woman a couple of years younger than me, we chatted for about half an hour. Although we were close in age, we were worlds apart. That’s another reason I used to love being out, meeting people and learning about their world. She asked why I hadn’t been to a live gig for years, it was a loaded question that I didn’t have a short response to.
I didn’t want to scream over the speakers to tell her that I had been busy raising three kids, or that throughout those years money was tight and a luxury like this just wasn’t an option. I didn’t bother to say that we find it hard to get babysitters for our energetic boys, or that their health issues limit the people we can leave them with especially for nights that start at 10pm and require a sleepover. I certainly didn’t say that it all just sounded too hard, and that a night without kids would more likely be an opportunity to have some one-to-one time with my husband to reconnect and avoid being a divorce statistic.
I say it was a loaded question because she had her reply ready. When I summed up my response with, “well I have 3 kids and we just don’t get out much…” she reminded me that she had plenty of friends with children who still “made time” for live music. I’m so happy for them. Really, I am.
I completely got caught up in the music, and emotion even took over when I heard my favourite song that helped me conquer many runs back when I could run. It was amazing.
I admired the band, their skills and talent and felt all mumsy when I considered how proud their mums must be. I admired how they were able to be so creative, so ridiculously talented. How do some people get that gift? The lead singer was mesmerising. He was born to do that and he found what he should be doing and now I get to witness that. Awesome. And his mum must be so proud.
With a positive experience under my post-children belt I have decided that I need to do more of this, to make time for things that just make me happy. It wont happen every week like it did when I was twenty, a lack of time and money, and an abundance of commitments will make sure of that. But I think of all the goals for 2017, this could be the best one I’ve stumbled across.
Making a conscious effort to make yourself happy outside of your family bubble is hard as a parent. It requires being a bit selfish for the benefit of all. This year I’ve found a few things that I do for myself and it’s totally worth it. It’s been nice to acknowledge that things can come back from pre-kids days, the circle of social life continues.
Next year I’m going to get out of my bubble a bit more and explore all the fun things that I enjoy a little more frequently and not allow another year to pass where I miss all the fun because I’m stuck in my bubble. This should be fun.