At the moment I am having the time of my life. This may seem like hyperbole, but is true as Jules and I have the space to be who we are, and do the things we have always wanted to do but didn’t because life and work get in the way.
A bit more money would be useful of course – this week must be our turn to win the lottery – but given the choice between spending money on things and spending effort on developing ourselves the latter wins hands down.
In the last few weeks I have been writing, and doing an Open University course as well as attending the Kessingland Writers Group to stretch the ways I create characters and narrative. Talking this through with Jules has also meant I have been working to put more emotional depth in what I write rather than approaching writing from plot, action and dialogue.
Jules has been doing a lot of stand up gigs and it is a total joy to see her blossom into the artist she has always been but has never had the time or encouragement to be. We talk about “getting over the mountain” which means getting to the stage where you are yourself (or a version of yourself) on stage rather than just doing an act. Her coming sessions as Justin Lee Collins co host on Fubar Radio help with that as she is able to run with the subjects that come up and be funny in the moment rather than agonising over which set of words in a set work best – as you can hear from her audition.
Phil’s band Beyond Truth have also had a recent gig with another coming up and it is also wonderful to see how he transforms on stage when he starts to play guitar. There is a video online of some of the last performance on their website.
And above all else we have been able to live more in the moment. If an opportunity comes up – as one did recently to be in the pilot of a new quiz show – we can go for it and enjoy it for the experience. We are learning that if you take opportunities that present themselves and throw yourself completely into them, you not only enjoy it more, but you perform better. Whether it is a comedy performance, music, or a piece of writing, people want to make a connection with its creator – they want to like you as well as what you do and feel you are doing it for them rather than as an abstract event. One Direction’s fans believe they are singing to them not to the world in general, which is why they love them (there has to be some reason!). And the more you are real with them, the more they give back to you. Honesty really is the best policy!