The other night I went and watched the theatre group I belong to rehearse for their forthcoming production of Fawlty Towers.
I haven't acted since autumn 2013 and although it's not unusual for me to have a break from theatre for a while, this is probably the longest I've been gone from it.
Hubby's job takes him away from home quite a bit now, so what with that, work and the boy starting school, making rehearsals felt nigh on impossible and I couldn't see when or if I'd be going back for a long time.
Everyone was so pleased to see me and I read in one of the parts while sitting next to the director and watching the action. I love Fawlty Towers and I adore acting comedy so I really enjoyed it. It was lovely to see all my friends again and be back talking about scripts, lines, direction and timing.
I hadn't realised how much I'd missed acting and need it in my life. It's in my bones, my soul and my heart. So I've offered to help backstage the week of the show. I'm thrilled just to be back in a theatre again and amongst the action.
I've been horribly down recently. I've felt lost and uninspired, especially since the New Year, so seeing my acting friends again and being in that environment was like a breath of fresh air. I felt like I'd come home.
I know what I'm missing now and I need to go back to it. I went through a stage of worrying when I was in a show that I hadn't sold enough tickets and got enough people to come and see it. I realise now that's not important. Yes we need bums on seats to carry the group on, but that isn't my sole responsibility. If friends and family can come and want to then great, if they don't or can't, no worries. I do this for me and no one else.
I also went through a stage of being in some ropey old rubbish to be honest with you. The other mistake I made was taking on too much, mainly because I was too scared to say no and let everyone down. Again that's not my sole responsibility.
The logistics of organising when I can get to rehearsals and performances means I need to be in plays I enjoy or all the calendar and diary juggling and asking favours for childcare just isn't worth the extra stress. The part doesn't have to be huge and I don't need to be the star, I just need to be involved.
I'm no longer falling for 'Well if you don't do it I can't see how else we can cast that part. We'll just not do a play this time.'
No one person is bigger than the group and plays can always be cast.
The theatre doesn't need me that badly.
I, on the other hand, have realised that I need it. Very badly indeed.