Except after someone said that to me the other day, I realised that actually there is loads of stuff in various books about Looking After Yourself and Don’t Forget Your Partner even if there isn’t one specifically that says Warning Being A Parent Can Be The Straw That Crushes Your World’s Back.
It is a sign of my level of unhingeability that I gaily decided to take part in the Write A Post Every Day Of November blogfest that is NaBloPoMo . Quite quickly I realised that daily writing was physically beyond me and my cheese brain but every second day was not only achievable it was worth noting just to the right…in my profile.
Oh ho ho ho, how I guffaw at myself sometimes. Silly sausage that I am.
Things have been (ahem) difficult of late. It is a mix of travel, living in what is effectively an artists’ commune where everyone is eating, drinking and thinking Project 24/7 when we are in Country Town . Back in our City Abode, we (C and I, I mean, the rest of the family have managed to organise themselves) still have not managed to completely unpack and put things away, in fact up till a few days ago, our kitchen cupboards still contained groceries that were moved with us nearly two years ago. Some of those weevils dated back to the beginning of the Great Big Fertility Ride.
So there’s the clutter and the travel and the Stress From Work and then a few Screaming Tomato Nights and then C being too busy to look after Tricky and so no time for me to write and then NO QUALITY GROWNUP TIME and then my head exploded.
Well actually it didn’t but I did feel pretty shithouse. About me and my relationship and my writing which seemed to be suddenly not happening at all.
Anyone who writes, not necessarily for a living, but regularly, honestly, as a way of expressing and creating and illuminating, of documenting or celebrating, of reaching out through this strange dark house that is our lives, and finding someone else who reads or hears and understands, will know that when you don’t write, your life feels pretty crappy.
You don’t even realize that’s what it is at first, the non writing, because you’re too tired or busy or sad, but then it becomes a vicious circle and the less you write the less you want to write and the more crappy and cranky and evil you become.
And so it is with me.
But then, a miracle happened, the miracle of Conversation With Your Loved One. Prior to this our conversation was limited to short terse directions and snapped out questions. What happened was that we went back to Country Town but instead of flying there we drove and it took us eight hours including stops at various playgrounds along the way. And so there was talking. And weeping, which for me is par for the course, I am a Known Weeper (I made myself cry yesterday singing The little Drummer Boy to myself and getting to that bit where he sings “I played my drum for him pa rum pa rum pum, I played my best for him pa rum pa rum pum etc”. ).
And in the end some changes were decided on.
We realised we must work on properly setting up our part of the Big House, removing weevils and other clutter and organizing the space so we don’t feel like we are living in a temporary storage unit. We worked out a new fairer system of care for Tricky which allowed for me to have daily writing time. And also we emphasized how important it was to have regular fun family times as well as regular fun couple times and indeed regular QUALITY GROWNUP TIME. Then we stopped and had a cuddle because it was a red letter moment and we both felt so much better and there was no champagne to hand. But this was better.
And so, although I haven’t been doing the every second day writing the blog thing, I have been doing a lot of writing. In fact, over the last week I have actually written a new play. It took me a whole day of futzing about and googling with all my new found free time but the next day it just started coming and now I seem to have a first draft. Actually, a bit more than a first draft.
I printed it out and C read it and I read along over his shoulder and when he had finished we just laughed and clutched at each other and were amazed. I’m not saying it’s brilliant but it was written. There was time allocated for writing and writing was done.
And I feel so much better.
The Best of 2019 – A Retrospect
5 weeks ago