At 4am this morning, I was feeding and reading old blog posts. Because I’d just had a dream that it was Blog Exam day, where some adjudicating body gave blog posts grades and comments, and all of my comments were just giant photos of cheese. I woke up with one hand over my stabbed heart and had to find a post that wasn’t cheese and/or a baby face. You know what, it took a while.
A couple of weeks before Teddy arrived, I wrote this:
There are ideas about myself that I hold on to, that are precious to me, and it hurts to be without them. Like, for example, I Am A Person Who Thinks and Writes. It is embarrassing to say it, but I feel vulnerable without it. I feel less of a person.
Then I realise that perhaps there are times when I’m stripped of those things so that I can work out how to be myself without them. They don’t have to define me, after all; or not all the time. I am about to go back to a point where the definition of a productive day is getting dressed and making sure everyone is fed. And sometimes not even getting dressed. It was hard, last time, accepting that simplicity. It was difficult to feel valuable when my own markers of value were all beyond me. I had to find other ways of being complete. I think it’s time to practice it again.
I am there, now. In the space where my best days involve getting dressed and putting in a load of laundry. Most days I don’t get any housework done at all, and just run around putting out fires. There are lovely, lovely moments and I adore these boys, but damn, if two years and ten weeks isn’t a lethal combination. When I get a spare second I don’t know whether to sleep, clean, or stop everything and try again tomorrow. I can’t read. I can’t think of anything to write. I want my words back. I want my words.
This is really hard.
I have decided to make some baby steps towards getting back in balance again. I’m going to take the boys somewhere this week that’s not Tesco or the local park. Tim and I have tickets to see the Wolf Hall/Bring Up The Bodies double bill in Stratford next March, for my birthday (they are standing tickets, which is all they had left, but it will be TOTALLY WORTH IT, MASTER CROMWELL). Then Tim is in Edinburgh for a day and a half next week, and we’re going to go with him. Tomorrow we’re going to the library and getting something out that’s not about lions. And I want to enrol on a creative writing course that starts next April, and start taking this thing seriously. I’ll have my head back by next April, right?
In the meantime, hey – thanks for reading. I hope things are alright with you. I’m really glad you’re here.