I love being busy. This new episode of my life where I’m doing things all the time is much better than sitting about moping (although there is less time to shop or have manicures, and this is a downside). However, the nature of my new ‘work’ is such that I spend much more time at the computer and less time doing everything else. I sit and sit, in what is probably the worst posture of all time, with my shoulders hunched and my legs crossed, and I read, I write, and I catch up on the relentless influx of emails that invade my computer (everyone on the MA course writes so much my inbox can be filled with up to 70 or so emails a day, containing musings, feedback and so on from my fellow students which although interesting are somewhat over-prolific), and I don’t seem to do a lot else.
I’m feeling pretty mediocre at everything too, probably as a result of trying to be good at everything and failing because I’m simply not ready for that yet; and tired, because I’m just not used to all this concentration. My life is usually a little more ‘free’, a little less chained to the desk – and I seem to be thinking an awful lot, which hasn’t really been my thing for a while. I am struggling to keep my mind on the everyday aspects of life, like grocery shopping, and remembering to send birthday cards and – if you were to push me – parenting. Not that we’re having a bad time – I just know my mind isn’t really on the job of being ‘mum’ at the moment and I’m starting to feel a bit guilty about that too. I have found myself struggling with the ‘who, what, where, when, why?’ questions several times this week, and failing to come up with my usual satisfactory answers to the major social, emotional and moral dilemmas my three year old poses. This includes the “Why do we die Mummy?” bath time quiz which left me floundering as I tried to think of ways to explain that wouldn’t leave him a)confused or b)depressed. I’m not sure I managed either.
I’m so busy concentrating I can’t concentrate. I keep forgetting to do things, or go places. This week alone I have forgotten I was getting my hair cut and that my husband was going to Oman. Both are in my diary, I have looked at it several times, and yet still failed to take in the information well enough that I wasn’t totally surprised when my hairdresser turned up at the door on Sunday, or that my husband was toting a suitcase this morning. I have PTA issues to deal with and summer holiday bookings to make and a whole host of things in between that really do require attention that I am failing to give. I do a little bit of each every time I remember and then have to drop it all to get something else done before a deadline passes. Take this morning: I know I need to book restaurants for when my visitors come, call my mother, and get the maintenance guys in to do their quarterly checks on the house, but I just don’t have the energy for any of it. I am lurching from day to day in a daze, going to bed late and rising early and not sleeping well in between. My face is full of spots (WTF I’m nearly forty, when does this END?) and each day when I drag my sorry butt out of bed I think about how I still haven’t been to the gym in three weeks but simply can’t summon up the enthusiasm to go. I feel like I need to sleep for a thousand years. And I’d quite like to go shoe shopping when I woke up, if only all this ‘work’ was paid.
I’m fully aware that this is just a period of adjustment and that my brain and my body will figure it out soon enough. And I know there are ways of making it easier on myself in the meantime (drink less, go to bed earlier, get off the computer, stop procrastinating in a blog and get on with it). I just need to relocate my motivation for all of this and I’ll be good to go. Sigh.