I am having one of those days. To be honest, I’m having one of those weeks.
Everything is taking more effort than it should. I am pasty and red-eyed, and I am being short-tempered with the children and anyone else who has the misfortune to cross my path.
Health issues niggle on in the background, but they’re nothing new, and I can’t in all honesty blame how I’m feeling on them. It seems to be a reaction to a productive week last week; a sudden slump into a kind of surliness that the to-do list keeps on growing no matter how diligently I prune it.
I keep having fantasies about my old life at a desk, in an office, with a door I could close behind me; conveniently forgetting that in those days I fantasised about being at home, with my children, accountable to no-one but myself for my time. Neither the uber-efficient career woman, nor the serenely competent mother were ever remotely attainable targets, but whichever I try to be, the image of the other mocks me from the sidelines.
I think about two years ago, when I had a new born, a 3 year old and a 4 year old; three daily round trips to school and several weeks of heavy snow. How can I still be so tired when I have two mornings a week entirely child-free? How come everything feels like such a struggle, when, on paper, it really shouldn’t be?
What it boils down to is laziness, I think. Fundamentally, I want to be left alone, to sit in a chair with a book for evermore, and I sulk, unreasonably, when life gets in the way. Every Friday, I think with relief that we can recover from the week; every Sunday night I look forward to Monday morning for the chance to get back into routine. Things just feel like they are getting busier and busier and busier – family, friends, children’s commitments, voluntary stuff and, of course, work.
I would love to know the secret of relishing busy-ness, adapting to thrive on it, rather than constantly hankering for a flat, empty peace which is completely out of the question (and which I know in my heart I would hate, if I were to get it). I find myself subconsciously waiting for a time when things are going to calm down; I’d so much rather just get on with enjoying my life while it happens, because when the calm comes, the life will be largely over.