A nothing sort of day

by little red pen

This is the second day in a row I’ve sat by the fire and spent too much time on the internet and a bit of time writing. It’s NOT IDEAL. I’d prefer to lose myself in some mildly tricky but non-essential and yet well-paid work like restructuring a document or proof-reading or, I don’t know, entering data in a table. I should be preparing for August workshops or doing my business plan or making things for Nona’s baby or going for a walk or gardening, and, failing that, I should be doing more of the writing and less of the internetting. Still, here we are.

Partly, it’s the cold. I’m in the warmest patch of the house, and if I move more than two metres, I’ll be cold again. That’s not very motivating. Operation Convince Ian That We Need A Supplementary Heating System got some momentum over the weekend when we realised that the wood supply was about to run out and all the suppliers in town are too busy to deliver and don’t have dry wood anyway so we need to gather and chop all the fuel we need from Dad’s place, which is reasonably straightforward, but not as reasonably straightforward as paying someone to dump a load of dry timber in useable sizes on our driveway. Anyway, we’ve got wood for the week and we’ll get more over the coming weekend and then it will be almost August and that’s SPRING, right? Relatedly, the sky is a dense white grey and snow is forecast and none of the bulbs have stuck their pretty green shoots out yet. Also, if you ring a wood supplier and they hem and haw and say that the wood is only 70% dry, what does that even mean? Will it burn? Will it dry out if we stack it for a few weeks? How do they measure it? Yes, so there’s the cold.

There’s also the introversion thing. I’m pretty comfortable acknowledging that I’m an introvert, even if I do have conversations like this:

Colleague: How do you find working on your own?

Me: Fine. I mean, I’m an introvert, and all.

Colleague (total shock): Are you? Really? You don’t seem like one.

Me (confused and quickly doing a self-check of identity): Yes, yes, I really am.

Colleague: Well, you’re a very high-functioning one!

I’m not sure what introversion means in this conversation, and it’s true that sometimes I am capable of carrying out a coherent and meaningful conversation with another person, although the chances are higher if

  1. I know them
  2. I like them
  3. there’s only one of them

but for me what it really comes down to is that I get scatty and tired engaging with other people for long stretches of time and need some time to myself to recharge before getting back in the middle of it all. Sort of like this. And this scatty−recharging dynamic exists even in close relationships, like with my partner and children, which always takes me a while to recognise and admit because, EMBARRASSING, no? Getting worn out by people that I love and have either chosen to spend my life with or have actually given birth to and nurtured from sweet babyhood into long-legged, ball-kicking, book-reading boydom.

Anyway, eight years into this parenting gig, I’ve started to learn how to read the signs, which is why towards the end of a ten-day holiday I had to say things like, “I’m getting a bit peopled-out now” and also why I now find myself sitting very quietly, letting my mind run off in various directions without trying to corral or even follow it very much. I’m just refilling the bucket, is all.

However. I’m also approaching mid-life, if not a mid-life crisis, and I’m a bit bored. I need more work, less daily grind, more crazy projects with the kids, more focused writing time, less Facebook, more reading, more resolution of wider family bullshit, more exercise, less cheese, less coffee, more water, less scatter, more patience, more drive. Watch this space.