Out of sorts

January 14, 2015 § 13 Comments

Blame it on the moon; blame it on the stars. Blame it on the boogie if you must. I am out of sorts.

I feel pressed down by my senses, though the room is dim, the neighbourhood quiet, my hunger and thirst assuaged. I claw at my clothes, at the constraints of collar and cuff, though to your eyes the fabric is feather-light, forgiving. I pick up a million activities and discard them each in turn. Stitches are dropped, pencils are blunted, a single string vibrates and is stilled.

My skin stands to attention; the nerves relaying discomfort and dissonance and a measure of pain. My mind feels confined; my brain crawls with a myriad scurrying ants of doubt, of fear, of I-don’t-want-to-be-here.

And I don’t. I wish I were a runner so I could fling open the front gate of my life and run till the air is squeezed from my lungs, till I’m bent and wheezing and my sweat splashes into the dust.

I’m not lonely, I’m not angry, I’m not sad or despairing. I’m just in limbo. And I’m tired of holding my world together. I’m tired of the responsibilities and the preparing and the second-guessing. Tired of the bills and the demands and the never-ending will-I-make-it-through-this-day-without-collapsing-in-a-heap. Tired of grown-up, of adult, of what-are-we-eating-for-dinner.

I don’t hate my life or the people in it; far from it. In many ways it is finally starting to look a lot more like my life, like a life I’d like to lead. I am enveloped in a cocoon of love so strong that I am grateful for it every day, every hour, every minute.

I’d just like to take a break from the decision-making part of my life, just for a while. The part that worries and plans and lies awake at night wondering. The part that waits to be found out every day; to be exposed, revealed as a fraud, uncovered as a child in a middle-aged body who spends a lot of her time just making it up as she goes along, and hoping desperately that it will all come out in the wash.

That child has other needs. She needs to run and jump and skip stones, jump puddles and sing and feel mud between her toes. She needs cool grass and hot sand and the whoosh of the ground past her feet as the swing flies in its creaky parabola of pleasure. She needs cool sheets and ripe fruit and hot bread with soft butter.

She needs freedom. She needs space. She needs play.

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Come out and play

February 5, 2014 § 4 Comments

Yesterday I sat in my life coach’s office and bemoaned having every evening free.

I know, I know. And it’s a particularly odd thing to bemoan given that I spent the best part of last year consciously putting down things that brought me no joy. I was completely and utterly burnt out, and stepping away from all of those irksome things allowed me to move a little closer to remembering who I used to be before I was someone’s mother or wife, or daughter, or sister, or friend. Or employee.

I like to be busy. At school I always did two to three extra-murals a day (none of them being sport, however) and I continued that pattern into adulthood. Not having a schedule is an alarming thing for me. I like structure – it helps me to feel in control, and that helps me to cope with my anxiety. If there were an Olympics for worrying, I’d be at the top of podium for every event.

“But I’m wasting time!” I wailed. (I do a lot of wailing at Judy Klipin, who has the patience of a saint.) “I spend far too much time buggering around on Twitter and playing silly word games!”

And do you know what Judy said? She shrugged. And then she pointed out that my playing on Twitter had brought about valuable friendships, work, and artistic collaborations that I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams. And it had brought me joy and a lot of fun. And that all of those things were good. So perhaps it wasn’t such a waste of time after all.

And as usual, she was spot on.

That was a revelation in itself, but it also got me thinking. And I realised that it’s actually okay for adults to play. Perhaps that’s obvious to you, but I always feel like I should be doing something productive with every moment of my waking hours. And I’m not really sure why that is, or when I stopped playing.

But perhaps it’s time to give myself permission, and stop feeling guilty for having some fun. I’m allowed, right?

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