Life is never dull. I genuinely crave a bit of boredom. Boredom is a luxury and I’m more than a little jealous and begrudging of anyone who experiences it. Smug, bored bastards.
I’m not even kidding. I have a wonderfully full life but somewhere along the way I faltered a little, lost my footing and have been failing to catch up with myself ever since. Last December I got myself in such a busy work-life related tizzy that I woke early one morning and had to ride to the A&E in an ambulance because I had chest pains and a numb left arm. That is not a brag. There is nothing clever nor attractive about someone in their thirties having a heart attack. It turned out I wasn’t having a heart attack. It was more like a panic attack, but I don’t really have those normally, so I put it down to a rather ungraceful dismount from the treadmill of busy-work-season.
It was on the way home from the hospital that morning that I arrived at the conclusion that BUSYNESS IS NOTHING MORE THAN A THINLY DISGUISED AND SELF-IMPORTANT BRAND OF STUPID.
I mean it. Busy is not good. Busy is stupid. I am embarrassed at how busy I let myself get on such a regular basis. Smart people know how much they can chew, and they bite accordingly. Elephant-eaters like myself have a disconnect between what eyes, oesophagus and stomach can handle. We rudely talk with our mouths full and are grumpy with heartburn most of the time.
Occasionally, more often than I would care to admit, life gets so off-the-charts crazy that I honestly worry that I will blow as gasket. I feel like a wonky-legged washing machine on spin dry with springs starting to pop out of me.
Nope, I still have not managed to define what this blog is all about, but yes, I am going to go ahead and use it as a place to post this little slice of writing therapy. I write for my life. I write in the name of self-preservation and sanity. To date writing has been the most successful action I have tried in eye-of-the-storm times like these, and since everything got on top of me again a few weeks ago I’ve not been able to tweet anything of any worth, so I’m now going to have to take to more extreme measures…blogpost stock check.
January 2013: Tom and I engaged in annual church-wide fast. Tom cut out dairy, meat, gluten, sugar and caffeine. I was already off gluten in the name of the current (at the time) round of Dylan-solidarity but I didn’t even bother trying to fast anything else because I was (and am) still rather grumpy about the sleep-fast in which I have been obliged to engage ever since March 2011. (Dylan, sleep apnea, I’m working on my attitude blah blah blah).
Anyway, the outcome of the fast, in a very round about way, was that Tom and I both felt it would be a good idea to take off for a year, to put our work on hold and go live in the UK to recalibrate and refocus on what really matters most to us – our family and our art.
February-June 2013: Said goodbye to our lovely Domestic Helper, Eden. I shuffled my life around a bit to regain control of the household. This was all in all a great experience but was a little tricky at times and had to be done whilst packing down the DB flat, finding a tenant and still running Handmade Hong Kong.
July 2013: Left our DB flat in the hands of a great tenant (woohoo), moved in with my mum for three weeks (I adore my mother but this was an intensely stressful time), finally boarded a plane and made it to my family home in Oxford where my brother, his pregnant-with-twins wife and toddler live.
We have been here almost three weeks and tomorrow we head off to London to housesit in a gorgeous house for three weeks, then one week in Bristol with Tom’s sister, and then, then, hallelujah only then, we move into our own house in September!
I will bake bread and make jam. I will to sew. I will walk my kids to school/daycare and back every day. I will write. I will exercise. I will sleep train Dylan once and for all. I will pick up a guitar and relearn my 5 chords. I will appliqué furniture. I will fight all temptation to start any businesses in England. I will probably start my PhD but I think that’s ok….
We’ve been living out of suitcases for 6 weeks now. Dylan has recently taken his 2am screaming sessions and rice milk addition to heart jolting levels. Layla is doing well but is puzzled by the double standards with which I am trying to parent (“No Layla, no more snacks. Dylan, will you stop screaming if mummy gives you a jaffa cake?”), Tom is doing great, especially for someone who struggles with travel/being away from home. I will continue to run HmHK remotely but I am almost at my goal of September, when I will have two people join my work team so I can do much much less.
I am mere paragraphs into this exercise but feeling a hundred times better already. We have definitely not chosen an easy path this year, but it is all in the name of Sabbath-style Rest and simplifying life. I am hopeful that the current chaos is just short term and life will settle into a more appropriate rhythm soon.
That is all for now.
PS – I am grumpy about the obligation I feel to post nice/relevant/cool pictures with my writing. I’m not good at this and this is a major reason I haven’t posted in so long. I will sort myself out soon. Promise.