Day 76 – quiet time and slowing down

I’m writing this with a kitten purring, asleep in the crotch of my slouch pants – my legs are crossed in front of me, I am sitting on my bed and it isn’t even 8 yet. The house is deathly quiet and there are no Dutchmen – grumpy or otherwise to be seen (or heard). You’d think I’d be blissful but I’m kinda bored and a little bit antsy.

The GD kindly took the lads out to a family thing and didn’t insist I come too because he could see how shattered I was. The plan was for me to go to bed and sleep while they were gone. Now I am glad I didn’t go – because staying out this late would have fucked me up in my current state – but I am twiddling my thumbs a bit at this stage. I had hoped to take the dog out for a run; I don’t like to run without him – being of the female persuasion and it still being essentially a man’s world after dark on the mean streets of malbert – but it will be too late now once they get back.

I had every intention of getting in to bed and indeed actually put the top half of my jammies on, but as I was pottering and getting ready for a snooze it occurred to me that I needed to iron my shirt (I know Mum! I ironed! voluntarily!) and so I did, then I thought I had better check my work email because I was home before 5 and I usually have stuff to sort still, which lead to some more computery work stuff, which then led to fucking round on clickbait sites, which led to checking my trademe auctions and then back to work stuff and then I made some appointments to see parents/students/teachers and then back to Facebook.

Then I looked up and realised I had lost 3 hours. The lads still aren’t home and I haven’t eaten and now I have that Mum thing where I tried to relax but instead I did stuff because the kids weren’t here to distract me and now I feel anxious because I didn’t relax and I know they are going to be back soon. And I’m also kinda bored. Because by now I’d be fighting them off to try to do all the aforementioned stuff and I don’t quite know what to do with myself.

How fucked up is that? Where you actually get gifted time to relax and you have forgotten how to do it. The GD won’t bother again if he knows that I waste such a precious resource. Must. Try. To Relax.

A tutor once said to me that if I was ‘any more relaxed I would be asleep’. This was in reference to watching me teach a class – she was marking me – on my second practicum and I was so scared that I was afraid I was going to vomit on the poor wee year 9’s in front of me. Yet this tutor thought I looked so relaxed and calm. I have discovered over the years that my bodies natural defence mechanism to potentially high drama situations is to slow right down. It’s like I am the sloth in the friendship group. When everyone else is losing their shit over what Tracey said to Shirley I am the one on the back still edging my way down the branch to go eat bugs off the floor or whatever it is sloths do.

It happens with other stuff too. When I was, ahem, younger and at Art school I may have tried a few things that I certainly wouldn’t advocate now as a grown up responsible mother of two and professional. Mum you needn’t keep reading at this point it’s very boring. Anyway, when I was MUCH younger and stupid-er I found that speed and other ‘wake you up and make you go faster’ drugs were completely wasted on me – instead of actually speeding up and becoming the life of the party like those other ‘normal’ folks around me I would promptly fall asleep. It got to the point where at parties someone unsuspecting would offer me something and everyone around me would chorus ‘don’t bother, it’s a waste of money!’. It was a much better idea to feed me tequila and point me to a hip hop bar where I would become convinced I was actually a REALLY fucking good dancer and starring in my own hoochie girl video. The Gd still holds fond memories of my (terrible) white girl dancing. Oh yeah baby.

The point I think I am trying to make is that when I was young I could go to sleep. Just like that. Even when under the influence of ‘awake’ tools. I could leave my own birthday party to go to bed well before my guests were over it. When I was a small child I would regularly put myself to bed before my parents had a chance to and I have mentioned before that I am an early bird not a night owl.

So it is even more frustrating that, given the very unusual time to myself just to sleep, I find myself awake and doing stuff. I wonder if this is something that the Mindfulness course tomorrow night can help with. I must remember to get a journal for that tomorrow in my lunch break. Oh and also, I need to get dry spaghetti and marshmallows for the peer supporters on the way to school for their team building stuff. Now I’m just thinking out loud.

Dr Libby Weaver called it ‘Rushing Womans syndrome’ and when I have the time I am going to read that book and find out how to fix it.

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