Sunday, 18 July 2010

Where do all the days go?

Time is flying by at the moment. We are getting towards the end of the school term, thank goodness, but before we get there we have to jump through the hoops - Summer Fayres, Sports Days, special assembly-type occasions, commemorative barbeques... Ballet exams, shows, workshops...and so on and so forth. It feels like an endurance test.

The holidays are easier in a way, because the children have each other for company. During the week at the moment I am alone with the toddler, but still far too busy. I am sure I need to learn how to manage my time better and to relax more. But the only way to do this would be to drop some of the stuff that I do - which means the laundry would remain unwashed, and the house would be filthy, or the toddler would be parked in front of the TV more often than is good for him.

Anyway, in just six months time (but that is still half a year away), he will be at nursery and I will have some free time at last. Which is when I hope my writing career will take off. So much of my self-esteem is tied up in my ability to write, I really feel as though I need to prove myself there. I know this blog is a step in the right direction, but I have a whole load more that I want to achieve. I hope the memoir really will get published one day soon, but since I last wrote about that on here I have taken no further steps towards it.

When I read back this blog and notice typos and bits of clumsiness in the text I get desperate to go back and correct it. A bit obsessive, I know, but it is important to be happy with what you publish - so once my memoir is out there I want it to be in the right form, and as good as it can get. I am still dithering at the moment about how much of my real persona I want to expose - and still coming firmly down on the side of not much at all.

I have been a bit more relaxed recently. I think this may be to do with getting older - it brings a certain amount of self-assurance and ease. My sister visited yesterday, but was off again in less than an hour, declaring herself bored. When I was younger I would have found this hurtful - one of the worst insults in my book was to be called boring, and to avoid this label I indulged in all sorts of damaging behaviour. But yesterday I was unmoved - I do not exist for anyone's entertainment, I thought to myself and in my opinion my kids are the most interesting and captivating little people ever - so if she is bored it must be that there is a problem with her attention span.

I have been observing my family recently, and it seems to me that we all have a need for an audience, and that we are only really contented if we are being avidly listened to while we talk about ourselves at length. Maybe this applies to everyone, not just my family. But it is amazing how many people are really quite unaware of how self centred they are.

I read something today in the paper about shyness - how it is just an excuse for being self-centred, and I agree with the argument. Although of course when you are in the grips of extreme shyness it is terrifying and the last thing you are thinking is, 'It's all about me'. It is much more unconscious than that. Shyness is a very common and natural human trait, so I suppose self-obsession comes with the territory too. But recently I have been thinking - actually we have a duty to try to be entertaining - doesn't everybody like to spend time with those who interest and engage them, and shouldn't we all try our best to be that sort of person? So I am going to try to put myself in the spotlight from now on; because in the words of Nelson Mandela 'We are all meant to shine, as children do'.

Does this read as lucid, or as totally contradictory? I know what I mean anyway - I want to be free from anxiety, nerves and shyness, while not being completely full of myself. Free to converse. I think this is what is important about having a career - a longing I was trying to express to a group of friends the other day, all of whom were envious of the fact that I don't work and can concentrate on the kids. I feel that I am missing something which they gain from being out of the home at least some of the time - a sense of persective maybe, and a sense of self.

Because if you have a role in the workplace you have a need to communicate and a need to do this in the best way possible. Whereas I have no real need to speak to anyone except my children, so when I do talk to people it is a kind of indulgence and I am often thrashing about trying to find stuff to say. Then I question as to whether it needed to be said at all. I find it especially hard to make conversation in the mornings at school - all the 'Have you had a nice weekend?' and so on feels kind of superfluous. I get stuck for subject matter and fall back on what time the kids woke me up and guff like that.

Life. What's it all about, Alfie? I dunno, but trying to work it out never fails to make me feel better. Bye for now. x.

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