Funny old times. Lots of first world problems, but the thing is; when you live in the first world, they’re just problems aren’t they? My husband has been away a lot, for months it’s been like this and eventually the way our family functions starts to shift, almost imperceptibly. We get used to his absence. I don’t really like that, I want our family to be defined by us all being here, not by us being apart. I rally and try to make everything lovely and cook a lot of meals where we remaining three sit and eat and discuss the day and listen to songs that make me get up and dance around the (white) kitchen when I tidy up. I make the food, I clear the food. My kids do less than they should. This I try to change, but it seems an unshakable fact; they help, but reluctantly.
I went at the weekend and met up with my university buddies which was lovely and thought-provoking. We’ve known each other since 1992 and were all collectively staggered at how much we have stayed the same, but also how much life has changed. Shared history is worth so much to me, always has been. I spent the time listening to how everyone had evolved, contrasting what I knew about them before and what I see now. I think we have all changed, as you would expect, that life has taken us in all sorts of different directions and we have diverged in opinions and how we spend our time. It’s fascinating how old friends function together.
I handed in the draft of the book and all of the accompanying academic essays this week and now I am bereft. I have stopped writing as I hear that I should give it space, let it breath. This action I file under the heading: ‘things that real writers should do.’ I think about my book and wonder if it is plausible, whether I wrote it well, whether it will make sense to anyone who ever reads it. I fantasise that it’s simply awesome and that I will make my debut as a fledgling 42 year old writer and everyone will say; wow, yes, and she only started writing seriously so recently. Hah.
It’s exam season so there’s much revision going on in our house. It’s tedious now and I know they feel it too. I’ve taken the decision not to push, not to pressure; if they don’t want to do it, fine. I guess the premise is that they learn what it feels like to be underprepared if they didn’t do enough work. It’s a gamble! Before I know it my children will have broken up for summer and we will have nine whole weeks to fill. Academic terms have come to define us.
I spend – predictably, as relief – a disproportionate amount of time thinking about clothes. This being an facet of my personality that I think got established at a very young age. I just like clothes. Always have. But I wonder at my ability to spend hours scanning the internet for the perfect item at the perfect price. I find real, live shops intimidating and get uppity if a sales person tries to accost me. My shopping habits have changed beyond recognition from ten years ago, when I used to take a shopping trip for a day. Now my shopping is almost solely done with the cooperation of the postman. I don’t think he is a willing collaborator.
I think a lot about the past, about how keenly I recall things that have happened and how the passage of time seems to happen to me without my knowledge. I do the same stuff each day and then seem surprised that another month has passed! Another spring, another summer…happy days.