In a former life, this would have felt like a lie – in. A late morning, even. These days, morning and night have little definition; though they are gaining more defined positions of preference as the days become longer. Being awake for the light to start coming in at 4.45 and watching the slow process of darkness becoming light has a wonderful quality to it; but it’s far better when you’re awake of your own choosing, and not dragging yourself up because you’re at the beck and call of a tiny little bundle of neediness! The days of choosing to wake up at 5am… They feel like a cruel joke I played on myself for years. Like I knew that later on, I’d be beating myself up for being so lacking in foresight as to squander the precious privilege of long stretches of sleep. Still, writing in the morning then had a wonderful, meditative, liberating quality. Writing now, I feel that feeling. It feels good to write.
Hang on..It has all of those qualities EXCEPT the meditative.
These days, everything feels like a bit of a rush. It’s a fairly mindful rush; I want to absorb and experience every infinitesimal essence of this time, but everything has an undertone of the frenetic. I have to make priority calls at every moment; do I do morning notes, script work, acting exercises, shower, food, sleep, tidying, watch baby sleep, doze, read, watch a movie / documentary, workout….? There are so many conflicting things that I want to do in the tiny pockets that baby sleeps – when she settles, that is – that it’s a huge challenge knowing what to cram in. What’s important? Do I prioritise the stuff that is for me? For the domestic side of life? For baby? How do I decide? Everything seems equally important; even when I’m starving hungry I agonise over whether I should spend eating time writing a page of a script because that will make me feel good too. But it’s not really about me at the moment. It’s about this poor baby. These days, she’s so much more alert and aware of being “alive” that everything is a bit traumatic for her. Hugely interesting and amazing to observe, but it does mean that she seeks out more and more familiar ground for herself; namely, Mum’s body, and there’s little room for anything but making sure she is as secure as possible when she needs that attention.
Argh. I wish I was selfless enough to be completely altruistic here. To focus purely on her needs – after all, she’s the one going through the MAJOR life adjustment, but my ego is powerful, and I can’t help becoming frustrated by the fact that there is so much left to DO even if I tick ONE thing off the crazy list when I have a window of opportunity to take a bit of time off baby duty, however small. I’m trying so hard to observe the universal advice that you need to let go of everything except looking after the baby; when she’s awake, that’s a no brainer, but when she’s asleep…This crazy “must – get – it all – done” voice takes over, and I feel overwhelmed by the sense that “time’s winged chariot is drawing near” and life, and my mind, take on a frantic quality. It’s hard to let go of a former psychology so quickly – the sorry fact is, that I have allowed my self esteem to be hinged on very rocky foundations; achievements that sit in the material, and outside of the Self. Apparently I measure myself, my self – worth, by how tidy the flat is, how much writing I manage to get done, how much I weigh, how existential my thoughts are, how quickly and in depth I respond to messages…I feel like I’m falling behind in my career; as though everything I’ve worked so hard for will come to nothing and worst of all.. And I don’t want to admit this to myself… That other people around me will do “better” even though I have put in so much dogged hard work and they haven’t done half of what I’ve done (and there are many more embarrassingly superficial thoughts like that swilling around on occasion). I’m even fighting the urge to measure myself against how happy my baby seems to be. That would be so utterly unfair on her that I have an inbuilt motivation to stop that from happening, but if she seems unhappy.. Or stressed… My self esteem takes a little knock. But this isn’t an exact science, is it? LIFE isn’t an exact science. It’s damn messy. All of my ideas… What I have built my foundations on.. Feel like absolute bullshit. None of it matters. All of the thoughts I have about falling behind “out there…” They are rooted in nothing but an illusion. Being here, bringing up this amazing bundle of life, is really sledgehammering me over the head with that. THIS is the reality. The purity of human existence. The stupidity, futility, of what I used to think was so important is so clear to me now; but that is terrifying, and despite knowing that… I can’t quite let go of it. What then, do I have left? Now I’m rebuilding my outlook from the ground up, and that seems like a lot of hard work. Does this happen to everyone who has a baby? How do they cope?
Hang on. Baby stirring. A warning. I should go to the loo & shower or the day will run away from me and I’ll be smelly and irritable. Not a good situation at all.
Damn. Even my writing is mega chaotic. What are the points I’m trying to make? Clarity is not forthcoming at the moment.