My inner toddler is running full force this afternoon as I face into impending holidays and the fiddly odds and ends of a year’s worth of “to-dos”.
I don’t want to. I don’t want to be writing here. I don’t want to stop eating even though I’m full. I don’t want to tidy the sitting room. I don’t want to correct exam scripts. I definitely don’t want to deal with the personnel change of yet another student from the relay team for this coming Sunday’s race. I don’t want to do the yoga session that I know I should in order to stretch out my aching muscles. I don’t want to cook dinner this evening. I don’t want to have to deal with the bedtime routine of my children. I don’t want to sit in this house, but I don’t want to go anywhere either. I don’t want to be responsible. I don’t want to be sensible. I don’t want to try or think. But I don’t want to sleep. I don’t want to be frugal, but I don’t want to buy anything either. I don’t want myself for company and God knows I don’t want to talk to anyone. I don’t want to worry, I don’t want to plan, I. Just. Don’t. Want. To.
For sure this is a state of mind that alcohol would accelerate me out of. But at what cost? Certainly at the cost of the evening, and some of my energy the next day. No doubt at the cost of the habit I’ve been building up; of my new, raw identity as a person who doesn’t drink. But what about that hidden cost – the one I’ve been paying for 22 years. The cost of listening to myself and figuring out what’s going on instead of hiding.
Maybe there’s a message here, when I get all antsy and cranky. Maybe this is a potential breakthrough moment and there’s part of me on the other side of this that I haven’t spent very much (if any) time allowing to come through.
I don’t like this feeling. I don’t even think I’d describe it as depressed. I don’t feel sad. I don’t feel happy. I just don’t feel like there’s anything I want to do. At all. It feels pretty intolerable to sit with this. I want to launch off into an exciting and motivating future. I want to imagine myself and all the things I could do, but I most assuredly do not actually want to do any of them. I might want to sleep. But just in order to wait this mood (or lack of mood?) out. I could eat junk and watch TV. Self-medicate away my non-self.
I’m currently drinking coffee that I don’t even want. My eyelids are heavy and tired. I feel weighted down and I just want to get to the end of doing this so that I can find something else to distract myself with. God bless the Internet, right? I can always find a distraction of choice there.
And eventually this cloud will lift and I’ll see joy and exuberance in future tasks and potential.
I think that right now, I’m a bit scared of the future. I’m a bit scared of the offer of 3 months that belong all to me (well, okay, somewhat to me). Previous years I’ve been buoyed by the fantasy of doing all those things I had promised to myself and yet put on the long finger. But I’m old hat now. I know that the Summer doesn’t quite work that way. The Summer is deceptively short, and the promised 12 weeks of “me” time is in reality far less; pared away by parental responsibilities, social commitments, attempts to put a structure on the living environment and a thousand other small cuts through which the time bleeds out.
And exhaustion. I start off with exhaustion. Some of it valid from the last herculean push and pull of tying together all those loose ends. Feats of mental flexibility in juggling the hundred small tasks that need to be completed by thousandth second micro-deadlines throughout the end of this week. But some of the exhaustion is just a rebound reaction to the pressure coming off and the lie of an Endless Summer stretching to the horizon, waiting to be filled by my life’s potential.
I don’t know if it’s better to pull back and set realistic targets and deal with the depression that accompanies that truth, or to shoot for the moon, get excited about possibilities (Oh! how I love to live in possibility!) but ultimately disappointed when I fail to catch the moon.
Maybe there’s a happy medium. But today … I. Don’t. Want. To.