I’m back in my own home. The children are in bed, the husband is close to 6,000km away and the dogs are in kennels.

At least the fish were alive on our return this time.

It’s super quiet now that the children are in bed. I’m not hungry, but I kind of want to eat because I don’t quiet know what else to do. I’m super tired after a day of packing and driving and I want a reward and I don’t feel like unpacking yet, or putting on washing or even drawing or doing much of anything really. Isn’t that a terribly immature me-me-me attitude? I mean, it’s not like I’m completely bereft of energy, or else I’d just go to bed. I was pretty sleepy when we walked in the door, but I had to push through that coz, kids, but now I don’t really want to just go to sleep. I want to be entertained and coddled. Oh, and what’s more – I’m just back from a holiday where the point of at least on full day was the fete-ing of me.

I have nothing to complain about.

But I’m all grizzly and cantankerous inside and I want. I want to feel rewarded and light and worry-free and cozy and cocooned and rocked away in tender arms, and to feel only beauty and love and light on me. I want to be the princess inside a cushioned glass ball – keep the rest of the universe out for a while, for an evening, while I get to be amazing and all important and all in my brain for the evening.

And if I can do that, then I’ll get back to the grindstone the next day. That’s fair, right? That’s a fair exchange?

Except that, supposing I got such a thing, all I’d want is more of it and for longer. Every day.

Remember drinking? Remember how life paled in comparison to escaping from it?

Remember how I’ve never truly escaped that habit?

I think I’m approaching a change of ways. I think I’m starting to want to live my life just slightly, slightly more than I want to blot it out. But that old familiar whinging voice is still ringing through my mind “I deserve, I deserve, I deserve!“.

There are no predictable payouts to life, and so I’m demanding all the rewards I can get up front, as soon as possible, paid in advance for the good and productive life that I’m so convinced I’m going to live in the future. And then so disappointed in not achieving. And how could I ever have achieved it anyway when I was too busy looking for what remuneration I could grab from life, not realising that the life lived in actually the reward.

I hear statements like that a lot. They’re practically crying out to be pasted in big white letters across a poster of a kitten, or someone climbing a mountain or something like that. And, without thinking too hard about it, I feel pretty “yeah, sure, I agree with that” about that kind of attitude. Focus on the journey, mindful moments, yeah, no really, it makes sense. But it doesn’t really resonate with me. It feels like a lot of worthy work.

You know the things I’ve really been passionate about in my life – even when they’ve taken a lot of work – haven’t felt like work all the same. But focusing on the journey? Being mindful and grateful and slowing down and appreciating and noticing every single fucking boring moment and being in them instead of in my head living out the amazing “Fantasy Story of Me” (with a really eclectic, witty soundtrack that showcases my soul on another level). Yeah. That feels like work.

Is it maybe the work? Is it maybe the thing that – if I get it right – will still the constant gnawing hunger for escape that lies inside of me? Or is it an indication that it’s the wrong path? Like, I think you can sometimes call a relationship or a job or an endeavour “too much work” in a pretty accurate “this is the wrong thing to actually be doing, it just doesn’t mesh with you” sort of a way.

Am I just bashing my head off a brick wall here? Am I ever going to make more progress, or will I sit around each evening expecting there to be fireworks and celebrations just because time has ticked itself through to the 9pm of yet another turn of the planet.

God, non-religious, just an expression of emphasis God, I hope not. It will get better and different. I will get better and different – just possibly, probably a microscopic change at a time.

I must do.