Life is easier to manage when it’s predictable and stable and “no alarms and no surprises”. However. It’s hard not to miss the feeling of excitement and adventure that comes along with a change in circumstances. I love the feeling like I don’t mind waking early, that I’m even excited to wake up and explore the world.
This morning I am not excited to wake up. I know what the world has in store for me. Right now it has about half an hour of frustration as I struggle through 30 second bursts of writing and the inability to even complete a sentence before I have to manage the behaviour or emotions of one of the children.
Then I feel guilty. Guilty for trying to take 30 minutes to myself when morning times are already so busy, and frustrated because it should have only been 15 minutes, but the constant interruptions stretches it out like sticky toffee. And guilty too, because if I’d just woken up earlier it wouldn’t have been such a big deal and now I wouldn’t be calling on G. to drug the children with iPads or whatever so that I can steal a few minutes of peace.
And it’s predictable, right? I’ve already done the calculation. To write in peace, I need to wake up at 6:40. But I stayed up late last night – admittedly working, but spending some time afterwards not working, when I could have been sleeping. But … I didn’t make that choice. So it’s my fault.
Ugh, fault is such a loaded word. Its introduction into a situation is a surefire step to the brain’s search for excuses and slimy wrangling and trying to wriggle out of being blamed, so hiding from itself and from any useful sliver of truth that might be in there.
Let’s try this again. I made some choices last night. Some of them will have good immediate knock-on effects. For instance, I will get to hand the 5th years back their tests today and that will feel good. I’ve another 3 piles of correcting left to do and it also feels good to have the largest one cleared. I didn’t spend the evening on anything that makes our immediate environment nicer. I didn’t spend the evening on anything that was in my Important for Life box – I didn’t draw or meditate or anything like that. The correcting could have waited. I could have pushed it off until next week and nothing would really have ultimately suffered except that I’d have been carrying it around in my brain a little longer. But it would have gotten done within an extra week.
So, okay. I made a different choice and then I felt a bit wired and tired and didn’t sleep immediately. And then it was after 1am before I went to sleep. And then it was super difficult to wake up early enough to write in comfort.
And here I am. Feeling small and petty and wound up in a spiral of frustration and guilt. Oooh and guilt is such an evil emotion. When I feel guilty I find it so unbearable that I seek around to lay the blame on someone else. I start to feel crabbid and snappish and my brain feels black on the inside filled with sulky commentary: “Yeah, well, I could be late in my writing if everyone else would just behave, move faster, stop bugging me, change in some undefined way that I don’t want to think too hard about, be different!
What a way to start the morning!
Very much the opposite of feeling joy and adventure and potential in life.
Can’t I change things around? I’m not destined to be stuck here in sulks and frustration, am I? Well, I’ve got approximately 124 words to change my brain state.
Let’s think of some things I am excited about today: Yeah, giving the 5th years back their results and charging forward with some new maths. Not hugely looking forward to the 3 hours to be spent on the Open Night this evening, but I’m looking forward to it being in my past, rather than hanging over me! I’m looking forward to being one day closer to the weekend. I’m looking forward to maybe doing some drawing tonight. I have a picture in mind and even though I haven’t had the energy to turn it into a reality yet, I think I can get a version of it down on paper before midnight tomorrow. That will still count as Friday, right? I’m pleased with my long run yesterday, and even though this week is all broken up and difficult, I know that I’m doing a better job with it than last year’s deli, or the year before that.
So. Hi Thursday, let’s peel you open like a present and see what adventures you have to offer.