Both with (strong, unsweetened) coffee and with strong, not sweet alcohol like red wine, I have notice a similar reaction to having just poured a cup or glass of the stuff – I’m hesitant to drink it. I guess the tense should be past when it comes to wine, but that’s not really relevant to the observation: maybe I don’t like bitter flavours as much as I imagine I do.

Once I’ve taken that first sip, I’m very happy to finish the whole thing, but the first sip definitely has a “shudder” reaction to the bitter flavour. I suppose there might not be any strong conclusions to draw from that. I was thinking that there’s some indication that maybe those were things I’ve been drinking more for the enjoyment of their effects than for the taste.

Well, I guess that’s true! I enjoy the ceremony and image of drinking coffee, and I enjoy the smell of it brewing too, but the reason I drink it is because of its physical effects on me. It wakes me up, it lifts my mood a bit – those are the main two. I’ve used it, in its time to suppress appetite – it’s pretty effective at that, but has the side effect of getting a bit jittery. I tend to say that I’m not hungry for breakfast in the morning, but maybe if I didn’t drink coffee I would be.

My writing this morning is pretty slow going. It’s hard to block out the sounds and distractions of my children. Twin2 has been asking me to draw the skeleton of pictures for him (e.g. houses or boats) to which he can add smoking chimneys, giants and monsters. It’s cute and adorable, but he has a need to narrate his process to me and get acknowledgement at every step. Now he wants to draw a map, so I’m noping out and directing him towards his father who’s busy folding laundry.

I’ve ambivalent feelings about all of this. I often felt ignored and that my interests were unimportant, as a child. And hey, children’s interests are kind of boring beyond the initial 20 minutes of “how cute” (and you don’t even get that unless they’re your own children!). But I think a certain amount of attention and interest is appropriate and part of parenting. We need to not just react at our instinctive levels of interest. It’s a good thing that we’re programmed to be naturally interested in our offspring. And then, typing that, I start to feel even more disappointed at how uninteresting me and my accomplishments seemed to those around me.

And also, I feel like they should be developing a certain amount of independent and self-driven exploration and learning. I imagine a child whose parents hover and give constant feedback and affirmation result in teenagers and adults with an over-inflated sense of their own importance.

All the same, I’ve drawn two houses, two boats (for twin 2) and two sets of the solar system – for twin 1 to colour in. And I do pause mid-way through a sentence in order to respond to whatever seems to be interesting to them.

I think the effects of feeling unimportant are worse. Maybe I’m robbing them of the chance to develop early resilience, but then again, maybe it doesn’t matter too much right now. They’re four. Spoil them while they’re still babies. When their brains have developed a bit more, we can take the necessary steps towards developing resilience.

***

Another distraction and another, but anyway, I’ve already completed my “MIT” (Most Important Task) for today – sleep. I’ve been feeling really behind on sleep this week and I felt like I was experiencing some not great physical side effects to go along with that, such as chest discomfort and lower than usual mood. Sleep is so very bloody important and we tend to whittle away at its edges like it’s an infinite resource pool from which we can draw to feed the other areas of our lives.

For the rest of the day, well, my cup runneths the hell over for sure, so I’m not going to worry about the over-arching to-do list of my life; I want to do the following today:

  • Catch up on Sleep (tick!)
  • Get in a short run and shower.
  • Clean up house stuff.
  • Get a bit of reading and relaxation for self-maintenance.
  • Spend time with family in a non-stressed way.

I guess dinner will have to be cooked. I care so very little about making dinner tonight though. Maybe we can get some nice fresh fish from the fishmongers around the corner from us.

So now, a day, another day ahead. When everything seems to be pressing down with urgency, it feels like suddenly nothing is all that important.

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