I tend to make an assumption that if I don’t need to get out for a run in the morning then I’ve all the time in the world. But time doesn’t work that way.
We have a birthday party to attend at 11am, which seems like a grand and late morning start for something, but it turns out that sleeping in ’til 8:30 means there’s not as much time as one would have expected.
So, I’m feeling time pressure here, feeling a bit like I’m ticking a box rather than getting all that much of worth out of what I’m writing. But regardless, I need to take some time to enjoy my cup of coffee before I get going with the morning, so I have at least that length of time to prattle away here.
I’ve been having a recurring thought around writing – I mean writing a story, like. It feels presumptive. I’m married to someone whose job is to write and who has recently secured a book deal with a major publisher for his first two novels. So any noodling I would do in the realm of writing would pale in comparison to that. And it’s not even that I’m looking to do writing for anything other than my own satisfaction, but I feel like the very act of even thinking about writing a story somehow encroaches on my husband’s territory – or, not that exactly. But it definitely triggers “who do I think I am?” feelings and self-judgement and assumptions of external judgement.
And then there’s the fact that I’m hugely lazy. I feel thoroughly confident that I don’t have it in me to finish writing a story, let alone a book. On a good day I might get through a poem. Look at these blog posts for example – I can’t keep a solid train of thought for even 750 words for christ’s sake! The only reason I even to manage to write these as consistently as I do is because I allow them to be complete stream-of-whatever-the-fuck-I-feel-like on any given morning.
There are a couple of different conceits that I’d like to somehow shape into a story, and they keep racing around in my head begging for some kind of a structure to give it all a story-shape.
Who has the time anyway? I have two unfinished comics on the go that need my story-shaping attention. I have a household that needs management attention. I have a job. Oh god do I have a job – one that starts back on Monday morning. I’m really not feeling it right now. I guess teaching is a vocation, right? Some days I feel I’ve lost it though – I want more time for me, time for my own life that isn’t eaten up by the needs of hundreds of partially formed teenagers. Sure, there’s a certain attraction to it and all, and it feels good when it’s going well, but it is a monster, it’s like a child, or children in its own right – and one that never grows up or gains its own independence because we’re trapped forever in this time bubble that keeps resetting itself; first year through to sixth year; 12 to 18, over and over again.
If I were independently wealthy, I would be very happy to be a lady of leisure. Have I said this before? I’m pretty sure that this blog must be getting pretty damned repetitious at this stage. Anyway, I don’t mean sitting around watching TV and eating bon-bons and drinking chardonnay and that kind of thing – but taking the time to pursue my own artistic and intellectual interests with no pressure to make it pay in anyway, with no need to satisfy anyone’s artistic sensibilities, only my own.
This is what I envisage for retirement to be honest. It seems such a shame that I have to wait until retirement in order to live that life. Meanwhile, I’m doing the best I can within the constraints of a job-tied life. I’ve chosen a job with a big fat gap in the year that’s all for me. And look – how much advantage have I taken of that over the years? I’ve had nearly the equivalent of two years of Summer holidays to “spend” since I’ve started teaching, and how have I spent them? I know, I know I’ve had excuses – small children, IVF, depression, general problems of laziness in my own personality, etc.
So. Do better? Or at least realise the opportunities that actually do exist for me rather than lamenting everything not being handed to me on a silver platter each day. Because that’s never going to happen.