I haven’t been writing here over the past couple of days, not because I haven’t been writing, but because I’ve been writing elsewhere. I’m finding that the more frequently I write, the more excited I get about the story. The act of having spent a portion of my day in the world I’m building seems to have the effect of pulling me into the world during the rest of the day; spare thoughts get filled with thoughts of different character’s motivations, etc. etc. I know it’s going to need a ton of work and reshaping before it’s fit for the consumption of anyone outside of myself, but I’m still at the “fun” stage of the craft.
Like with everything in life, I bet that would change if it were an actual job. I can imagine that if I had a deadline and income riding on my writing then the pressure would kill off that joyful little mudpool portion of my brain where character development and story are bubbling to the surface.
I’ve also been trying to keep on top of drawing. I started a second of my “This is forty” self-portraits. The outline sketch is done and I’m pretty pleased with it, but I need to spend a few more hours polishing and shading. I’d intended on doing just that last night but I became wracked with nausea and exhaustion to the extent that I felt unable to even lift my arms, and I was asleep before 9pm.
I have a question to ask myself though: was it (at least in part) psychosomatic?
The twins have chickenpox and are home from school and will be for one or two full weeks. This is, of course, having a huge impact on G’s day and his working. Someone has to mind them, and that someone can’t leave the house either. G’s work is more flexible than mine, and while he has deadline’s to consider, he can make up some work in the evenings (not at zero cost to his mental and physical health though) in a way that I can’t.
It’s not my fault – it’s not anyone’s fault – that the children are sick. But all the same, I feel guilty and sad and worried and responsible. It’s some kind of latent parent-the-world instinct that’s coming out, I guess.
Anyway, I feel guilty, but there’s nothing I can do about it. The house is messy and cluttered. I must skip my run, I certainly can’t draw or do anything fun in the fact of my husband’s huge sacrifice – what I should do is tidy the place up, make it a better environment in which to live during those hours I’m at work.
But I don’t want to do that. It’s Thursday and it’s been a long one and I feel tired and deserving of a break too. In truth I don’t want to run, and I don’t want to draw. I just want to eat and zone out from life and responsibility for a bit. And the sick children who just want to cuddle with me for 5, 20, 60+ minutes make the perfect guilt-free excuse for that.
Except for afterwards when I should get up and do some helpful stuff, and I still don’t want to. And now I start feeling sick. Like waves of nausea, arms like lead type of sick. So I lay down for another while thinking maybe it will pass. But it doesn’t pass, and I drift into sleep while the boys are winding down towards the end of their day, and G cleans up and dresses them for bed and continues to do all the stuff. Then I grump around looking for a charger for my phone before using the tv as a radio to get me off to sleep.
And I can’t help wondering, as I wake this morning, and now that I’m no longer directly experiencing the leaden limbs and the horrible debilitating nausea, I can’t help wondering – did I make it up? Not on purpose of course, never that, but did I somehow kind of exaggerate and use it as an excuse? Was I genuinely ill? Was I maybe just absolutely exhausted? And if I was so exhausted, then why? I don’t feel like I’m doing anything in my life that should be reducing me to needing a shit-ton of sleep, of being at the point of near collapse.
I guess the truth – as ever – lies somewhere in the middle. True exhaustion, maybe even a little fallout from that flu from which I never truly recovered, coupled with “but what about me!” thoughts brought it about.
I guess I’m not going to know for sure. But I’ll try to be a little more aware.