I woke this morning feeling rested for the first time in what feels like weeks. The past few days have been emotionally fraught, but now I feel like I’ve lanced a boil that had been festering for more than the three days of emotional lability which I’ve just come out of.
Number one thing I’m taking is that sleep is more crucial than I’d even realised. Okay, I’m at least partially activated in this by a You Are Not So Smart podcast on the effects of sleep deprivation, but there was also the night of 2.5 sleep hours from last Thursday that may well have been impacting my emotional state.
But the big new thing is about connection – connection between me and G. It had felt lost. The ships in the night, partners in parenting thing has been taking it’s toll. You know, I guess that life is pretty boring and predictable and so I don’t feel the need to share much of my daily existence outside my head. But then little by little all the stuff of life got eroded to nothing.
Like, we have two big projects that we’re working on together and we’re neck deep in both of those and understanding both of those. But discussions of child-rearing and house-building are not enough to sustain a relationship. I realised that while I knew all of the actions my husband takes throughout a standard day, I had no idea of how his days feel to him, nor he about mine.
The fact that I write here and he reads here is probably somewhat helpful in sharing a little brainspace, but this isn’t me – this is a twenty to thirty minute cross-section of my thoughts on waking, thoughts that are pretty changeable, and not particularly examined before I vomit them up onto the page.
So last night we talked and cuddled for about an hour before sleep. We’ve been doing stuff together: movies, dinners, day trips out – but we’ve somehow been managing to do it all without any real connection. During the day, time spent together is filthy with childcare and they are really bloody demanding and interruptive in a way that simply wouldn’t have been tolerated from me as a child. But that might well be the issue; I still remember the burning shame of being told to be quiet because the adults were talking; how unimportant and how uninteresting I was – it’s still there in me and I didn’t want to pass it on. But the gentle messages doing seem to be carrying through and we need and deserve some time that isn’t completely polluted by their inane chatter.
Also, what kinds of toxic adults are we raising that can’t wait for their turn to speak.
Then the rare evening that we escape together for a movie or some such is polluted by exhaustion. A movie that we sit through in parallel is about the height of my ability for wakeful interaction by the time 9pm has passed.
Of course most evenings don’t even rise to that exalted level of excitement and together time. Most evenings I’m glued to a chair or begrudgingly battling dog hair and dishes, or tamping down the frustration that bedtime evokes in me. Most evenings I’m brimful of self-disappointment in the nothing of the day that I’ve had, where I feel I’ve disappeared into the roles of teacher, mother, middle-aged keeping fit human and (occasionally) housekeeper so thoroughly that there’s no space left for the creature I desire myself to be. No time, no energy, just another day ticked off and the hope that I might magically change it all the future.
But of course, without any solid scheme by which that could occur, what am I really expecting to change?
The universe will not change on its own – I mean mine, my universe will not be altered without myself first altering.
I think I know this and I’m therefore constantly searching for different and new and exciting takes on life and myself, but I think I’m failing to address the underlying issues.
And yeah, I don’t even necessarily know what those underlying issues are, but change for change’s sake won’t be the solution. I can be pretty confident in that.
Ultimately I think it might all just be a quest to feel less lonely. Only connect and all of that. The rest – all the judgement and striving and battling and expounding and performing – all that can just fall to the wayside.