I’m going to have to be careful in the mornings for the next week or so in order to make sure that I get writing done. I have to remind myself that it’s part of my “medicine”, that it helps keep me grounded and functional and a tiny bit sane.

I just don’t really feel like I’ve anything to say. No, wait. I don’t feel like I’ve anything new to say. I want to run over the same ground again and again like a broken record and I don’t feel like it has a whole load of value to anyone outside of myself. So, bear with me – or – feel free to skip reading anything I post here for the next, oh, couple of weeks anyway.

I’ll start with house stuff. We got approved for (conditional) planning permission for the new house we want to build. Yay! Very exciting. But those seven people who objected to our plans get four weeks within which to appeal the decision. It’s really really likely that at least one of them will do so, but I can’t quite squash away the hope that maybe, just maybe they’ll let it go. That they’ll let us just do what we need to do.

If they appeal, it goes to the head planning honchos up in Dublin and then we’re going to be waiting another 6 months approximately before we hear the decision there. And when a decision does finally come through, it’s likely to involve even further conditions and changes to the plans.

That’s assuming they grant permission. I feel fairly positive that they’ll hold up the original decision, but … you know, nothing’s guaranteed.

Anyway, the deadline for appeals is next Tuesday. The 30th of October. So naturally I’m checking the planning website each evening (updates seem to come in by 8:30 pm at the latest each day), with my heart in my mouth, expecting to see our status shift from “DECISION MADE” to “APPEALED”, hoping to see no change, and hoping that seeing no change means that it’s getting less and less likely to have actually been appealed.

But stuff doesn’t work like that. Anyone who appeals is going to have needed the majority of those four weeks in order to get all the paperwork together. Also, it’s kind of Shroedinger’s appeal in that it might have already happened, but we just don’t know about it. The appeal goes off to Dublin, who then inform Cork, who then inform us. The whole process takes 3 – 6 days. It’s yet another week before their website seems to get updated.

The upshot is this: my obsessive evenings spent checking are accomplishing nothing. I just feel like they are. Each day I anxiously wait for 8:30 to roll around so that I can check the website and feel like I’ve actually done something to fight the fight for our plans. I suppose it gives me some kind of a sense of control over something over which I’ve no control. It’s a pointless waste of time and mental energy, but because it has an end point, I suppose I’ve just been letting myself do it.

I should probably just stop all the same. That would probably be a step towards better mental health.

I’ve a similar thing going on with my pregnancy. Even though the end date is further away, I’m still killing hours with time spent on apps and forums, trying to pull myself along the rope of an invisible timeline.

Twenty-four weeks, twenty-four weeks is playing over and over like a drum-beat in the back of my mind. Like, if I can just get there, if I can just get there, I’ll have won some definitive prize. Like, if I reach that magical number I’m guaranteed a baby.

But there are no such guarantees. And deep down I know this, which is why there’s no real allaying of my constant fears and anxieties. There are only rituals to perform to help keep the dark at bay whilst I move through day after day, dragging myself painstakingly closer to the end goal.

Twenty-four weeks is a way-station though, and then there’s the next way-station of anomaly scan, and after that there’ll be another and another and another, until I get to the end.

And then I deliver mental punches to myself for getting so far ahead, for getting so presumptuous to think past tomorrow – to think past today even.

So I’ll spend another day obsessing over the fact that my belly doesn’t seem to be growing, that baby-bubble has slowed down on his movement over the last couple of days, that the house plans might not get appealed ….

Or maybe I’ll just develop new worries and obsessions instead like how maybe the twins are under-nourished and I’m not taking care of them properly and I should fight more about dinners….

Or maybe I’ll just worry about death for the whole day. That’s an old favourite.

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