I went out for dinner with a couple of friends last night. It’s not something I do that often, or even something I really want to do very often – in fact in the run up to going out with people I’m usually tempted to cancel; I feel tired and misanthropic and generally disconnected and just want to curl up with the internet for a couple of hours.

But anyway, I went last night and it was really lovely. It was nice to get a little catch up time with humans outside of my usual circle of interaction.

Then I came home and it was after midnight so I collapsed into sleep pretty quickly and had stress dreams about going back into my classes to try to explain that I wouldn’t be coming back, and all my classes were messed up and I was a bit “well, not my circus”, except these are young people whose maths I’ve nurtured for years and I don’t really feel great about walking away from it.

But it’s midterm now, so the guilt is a bit reduced.

I’m feeling so much better from not working too, and that counteracts the guilt. I mean, for a few minutes every day I tend to wonder if I’m in fact well enough that I should be back at work, but then I remember the pain and stress and anxiety I was experiencing every day and I know it would just kick back in with force, and even though there’s only another 4 weeks before my maternity leave, I don’t really think I could manage.

It’s so counter to the internal picture that I have of myself, this “not managing” self. I like to think of myself as stoic and the type who’ll push through pain and discomfort, who dines on stress and leans in and does more and more and more.

And sometimes I’m that person, but put a baby inside me and I panic. Any twinge of discomfort becomes not something for me to deal with, but rather a potential threat to his life. And that’s where I start to not be able to deal. I’m basically forced to be far more gentle on myself with regards to rest and nutrition and sleep and everything in life. If I weren’t pregnant I’d be giving myself some serious “cop the fuck on” talks these days.

In other news, the result of our planning application has been appealed. Right on the very last day too. We’ve no extra information beyond the fact that it’s been appealed; we don’t know who’s lodged the appeal and we don’t know their purported grounds for appeal. I suspect it’s going to be related to the sight-lines for the exit, but I’m also trying to speculate a little less. It’s going to be another 5-6 months before we have a decision and of course I’m already going straight to the place of wanting to plan for a potential refusal of permission for us.

I don’t think it’s likely to be refused. Neither does G. Nor do any other informed people.

And yet.

There’s a non-zero probability and it’s kind of a terrifying prospect. Nearly two years of our lives have gone into planning for this project. I honestly thought we’d be long out of this house by now, and now we’re looking at the guts of another year here, and how much longer if we’re refused planning? Forever? Not to mention the cost we’ve already sunk into it. I want to say that we can’t afford to write that off, and yet that’s exactly what we’d have to do.

So, like I said. Terrifying. Somewhat devastating. I don’t know how we’d even plan our way out from that point. I don’t know what options would remain to us that we could afford to do. I like to assume that there would still be something we could do that would allow us to build more than one house on this property, but the ins and outs of traffic restrictions and the busy road we adjoin might mean it becomes unlikely.

But there’s not a lot of point in spending a lot of time in that future because there are just too many unknowns to account for and it’s (potentially needlessly) stressful. After all, I’m either going to have to go through all the stress again in real life, or it won’t matter anyway.

So, I’m giving myself until the details of the appeal are made available (I’m speculating that will be about a week) to remain a bit obsessive and then cut it off and live our lives in this house as best we can.

And we can.

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