It’s just a week to Christmas now. Just two weeks left in this year. Is it time to start looking back and recapping?
It’s easy to think this year has just been about baby and book and house, and suppose that’s taken up the majority of it, but baby wasn’t even a notion until late April when we suddenly realised that the expiry date for our frozen embryos was coming up that June. So there must have been some other stuff going on.
In the first half of the year I was concentrating a lot on writing, and it felt like it was going well for me too. I’ve lost that motivation now, and it really does feel like the wrong time of the year to be trying to get it back on track.
I often find that when I’ve used a motivational or psychological tool – even to great success – and then dropped it for whatever reason; desire for novelty; feeling like I don’t need it anymore; that kind of thing – it becomes a huge struggle to pick it back up again. It’s like I’ve developed some kind of immunity – although, do you call it tolerance rather than immunity in cases like this? Regardless, it’s tough work re-establishing patterns, patterns that were a whole lot easier to pick up the first time.
Maybe the number one motivator with anything is excitement, and the easiest way to establish excitement is through novelty. Lose the novelty and you’ve got a real uphill battle to trigger the same kind of determination and focus.
I’ve often found that applying alcohol to “old” situations can make them feel new again. But not really fresh. It’s like painting over a mouldy wall without cleaning it first. The rot is still in there, and it’s going to seep through sooner rather than later.
If you clean up the mould (mold? how is that word even spelled?) properly, like, then you don’t need the paint.
Same with life. If you don’t do the work on the underlying issues, the hard, annoying – probably gross in some sections – work, then it doesn’t matter what kind of salve you apply, you’re still stuck with the same framework: the you that makes up the centre of all your problems. And all your potential too.
But! (Says I) I get tired. And I crave quick fixes. In my memories it was all so much easier, so much more accessible. Nowadays life seems so clogged with things that seem like so much clutter, but at the same time lots of these are the crucial living parts of life.
We have to eat dinner every night. But right now I’m exhausted by the mere thought of deciding on, preparing or even eating another single meal. Even the simplest possible one I can do.
But it’s the 5,000 dinners as a routine that become one big thing in the future, when our children are grown and everything melts together into one giant impression of childhood for them. Missing one dinner, fine. Once or twice a week being abandoned to sausages while the adults take some adult brain-space for themselves – a pattern, but also ultimately fine, I think. But to never sit down together and drag our tired brains into communion with one another. I think that’s something you’d look back on and think it’s weird.
And we have such a nice new table to sit around together now.
Oh, so yesterday’s 3 hour appointment bore some strange fruit (thankfully not of the Nina Simone variety!). I must now take metformin which helps metabolise sugars better. I took my first dose last night at dinner time and this morning for the first time in about 3 weeks, my fasting glucose levels were in the target range. And I didn’t have to starve myself in order to make it happen!
So again, two weeks to the end of the year. I’m not going to give up on my aspirations of creativity and a more fulfilling life. After all, what if these two weeks were all I have left to me? Wouldn’t I want to have lived them as close to the person I’m striving to be as possible? But all the same, it’s a cluttered, crowded time of the year, so I can be a bit gentle with myself over what I push myself to get done.
And enjoy it. Not just feel obliged to hit targets but actually enjoy these days. This time of life won’t come again and just because it’s not as iconic as schooldays, or as exciting and novel as college, I know I’ll look back and regret it if I don’t suck the marrow out of these days too.