Hi New Year!

I can barely remember what was going on in my life this time a year ago. I do recall we got rid of our bed and moved into the sitting room and onto the pull-out couch. The bed had broken slats and kept collapsing in the middle of the night, causing me significant back-pain. At the time I thought it would be a matter of months before we would be moving out into rental accommodation and preparing for the build of the new house.

I thought “there’s NO WAY we’ll still be here this time next year”. I couldn’t conceive of delays that would be that long.

But look. Here we are. And facing into another 8 or 9 months here to boot.

Everything takes so much longer than you expect it to.

It turns out that, at least for a brief amount of time, my back got better on the pull-out couch. But I hated that feeling that we were camping in our own house, a feeling that got compounded by a number of other things breaking down – notably our hob, which we replaced with one of those two-ring, plug-in yokies. Then one of the rings on that broke. And it hadn’t been all that great to start with.

We’ve subsequently replaced both bed and hob and living in the space we have is actually a lot more pleasant than it was this time last year. The ever-problem of dog-hair still exists, of course. There’s no escaping that until the dogs’ lives are done. I don’t wish them dead for the sake of a cleaner house, but they definitely contribute to a generalised atmosphere of grime and dirt. All future dogs to be the non-shedding kind!

For the first time in years I didn’t complete my New Year’s Even cleaning ritual. And I’m okay with that. To begin with, half of the day was taken up with a torturous ante-natal appointment where I got over-heated and felt ill, and then felt overwhelmed and ended up crying in the corridors of the maternity hospital. It’s just so hot and uncomfortable there and you always have to wait for at least two hours on these seats that cause your pregnant back to go into spasm, getting overwhelmingly hot and – in my case at least – faint and unwell. Sitting down, my heart rate was up in the hundreds, and even though my resting rate has increased from 48 to 72, that’s still bloody high for not moving around.

I don’t think there’s much to be done about it though. I mean – there’s nothing the staff can do about it, and they’re doing their best to get through the lists as fast as they can. However, the corridors are hot and airless and the offices are actually lovely and cool, so I wonder if they really appreciate quite how bad it is for us.

So the house is not the temporary sparkling miracle that we usually get to experience for all of 2-3 days before it descends back into its usual chaos.

That’s okay. I’m considering being less extreme in my approach to stuff like this in life. I mean, first of all, there’s a lot to be said for “good enough”. Secondly, I feel like I should probably concentrate more on a “slow and steady” maintainable kind of life, rather than one that swings through intense periods of obsession on one thing that then gets abandoned.

The thing is, I get a bit scared that without that intense, obsessive streak, I’ll never again create anything in my life. Just spend my days tapping away at the margins. Doodling, then cleaning, then reading the internet and then – whoops! – it’s time for bed again. Another day done. Another meal cooked. Another child washed (or sometimes unwashed) and sent to bed. Click-clack and reset and do it all again.

It’s not a bad life at all though, all the same. Right now I’m feeling pretty happy with the lot I’ve been dealt. Bubble is making her presence felt fairly regularly, and that helps with the anxiety. Of course now I feel like there’s pretty little space left in my heart for the possibility that she doesn’t come home with us in about seven weeks’ time. I could try fooling myself into it, but my brain is pretty firmly in the camp that’s expecting an addition to our family now. I don’t think it ever got there before we had the boys, but now I’ve two living examples of the outcome of pregnancy and I’m firmly expecting more of the same.

Please don’t break my heart. I don’t even know who I’m asking that of.

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