I have this disease where I think that each day has thirty-six hours for me to fill, and I cram too much into them to handle and so I never relax. Then I become a bitter and twisted dragon lady at home.
And I have a tendency to moan about how busy my life is and blame other people for my poor time management.
Life has been batshit crazy busy lately, what with a wonderful inundation of family visits, work pressure and our habitual dysfunctional family shenanigans. My nerves have felt frayed, and at times my life has felt as though the walls are closing in around me and I can’t breathe without the aid of wine, because I’ve committed myself to far too many things.
And it turns out that there are only 24 hours in every day.
And even on the weekends, when I have forced myself to go to the beach or the local pool for an hour, or out to dinner, (and more out of a duty to the old man and our marriage than because I genuinely wanted to), I have felt that threatening, bubbling pressure boil within me and then I secretly blame the old man for heaping even more stress onto me.
It’s hard to find an outlet or ‘escape’ sometimes, and to remember why ‘escape’ is so important to our sanity.
Quick-fix escape has become a bottle of wine, or a refreshing swim, a nice meal out or a bar of chocolate with a cancer movie. But that hasn’t been enough lately. I’ve felt so wrung out, to the point that I haven’t even felt like socialising or being creative enough to moan about my life on here.
Not properly, anyway.
And then by some strange twist of fate, work came to my rescue. Now I realise that I must be the only woman/mother to celebrate a few days away from home to go to work and that probably puts me in a bad light, but it wasn’t a ‘jolly’; it was real bonafide work. Two days in the mountains last week and then another two days down on the south coast this week – of physically exhausting work (that I’m really far too old and unfit for) – setting up show homes. It involves lifting gazillions of heavy boxes, unpacking heavy boxes, bed making, ironing, fluffing and making small talk with tradies.
But it was what I needed.
The open roads, the green landscape, the bluest of blue skies and even the road kill gave me back my focus. As I pushed my head out of the car window and caught the breeze with my tongue, I felt suddenly free. It reinforced my need to find moments to escape, to revitalise and recoup my energies. To remind me that I have needs too.
When you’re a mum, it’s easy to forget about ‘you’. It’s easy to allow yourself to become the doormat or the family PA. Then one day your batteries can suddenly die and you feel so dog tired that you simply stop coping and become resentful, tetchy and mean to the people you love.
Those two trips saved my sanity. Chit chatting with my crazy boss in the car, drinking iced mochas from Maccas, watching the wildlife, feeling physically rather than mentally tired and staying in shit pit hotels in the middle of fucking nowhereville with only cockroaches for company.
Not being ‘Mum’ for forty-eight precious hours. Not worrying.
I didn’t stop thinking about them, of course. But I did stop worrying. I transferred the worry to the old man – I knew he wouldn’t worry. And the homework wasn’t done, and takeaway was on the menu both nights, yet they all survived.
Today I watched a pair of seals dance in the water in front of me with my beautiful niece at Taronga Zoo and the world felt like a good place to live in again.
‘Escape’, ‘balance’, call it what you will, but remember to find some equilibrium in your life.