Saturday, June 25, 2011

Flashy things

Incase anyone had noticed, I didn't post one of my Fiction Project flashes this week.  It's basically because I've been rereading them and rather a lot of them are making me cringe.  Some of them are so bad I don't want to share them anymore and a few I'd like to work on some more.  Whatever mediocrity is left will get posted here. 

In other news, Jake is one month away from threenager-dom.  One month!!  How did that happen?

Also, last week was rather eventful.  After two (or was it three) tantrums that measured 11 on the Scale of Insanity, we decided to pull Jake out of nursery.  It was only after I made the decision that I realised just how stressed I'd been about the whole thing - how the dread of taking him there had been gnawing at me for months.  Then things started to fall into place.  How, even on the days he didn't go to nursery, one of the first things Jake would say when he woke up was, "Do I have to go to nursery today?" and the relief when he didn't.  How they always said he was fine there, but not happy.  How the howling and crying and clinging to me on nursery days wasn't really about Jake testing his boundaries.  Even now that we've already told Jake he doesn't have to go to nursery anymore, he still asks with worry in his eyes. 

As soon as we decided, I felt such relief.  And even though part of me was (and still is) worried about how I'd cope having him full-time at home without a break, letting go of how I thought things should be / how I thought they were going to be, brought with it a sense of possibility I hadn't expected.  It was like the future which had felt dreadfully set in stone was wiped clean.  It's given me a push to do more for myself - consider things I'd been anxiously avoiding - like joining a local writer's group and taking the initiative to visit friends who are available to me, even if they do live on the other side of London.  Doesn't seem like much does it, and yet, in my mind, they'd been built up into almost insurmountable difficulties.  Even getting up at 5:30am on a Wednesday to go to my now-rearranged 6:30am counselling session has brought with it new possibilities.  Getting up with the sunrise, walking around in that magical hour when everything, even here, is noticeably quiet and deeply peaceful.  (Though I'm sure I'll feel differently about it in the winter!)

And it occurred to me, that freedom is not what I thought it was.  Having almost limitless choice and great expanses of time isn't necessarily freeing.  At least it hasn't been for me.  I'm beginning to realise that being told you can do anything and have anything is possibly the least helpful thing you can be told.  Right alongside, "I don't mind what you do, as long as you're happy."  I don't know about you, but hearing these things has the effect of almost imperceptible paralysis on my psyche. 

We're human, we're limited in so many ways.  And yes, sometimes we feel limitations where there are none and we restrict ourselves harshly or unnecessarily.  But being told you can have it all?  It's a fallacy.  We can't have it all, no matter who we are.  We need to know our limits, feel them, like feeling the contours and boundaries of our skin, know them, be constantly aware of them, so we can be present, rooted in who we actually are and live our lives as they unfold.  Being grounded - it's more freeing than I expected it to be.

1 comment:

Sam Pennington said...

So true! As a part-time mum I am the subject of certain envy from other school-runners over having time to myself while the children spend time at their Dad's house. But that spare time is oppressive. There is the notion that I ought to be doing this, I ought to be doing that, and sometimes I fritter the time away fretting over how best I should be spending my precious free time. How insane does that sound? And it's all self-inflicted.

I bet you're relieved over your nursery decision, it's sounded like you haven't been happy with the situation for some time. Jake is only little, even if he is almost three. Our society seems to expect so much from our tiddlers at such a young age, I'm sure the stress of it isn't good for them. Sending you both a virtual hug xx