Monday, August 20, 2007


I hate this inactivity. My fingers have begun to feel clumsy on these keys. Up until now I've always enjoyed the forced break from writing that came with the school holidays (I can't write in the evenings after a full day with the kids - my brain just doesn't work that way). Before I've used the time for 'spring' cleaning, decorating, catching up with my children, painting, maybe writing the odd short story or poem as the mood took me but this time it's different. Everywhere I look there are ideas for stories. I'm daily scribbling on scraps of paper and shoving them in to my desk drawer for later, but they never mean as much to me when I go back to them - the impetus is gone. You could say that perhaps they weren't good ideas in the first place, but I think some must have been.
For the first time I can't switch off: I feel this creative impulse (for want of a better phrase) simmering constantly, just beneath the surface. For three years now I have enjoyed being a full-time mum but now there are times when I feel that the girls are in my way and I find myself short of temper - then I apologise and feel guilty for the rest of the day.
I never wanted to go back to work but now I'm really beginning to feel that I can't go back. If I'm getting bad-tempered when I'm prevented from writing now, what would I be like after an eight-hour day at the office? When I went back to work after my first child was born I made every possible effort to make the minutes I was at home count, to the point that I did nothing whatsoever for myself - my personal grooming routine consisted of the daily 5-minute shower and nothing else. Occasionally I would have cause to glance down at my toenails and discover that they were literally beginning to curl back into the flesh of my toes, it had been so long since I had even thought of attending to them. My post went unanswered, even unopened. My sex life was virtually non-existent. And all the time I felt like I was missing something, like I was racing against the clock and something important was getting left undone - something more important than paying my credit card bill or arranging to get my hair cut. I don't want to go back to that.


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