Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Order Returns

I am feeling a great deal more cheerful now. Yesterday (Monday) was a far less stressful day, despite the Bright-Eyed Boy forgetting his packed lunch, panicking, and me having to drive over to the school to drop it off. I made Daughter #3's orthodontist appointment as soon as they were open and that left the rest of the day to devote to academic progress. I did a few symbolic things: Hoovered the floor in the 'study' (the parakeet and the children tend to make a mess), damp-dusted the desk, tidied away the loose papers into box files, put on some Julian Bream classical guitar music, made a good strong pot of espresso and sat down to work. And my! Did it feel good!
The weather was appalling: totally grey with continuous fine rain. The garden looks like a tropical rain forest, like looking into a green box - the vine has gone crazy (no sign of grapes whatsoever) drip, drip, dripping rain onto the patio furniture that we have used maybe twice this 'summer'.

Inside I felt snug and smug, and ready to write.
I spent all day on my thesis - until the B-E-B came home at half four - then spent another half-hour listening to a programme on the life and forthcoming beatification of John Henry Newman.
By dinner time yesterday evening I was calm and restored to my more usual sanguine frame of mind.
All that had been needed to restore order - it seemed - was some time for myself.
It's NOT selfish, because everyone else around me benefits. I even managed to cook dinner without too much dark muttering and wished the Husband a good training session at the gym when he departed at 8pm (not to return until 10!).
And today is more of the same. I feel the wrinkles being ironed out of my soul by the rhythm of work: for me calmness and mental wellbeing comes from gentle routine. I often think that I would be suited to a life in holy orders, except I'm not sure that I would like living in close proximity with strangers. Maybe an anchoress? But then I would miss company occasionally - even now I sometimes have to trot of into town to grab a latte and read in a coffee shop - I don't require interaction, I would be truly annoyed if someone tried to engage me in conversation - just the presence of other human beings.
Maybe a cenobitic order, where the residents spend much of the day alone in contemplation or work but then come together to dine?
But I am wandering . I need my family as much as they seem to need me. The last really bad dream I had was asort of inner locution which asked 'when do you know that your children have truly grown up?' The answer that came - and thinking of it even now I can feel tears welling up - was 'when the last soft toy is packed away'. Fortunately the B-E-B's room is decorated and draped with an assortment of toy monkeys, and even Daughter #3 still has two of her cuddly dog collection on her shelf (under the glowering gazes of 'Slipknot' and 'Bullet for My Valentine'), and one 'Ugly Doll' (ChukkaNukka, I believe) to cuddle in bed! Thank goodness!

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