Last weekend in the UK was extended by a Bank Holiday on Monday. Just an extra day off for some. I currently don’t work Fridays to look after my daughter (soon to change when she begins school next week, ARRGGHHH!) This meant I had 4 days free of ‘day job’ and a few possibilities for blocks of time to write. I’ve got plenty of writing stacking up now, and I usually do it in bursts rather than a continual process… Writing in this case being scripting. Everything is outlined etc, I use notebooks and notation apps to gather and cultivate, now I’m needing to blurt it all out in script form. I’ve been waiting to do this for a few weeks now and I can’t seem to sit down to it properly.
Thursday evening. My wife and I were going to watch the final episode of the Defenders once the little one was asleep and I was going to have a few hours hard work on scripts. Cue our daughter vomiting all over her bedroom floor while putting her pyjamas on.
Life so often chuckles at us as we make plans. The entirety of Thursday night/Friday morning was a blur of sickness, retching, cleaning and very little sleep. By about 5am my little girl was running on empty and slept for an hour or so. My wife forced herself into work for at least half a day because she needed to tie up loose ends and I did my best to look after our poorly offspring, which was actually rather easy.
She wanted to sleep and eat… I had to keep telling her she couldn’t have anything as I was trying to ease her digestive system back into it all. I felt rather wretched eating my breakfast in front of her after I only offered her water… But then again, I was so sleep deprived I actually felt drunk, so my feelings on any matter are very much up for debate.
This brings me to the crux of it all. By Saturday evening my daughter was completely back to normal. She had lost as much sleep as me, plus emptied her stomach multiple times via her upper digestive tract, but recovered twice as quickly. I know kids are very resilient… But I didn’t realise how fragile I am. Writing this Tuesday morning I just about feel as though I’ve found my usual equilibrium, and that is after doing the bare minimum all weekend. I’m in my mid-30’s… Surely I’m too young to feel old? Perhaps it’s unfair to compare myself to the recovery rate of a 4 year old? Either way, real life took a firm hold of the weekend, and I got nothing done.
In a very strange way it was nice (once the vomiting had ceased), life became very simple. All other concerns fell away and all of our efforts were about making our daughter and ourselves feel better. We had been forced into a prolonged period of self-care… Something we never do by choice. It certainly got me thinking.
I never beat myself up over ‘lost opportunities’ to work. I get work done when I can. My excuses for not doing work are really good at the moment… Not choices at all. Paying the bills, looking after the family… No brainers. I know time will open up as my daughter gets older and she needs us less… I know I’ll find pockets of time to get the more immediate projects back on track, but it’s always at a cost to another aspect of life.