It feels like so long since I sat at the computer and drafted a blog post. Actually it seems like a long time since I wrote with any sense of intention or impunity. Oh god, it seems like a long time since I did anything with any sense of intention or impunity. That’s the truth of it I think. For someone who is ‘known’ for flying from one plan to another, for being that person that says ‘sure, I’m free in, say, two months time?’, I’ve sure had a lot of 8pm bedtimes recently. And not so many plans. At the moment I go to work, come home, slope around in my pyjamas and then make an excuse to go to bed early, only to scroll through my phone or try and read a book but get distracted and fall asleep (and then wake a few hours later and stare at the ceiling).
I am known for being that person who loves Christmas. Most years I am begging Tom to put the tree up in the last weekend of November, playing the Michael Bublé Christmas album weeks in advance of the big day and having all of my shopping done, wrapped and under the tree in a sickeningly keen timescale. This year I have zero interest in Christmas. I’m sort of hoping it’s something that just goes away, something I can maybe just opt out of. I’m trying to brush it under the carpet, but it’s ubiquitous at this time of year. I have no enthusiasm for really anything, except for early nights, long soaks in the bath, burning candles and lolling around in my PJs. I keep coming back to that fantasy I mentioned before, of living in the woods in a log cabin, with fires burning and nothing to do but wrap up in a blanket and read (or maybe mull some cider and make stews). When I feel like this, I long for total solitude. I don’t really like to talk all that much, I like to go inward and fix (fix with baths and candles, fix with large glasses of wine, fix with sleep).
img credit: grayskymorning.tumblr.com
I’ve been keeping away from social media a little lately. There’s something about seeing decorated Christmas trees, happy families baking gingerbread, perfectly adorned mantelpieces, winter holidays and couples hugging mulled cider at Christmas Markets that is making me feel very sad. I know there is that saying ‘never compare your outtakes to someone else’s highlights reel‘, but it just feels like another world to me at the moment. Like everyone else is nailing stuff I cannot seem to get right. And then I think, is the window closing to have the children huddled around the Christmas tree, to learn how to style the mantelpiece, to want to buy the practical shoes instead of the comfy joggers? Hide under the duvet, pretend that time isn’t whooshing by like a train (a train I don’t have a ticket for – fumble in my pockets, root through my wallet, check down the back of the sofa – definitely no ticket).
Please know I am not ungrateful. I accept that I have no reason to be sad or feel bored or listless.
I have all of the ingredients that should mix and bake and make a person full of joy and vigour, all warm and toasty from the oven. I am endlessly grateful for my beautiful house, amazing friends, wonderful family, loving dog, engaging job – etc etc. I write in my gratitude journal and sit in the quiet and am thankful for every cup of tea and every hot bath and every nuzzle from the dog. And I am hopeful that this feeling will pass. It doesn’t always feel right to share the down days on here (and I have been criticised for doing so in the past) but I feel like it’s important to mix a little mopey pajama days in with the perfect mantelpieces now and then. It’s all about balance.
In the meantime I have become a little obsessed with this poem from Rilke. There’s something about that line “I want to be with those who know secret things, or else alone” that is just everything for me right now. Onto brighter days soon…