Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


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Thursday, October 14, 2004  

I’m heaps better. Even my energy is coming back - I actually took a walk yesterday, between the cold gray clouds of early afternoon and the bright blue sky of sunset. BTW, it’s back to rain again now. Other symptoms are fading as well. Thank goodness for antibiotics when you really need them.

It is strange, though, to spend so much time at home. Since Sept. 21, I have been at work only 4 days. BD went off with a colleague yesterday so I had the house to myself all afternoon. I am beginning to feel a kind of mental restoration. For a very long time I’ve had this ache in my spirit. It involved both yearning and resentment, combining a longing for home and a distaste for, not just work, though that was the big part, but also any other obligations to others. The worst thing about suffering this sort of malaise is that you tend to procrastinate, thus increasing the resentment and doubling whatever was the burden of your responsibilities. Nothing new here - anybody can fall into this stupid pattern. Alas. I had.

I’m a good organizer and a hell of a multi-tasker. Most mothers learn to be good multi-taskers, but I have a particular talent for it. I used to juggle a baby, a bb gun and a goat, now it’s telephones, toddlers and county administrators. I have a life that insists I have both the strength and the flexibility needed to “serve others” - the sort of life those Miss America contestants say they want, though, with out the glamour. I’m also aware that I need to make time for my own pleasures, and I have a wardrobe full of yarn, a blanket chest full of fiber, and shelves full of knitting books to ensure I get in my shots of pleasure.

The trouble is - little snips and dribs and drabs of pleasure just haven’t been enough for me. I’ve been hungry for time. Long stretches of time. For do-nothing time at home. For sleep late and hang the housework time. Weekends are usually fun, but frequently they're packed full of activity and never long enough to truly restore me. Besides, they are also the time when other chores make themselves apparent - things like laundry or windowsills or cobwebs have a way of looming to the front of your vision when you sit in the autumn sunshine and try to look out the window. And then, there are precious Darlings who what to share their lives with me. This is good. This is essential, actually. But equally essential is a bit of unhindered, unshared, mememe, alone time.

A vacation ought to be when one grabs a little alone time, but when one has good health, one doesn’t really think it’s a good idea to just lounge on the bed till 10 a.m. and then take a bath and then get back in bed. Ahhh. But when one is sick one does that naturally. Trouble is, when one is sick one is usually feeling so crummy one doesn’t get to actually enjoy the bed, bath and beyond.

This little bout of illness, cum contagion, has turned out to be an enormous blessing. I don’t really feel that bad. A little listless, but not miserable, painful, or so stopped up I can’t breathe. It’s given me just enough ennui to make it easy for me to lie abed flipping through SpinOff without any nagging guilt. And just yesterday afternoon it began to feel as if I were actually rested! As if going to work would be fun. As if finishing things would be easy. As if life was full of do-able possibilities and achievable goals.

Most of the time I’m glad I am the boss at work. I’m glad that I have such a hand in determining, not just what I’m going to do any given day, but what my staff will do, where the library is going and what we’ll be offering the community. I love it that I can say “let’s do this” or “let’s go there”. But having that freedom, and even that power, means that I actually have to do it all, keep it all in my head, on some sort of Gannt chart, filed in some cabinet for easy retrieval. Sometimes I wish I just had a job where I just went in and did some simple task that someone else thought up; the kind of work where, at 5 o’clock you not only just went home, you forgot about altogether.

I know that I’d only be satisfied with that for about, oh, say, 1 day. I just don’t have the right sort of personality to really only have simple repetitive tasks, chosen by others, to do. Before I knew it I’d be offering suggestions to my boss and coming up with things to add to my day to make it more ... multiple .. and interesting. I like to do things. I like to plan things. I like to plan things I don’t plan to ever actually do! I like to plan possibilities just in case opportunities come along. I like to be mama. To take care of it. To see that everybody else can do what he needs to do. If I don’t have any responsibilities, I’ll go find some. I know this about myself.

But there are times when that having no responsibilities looks mighty good. And if those times last too long or come too close together, a combination of exhaustion and resentment settles over me that casts a bit of shadow over my life. This past week has presented me with a seed of understanding. Oh - I’ve always known that I need down time. I’ve grabbed a little bit of it here and there. But evidently not enough to recover my innate Mom-ness - that energy, vitality, and joy that makes each day feel like a surprise is just around the corner.

The past few days have pointed out to me that I simply must use part of each year’s vacation to do ab-so-lute-ly nothing. And do it with nobody! To pull into myself. To let the dust bunnies proliferate beneath the couch. To sleep in the afternoon and read late into the night. A bit of that will do more for me, that important inner me, than all the excitement of a trip or a festival or any other busy productivity.

I’m now knitting on three projects. BriccaTheAran, of course, who actually languished all day yesterday, the Christmas sock - on which I am knitting down the straightway of the foot part of sock #1, and some swatches for the KR Retreat. It’s rather fun to go from one project to the next. I’m also spinning some lace weight, naturally blue mohair I bought at Montpelier. I have another lovely day of time ahead - somewhere between baths and naps I’m sure I’ll dabble with one of another of these projects.

posted by Bess | 8:34 AM