Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Misplaced optimism?

Yesterday morning I awoke with a positive feeling of optimism.  That’s a big deal for me.  Most mornings I struggle to even have the faith in myself to make it through the day without incident, so to feel like good things could happen: big deal. 

In a moment that I can only describe as being lacking in thought-through-ness (lovely grammar there!), I decided to spread my optimism across the miles to Scott and send him a message on Facebook pretty much inviting him to come and see the kids.

This is what I said:
“What sort of arrangement were you thinking? Regular visits? Need some sort of reassurance that you're not going to mess them about. I don't want my kids being upset by you coming into their lives and then disappearing. They've managed perfectly well without you for the last four years. I hope you'd understand why I'd be wary.”

After his erratic communications in the past I was quite prepared to wait a few weeks, or months for a reply, but that didn’t stop me dwelling on the idea all afternoon.  As soon as I sent the message I regretted it.  I know there are plenty of arguments FOR letting him see them (not least of which is my being fed up with James talking about Scott as if he’s this amazing person that he’s not allowed to see) but all I can seem to focus on is the arguments AGAINST them seeing him. 

What if they don’t like him?
What ifhe doesn’t like them? 
What if they DO like him; he lets them down and disappears?
What if they like him more than they like me?
What if he tries to take them?

Besides all of that, what am I going to do when we meet him?  I have nothing to say to the guy.  I can’t imagine having to hold a conversation with him.  If it was summer we could go to a park or something and he could spend time with the kids while I read a book.  But this time of year?  Where can we even go that doesn’t cost money?  I am definitely not spending money I can’t afford on doing anything we wouldn’t normally be doing just to accommodate HIM. 

Anyway, he replied this morning and now I’m feeling kind of numb about the whole thing.  Apprehension is definitely there somewhere, but mixed up with so many other emotions that it is fighting to make itself felt. 

26th November.  Far enough away that I should be able to just put it to the back of my mind for now.  But close enough that it’s part of the foreseeable future and as such, will be really difficult to ignore. 

I need a new hobby.

Thursday, 13 October 2011


Generally, I'm not a big fan of silence.  It gives too much sound-room for the unwanted voices in the back of my head to vocalise their opinions.  To influence mine.  Usually, when faced with a long (or even short) period of silence I fill it as effectively as I can: loud music being my first choice.  When I'm at home on my own I've usually got the stereo turned up high enough to annoy the neighbours - the genre doesn't really matter, it's the volume that's important.  I need to be confident that whatever room of the house I happen to walk into, the music will still be loud enough to drown out anything else.  It does have the downside of my having to practically cover my ears when walking past the stereo, but in the absence of a through-house speaker system it works for me.

Sometimes though, I actively seek out silence.  I go for long walks away from people, traffic, distractions - deliberately giving all the unwanted thoughts room to breath.  Let them all out.  Organize/file/discard them.  I can't explain why I need to do that: why I let them build up rather than having some sort of continuous filter system going.  All I know is that it’s taken me twenty seven years to find a system that at least sort-of works.  Sometimes a quick half-hour walk does the trick; sometimes it takes a few consecutive mornings of three-hour walking to sort things out.  But even when it is slow to take effect, at least I’ve distanced myself from other people (thus preventing them being subjected to my mood) and the walk does me good physically! 

This afternoon I experienced a different type of silence.  A very unnatural but oh, so glorious silence.  The kids and I had been round a friend’s house after school and on the way home both of them were whinging rather loudly.  There was no real reason for it, they were just over-tired and not relishing the incredibly long (apparently!) walk home.  So I challenged them to see if they could get all the way home without saying another word.  If they could, they would be allowed a sweet from the treat-box.  Bribery.  Dubious means of child-control - but so worth it! 

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

750 Words

I've just discovered a cool site called

It does pretty much what it says on the tin.  You log in each day and write 750 words about anything. Could even just write the same word 750 times - not that I know for sure that it'll let you get away with that and I;m not intending on trying).  It's not for sharing, just a personal motivational tool.  You get points for reaching the daily target, points for exceeding it, points for successive days in a row...  It should help when I struggle to get motivated to write every day.  750 words takes no time at all.  If I force (maybe too strong a word: coerce?) myself to sit and do that each evening it's an easy target, I get points (I'm like a kid with a star chart - whoop!) and hopefully my brain will kick in and I'll log out of that and move onto something meatier...  And if not, at least I'm getting some of the pointless drivel out of my head every day.  Can't be bad!

Saturday, 10 September 2011


I’ve been thinking too much recently: the problem with not sleeping… It’s led me to question a lot of things that are probably best left well alone / especially in my current frame of mind. For example: if I hate my own company so much, why do I keep inflicting it on others? It’s a fair question I suppose. If I really cared about my friends why would I want to put them through that?

Stupid. I know it’s stupid but I can’t prevent thoughts like that from entering my head. And once they’re there… My head feels like it’s spinning a lot of the time. Trying to focus on what matters, the important things in life, with crap like that getting in the way: it’s not easy.

I read somewhere the other day that “the only difference between a published writer and an unpublished one is greed”. I can’t remember where I read it but it’s bugging me. There’s loads of similar quotes with different endings that I find a lot more palatable but that one has wedged itself in my conscience. I don’t think I have that greed. For me, when my writing is going well (i.e. I manage to keep at it for a while and temporarily feel like I’m actually getting somewhere) I feel the opposite. If I could ever make money out of writing it would be through laziness. Because I don’t want to have to do a ‘real’ job. Writing would be the easy way out. But then again do I want to be lazy? Neither characteristic is exactly something I want to aspire to.

Anyway, the point is that after having that quote bubbling around in my head for a while and it making me want to give up entirely; I think I’ve at least partly regained my senses. Writing’s not easy: far from it. That’s why it is always such a big deal when I do sometimes find that I can keep at a project for a considerable amount of time and actually get somewhere with it. So I’ve made a decision. I was working on a few different things, depending on my mood on any given evening. I’m not doing that anymore. I’m going to focus. Set myself targets. Daily goals. With consequences if I don’t reach them. If I don’t think I’m going to be particularly productive on, say, a Friday evening; then I need to compensate for that in advance rather than think I can make it up afterwards. That’s how I always usually end up stuck in a rut. It’s the same with exercise. If I don’t do it for a few days it’s easy to turn those few days into weeks… I’ve got to buckle down and concentrate.

I would say it all starts tomorrow. Put it off by 24 hours. But I know that if I turn the PC off now I’ll find an excuse not to turn it on again until Wednesday, or later. So it starts tonight. It’s not like I’m going to be missing out on any sleep if I end up sitting here all night. So here goes, a new project. A fresh start. If it goes well I might end up posting snippets every now and again. If it doesn’t… On to the next. One thing at a time though. Focus.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Half Term

This week is half term. I’d been dreading it to be totally honest. Keeping the kids amused from 3 o’clock until bedtime is enough of a chore, but nine whole days? There’s only two left and it’s been pretty good.

So incredibly proud of James this week. He’s gone from barely nibbling at food last week to nearly finishing meals. This is huge. There’s still a long way to go as the food he’s been having is pretty basic but he’s finding the adventure in mealtimes now so hopefully progress will continue.

London yesterday (visiting school friend) was fun. Queued for the Aquarium for about a week (perhaps on hour is a closer estimate) with James needing to pee the whole time. Made it eventually to a toilet with only minimum pant-wetness. Sophie and James both loved the fish though so queuing was worth it. Booking tickets in advance: not so much. Still had to wait in line with everyone else…

Three more sleeps! (",)