Why, oh why, does my body need to eat and sleep? Do I really need to shower every single day? My legs are starting to swell up and my hip has gone to sleep from sitting too long without moving: is that bad, and should I invest in a pair of pressure stockings in order to avoid Deep Vein Thrombosis?
Such are the existential questions that have been swirling around my head over the past few weeks, as I’ve been working hell-for-leather on my very enjoyable and rewarding – do I dare to call it a career yet?- projects in audiobook narration and production. I don’t know if it is the novelty factor (I have, after all, only been doing this for about a month now), the meditative quality of spending hours in front of the computer editing and mastering audio files, or a narcissistic addiction to the sound of my own voice, but I’m finding it difficult to tear myself away for any more than a couple of hours. I also find it almost physically painful to have to turn down or postpone offers of work- the old song from Oklahoma about being a girl who can’t say no springs to mind! But as the holidays loom, I’ve promised myself, my therapist, and H that I will take some time to rest. I already know that it’s going to be a difficult promise to keep.
I know I need to do it, for my own health and for the health of my relationship. H has already had me cancel plans for spending some time together while I grappled with a particularly tight deadline. Given the nature of the time factor in our relationship (an unavoidable element of polygamous couplings), I don’t think he’ll be too impressed with me if it starts to become a regular occurrence!
The trouble is that when I’m not working, I have time to think. And sometimes, like a dark and treacherous forest, my mind can be a foreboding and tangled-up place to be. Work- at least this work, which I enjoy- can be a welcome distraction from the upheavals going on elsewhere in my life. Given too much time to spend in my own head, am I entirely confident that I won’t just end up curled up in a ball under my duvet, fearful of facing the coming months ahead?
You see, my life as I have known it, is in a period of transition, and change is scary and daunting. Especially when you have Generalised Anxiety Disorder and an imagination that can be way too creative for its own good sometimes. I have always been someone who can create nightmare scenarios with which I will then try to predict my own future. The worst possible outcome of any given situation? My brain will create it out of thin air, with not the slightest shred of supporting evidence, and it will suddenly become the awful thing that I just know is bound to happen.
But the Christmas and New Year period is a natural time for rest and reflection, so if I can’t do it now and remain standing then that doesn’t say much about the true measure of my mental health, does it? And so I find myself stepping warily into these holidays. I still have work scheduled, so it won’t be a totally lazy couple of weeks, but you’ll have already noticed from my increased presence in the Lair today that I’m beginning to factor some days off into my life again. I did, I admit, work on audio projects for about an hour. But I have switched off the laptop for today and am settled in for an afternoon of drinking lots of tea, listening to Billie Eilish (fucking adore her. Why didn’t anyone tell me how brilliant this girl is?!), and returning to blog land.
I’m looking forward to being around here in the Lair more often now, as I learn, or re-learn, how to manage my time.
Time, huh? Sometimes it drags interminably, and at others there just isn’t anywhere near enough of it. I hope that however you plan to spend your time these holidays that you are happy and safe, able to take time out and relax, and look back on 2019 with fondness.
Lots of love,
Jupiter x 🌺 💋