God I love the holidays.
I sometimes hear other mothers lament how long the summer break is, how bored the children get, how they drive them mad. And I can sympathise, I honestly can, but it still doesn’t stop me from freaking loving the school holidays.
You see, I am not a ritual and routine kind of girl. My preferred start to my day is to languish – in bed, in the sitting room, on the computer, with my nose in a book, with whatever takes my fancy. It is not uncommon to spend the entire day in my pyjamas. Even the ritual of getting dressed is sometimes more than I can bear.
The school terms are hard work. Each morning is the same:
Get up (leaving it to the VERY last minute), plod through to the kitchen, greet Master J, get his breakfast (always a sandwich with the same filling – currently tuna mayonnaise), make lunch for him (always the same lunch – currently a peanut butter sandwich, fruit and a muffin), iron his shirt if Mr C hasn’t ironed it for me (which does happen from time to time), plod back to my bedroom, get showered, dressed and with moments to spare before we hit the major traffic thus ensuring our tardiness, we hop into the car for the school run.
Those 10 weeks of term, my mornings feel like I am trudging through mud. And Master J is the same.
During my teenage years, we were never allowed to languish in bed. I wish I had known then that research now proves that the energy it takes to grow a teenager is second only to the energy it takes to grow a baby from birth to age 2. I would have loved to tell my dad as he yelled at me to get up at 8am on a Saturday morning because I was “wasting your life away in bed” that in fact, biologically, I needed the sleep. I needed to waste the day, I needed to let the best part of the day slip me by. I needed to conserve energy for the massive prefrontal cortex explosion that was going on inside my head.
Alas, I have not grown out of it. I still need to languish of a morning. I am a night owl. I love to stay up late into the wee hours of the morning. The quiet of the night settles my soul somehow and I am far more productive than I ever am during the day. Also, I seem to be a lot more creative. In the stillness of the night, as the rest of the world slumbers, I find myself in the midst of a creative explosion. I have books filled with ideas that just scream at me in the dead of night. It is quite exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time.
I do find routine very difficult. The idea that I have to stick to something, to a schedule, fills me with dread. Yet, I am acutely aware that in my spurning ritual and routines, I am in fact creating them. What a paradox!
I write every day. I log on every day to speak to my online friends who have become such a vital part of my day. I email Mr C every single day, even if it is just to say “Hi, I’m thinking of you, I love you.”. I sit in the same seat every day despite having at least 7 others in which I could sit too. I have an order to how I get dressed and how I prepare myself for writing. I have an order to how I check my emails and my social media accounts. And I always stay up late. In fact, I live a very ordered life full of ritual and routine.
But don’t tell my brain that. It abhors ritual and routine. It likes to think it is a rogue, an adventurer, a misfit, zipping through life with carnal abandon, beholden to no one, a free spirit, a wild horse.
Best to keep it just between me and you.
Until next time,