Funny story, I downloaded a meditation app. It’s called Calm. And I actually used it. To meditate, find relaxation, hide, whatever. This happened, a grand total of once. So far.
But let’s back up.
My kid turned four. And I met Katie from Fatty McCupcakes. On the same day. It was a groovy day.
A day that included 20 cupcakes, 14 penguins, and a unicorn. Or so we thought.
The night before Isla’s birthday, Neil and I were wrapping Isla’s many, many plastic presents. I was drinking beer and kept giving Neil the finger. To make bows on the presents. Of course.
We were reminiscing about that night four years ago. That night I saw the hospital counsellor and then fell asleep during Meet the Fockers. And then Neil watched Lord of The Rings. We’re movie people.
Isla had a new number balloon, weighted down this year. We put the unicorn at the end of her bed, so she’d see it first thing of the big 4.
The stage was set. Or something.
The next morning, I did feel older and I swore Isla looked older. And then I just swore.
‘You guys,’ said Isla. I love this. But it’s not a unicorn.’
‘How?’ we said.
‘There’s no horn.’
‘It’s a horse with wings. A winged horse,’ said Isla.
‘Pegasus!’ Neil shouted.
As she opened everything else she exclaimed ‘What? Wow!’ for everything, and then took cupcakes to school.
I dressed in actual jeans and a bright orange top. Recently jeans have become what I wear when I’m um, making an effort. Whatever that is.
Neil took a half-day at work and Isla was late for her own party.
Everyone was overwhelmingly generous. I’ve never seen so much glitter at a dinosaur party.
Two hours later everyone trailed out with a walking balloon bobbing behind them.
Isla was happy and I was tired and happy.
At home, we unveiled Isla’s new paddling pool. The last bit of plastic, I promise.
By the time Katie and her Mom arrived, my kid was in a bathing suit. And my husband, well.
‘Hi, it’s so good to meet you,’ I said. ‘That’s Isla, and that’s Neil. I did not sanction his man-sandals. Welcome to the family. What are we drinking?’
Gotta say, it was like Katie and I had known each other for years. And I guess we have. But it was nice to talk without computer screens between us. I wanted to adopt her and her Mom. Or I want them to adopt me.
I kept saying ‘I bought cupcakes. Have one.’ But we were too busy laughing and eating pizza.
It was a truly beautiful day.
And the next day, I was frazzled, and fizzled. I wanted to write, but couldn’t reach the computer in the kitchen. Too much birthday debris. We had cold pizza for lunch, which made me nostalgic.
I wrote on real paper.
I wanted more time to myself.
Life was a bit loud. And the musical interlude was SpongeBob.
After dinner, I downloaded Calm. For real. I don’t know where I found it, and we know how I feel about self-care.
But, honestly. I’ve been feeling like the days are getting away from me, like I could do more. Be more. Focus more.
Not feel so bad that there’s only like three places to take Isla, and she’s bored, too.
Maybe if I tried to meditate, I’d unlock the bit of myself that doesn’t feel like enough. The bored bit, the unfocused bit. Maybe I’d learn not to give a shit. Or care less.
So, I had big plans. I was going to meditate for 30 days. Find myself. Eat, Write, Love, without the sneaky God bits.
I tried one session, did the whole bit. Breathing, loosening. Falling asleep.
I woke up and set a reminder. And then ignored it. I haven’t meditated or fallen asleep since that first time.
But I did write a thing. About not writing.
I carved out a space for myself in the home-office.
I sent Isla and Neil to the park. I stared at my screen. They came home and Neil asked if I’ve written anything. If I’ve finished my book and earned a million bucks, so he can quit his job and we can travel the world. So we don’t have to worry about dropping stupid money on accessible hotel rooms.
Like for instance, I’ve wanted to write this post for ages. This catch-up post that probably has too much angst in it for modern blogging. Again. Hi.
I tell myself I’ll write at night. I’ll NaNo at night. But I don’t. Because night-time is the time I focus on being unfocused. Night-time is the time my kid asks me to read in my regular voice. Because my silly voice is too silly these days. Did I mention she’s four?
I promise tomorrow will be better.
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Also published on Medium.