It’s only been a few weeks but I feel I’m slipping. I didn’t want to sit and write this column because I felt I had done nothing interesting or even read or thought anything interesting in the past week. I’ve been busy of course but on tasks that are incredibly fluffy. Most of my time is taken up with planning the design of our house (I ordered blinds for the living room and ordered our new sofas) or arranging my wedding (I’ve planned the lighting scheme for the marquee and decided what food to serve at the evening reception).
I am enjoying it. Although at times I get a bit stressed (oh the woes of middle class problems) I’m very aware that when I was working a 9 to 5 I looked forward to September-December 2011 with great excitement and when this has passed I’ll forget the dust and noise and remember sitting in the garden with Sarah Raven’s Complete Christmas Food and Flowers and making notes on freezable canapés.
But it’s very blah. I feel very blah. I’m so drowned in catalogues and recipe books, fabric swatches and paint charts, dust and yet more dust that I lack my usual energy for my intellectual pursuits. I’ve started watching The Tudors as I make the garland for the staircase and sort through other festive and weddingy tasks. I’m hooked already but I’m also confident it’s eroding my brain.
I kind of need the focus I’ve got at the moment as these are two pretty big projects and it’s not as though they are all I have in my life. I’m running a life coaching workshop that is going really well and teaching a few cookery classes but these things are somewhat on hold in terms of being expanded upon because there are only so many hours in the day. And I’m honest enough with myself that I’m choosing to shop around and put in time to get things just how I want them. I could work more and devote less time to the house and wedding but I elect not to.
Still, I hate not having anything interesting to say (humour me and pretend my column is usually interesting) and fear getting into a rut where it becomes normal not to push my intellectual boundaries, get irate at The Observer and relish the me-time that is the writing of this column (as opposed to it being a chore on today’s to do list).
My mum handled it well. She stopped working when she was pregnant with me and never formally went back but she created a life where my father (and later my stepfather) found her interesting. Her projects (such as running our stud farm) occupied her mind in the way necessary to enable conversations with my dad. When I think back to my childhood an enduring memory is of the two of them always sitting down together at the table for dinner. I remember my dad once telling me how smart my mum was and how he believed she could do anything she put her mind to.
Ok so housewife isn’t really a label that should be applied to my mum but I think the risk was there just as it is with me. After all, I’m not a housewife either. The fiancé refers to my job as being a project manager because someone has to schedule all the work being done on the house, manage the finances and make decisions but still, I feel headed down a path where tracksuit bottoms are worn for reasons other than decorating, gardening or keeping warm when you’re under the weather.
I think I need to stop for a coffee when I’m running errands tomorrow. I certainly need to pick up a newspaper and learn a bit about the world. I came across the Occupy Wallstreet thing (I don’t really know what it is so can’t better describe it) and that should be something I’d get all opinionated about. I’m setting myself the task of writing something based on current* affairs next week.
This column sucks. I’m bored writing it so I’m amazed if anyone has got this far reading it but that’s not the point. The habit of writing regularly is important for me. If nothing else it’ll act as a reminder that another week has passed and I had better have done or thought something! And ideally something a little deeper than the two nightmares I had last night about my wedding dress. I was so concerned that I got it out and tried it on only to realise the builders were at the door. They were somewhat amused and suggested I was only a little overdressed.
Incidentally I don’t think the fiancé can see it yet. Last night he got home to maple and raison muffins and each day I send an email update of what the workmen have been doing and tell him about wedding plans. He sees me as busy and working hard and is as happy to talk house as I’m sure he will be happy to talk baby one day. Either that or he never listened to what I was actually saying in the first place...
... maybe I just need to buy a pair of skimpy knickers occasionally and my marriage will be fine!
* I wrote that as currant originally which says a lot about my mind being on the fruitcake and mince pies I’ve been thinking about!