I made it. I MOTHERFUCKING MADE IT.
I’m on the other side. School term officially ended at 7pm last night when I picked the kids up (and two of their friends) from their final musical theatre performance. We careened through Macca’s drive through for celebratory Happy Meals (I might be a hippy, but I’m still a bogan). The car was a cacophony of boisterous noise – all of it emitted from creatures with unnervingly realistic cat and dog face paint. Dropped their friends home, and suddenly the car was quiet, filled with yawns and tired cat-child mewlings.
We all bustled into bed early, not able to stay up much longer. The kids currently sleep on mattresses in our bedroom. They have since quarantine began in March and the world felt slippery, uncertain. They slipped back in, seeking the comfort of our sleeping bodies, and stayed. This is what it is to live in a global pandemic. We may be now living in a country almost free of Covid, but still our children feel it, and need us. At some point they will migrate back into their own rooms again, but for now, it’s our family sleeping room, and I’m grateful for the closeness.
I’m still tired today though. I nod off while we sit on the verandah outside, take frequent lie downs. Watch some Tik Tok, bake some bread. In a 20 minute burst of energy, I put the finishing touches of paint on my eldest kid’s bedroom, then retire to bed again. I play two rounds of chess against Chris. He wins one, then Starry helps me beat him.
In the highlight for today, my eldest kid makes cupcakes. I eat them. Such is the circle of life.
Anxiety levels are up today. I’m not anxious ABOUT anything – I rarely am. Instead, my anxiety is kind of a residual physical reminder when I’ve done too much, too fast. My chest feels tight and it’s harder to breathe. To be fair, I’m only doing what other parents are doing, and yet it is always too much. I chant the same words to myself I’ve been using as an anxiety affirmation for a decade: Go slower, do less.
I think of it as being a back up of images, sounds, moments that need to be processed. I seem to record life at a higher definition than many others. I see more beauty in it, I feel more about it, I remember more. But it comes at a cost: it takes my brain a lot longer to process everything. The laptop of my brain makes that high pitched whirring sound like when I’ve got too many Adobe products processing at once. Get myself enough sleep, enough quiet and it will finish its job, and I’ll be back.
In the meantime, it’s cups of herbal tea, bed and simple comforts of home.
I hope you are well, dearest. And if not, I hope you’re tending to you, giving you just what you need.
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