It’s been an age, lovely people. For which I apologise.
I am ok. I am busy, busy, busy and still attempting to walk that fine line between doing too much and not doing anything at all.
Family life is more or less ok. There is drama. There is always drama. I have learned to accept the fact that my life will always be something an Eastenders’ script writer would look at and consider too far fetched to put on television. Also the fact that it is mostly not my stuff, yet it appears to be ‘in my wheelhouse’ which is an annoying phrase that I have had the misfortune to hear a lot in recent months.
And that whole because it is not my stuff I can’t really write about it, even though it is buzzing around in my head like a bluebottle trapped in a window type scenario. This is what makes me hesitate to blog as often, frankly. After I have made a list of all the things I can’t write about, I am not left with much, day to day.
I am still making art. This week I poured half a bottle of sepia ink over myself by accident and was so engrossed in painting I didn’t realise until I looked down and thought I had had a secret haemorrhage. I am not a performance artist, otherwise I could have filmed it.
I am reading about four billion books. It’s been a good year for books so far. I’ve got about twenty to go in my top ten of 2022 already and it’s only April.
I have had some holidays from work and Jason and I have run away here and there for a few days. We have been to Hebden Bridge and we have been to Dungeness and next week we are off to Aldeburgh for a few days.
We are still in our rental house, which is colder than a witches’ tit, but which we renewed for another year because Oscar is now thigh high in GCSE’s and we have no more pressing plans about the future as yet. I am sad about the cold, particularly given that our heating bill will cost more than a small bungalow very soon, but I am not sad about putting off moving house for another year. Twice last year was enough for me. I still bear the mental scars.
Work is less stressful. There are still tonnes of things I don’t know how to do, but I’m pretty solid on the fundamentals now and this gives me more mental bandwidth, which means I don’t come home and cry every night. So that’s nice. I would like to start a blog about all the stupid things people say in bookshops, but I need my job, so I won’t. However, if we meet in real life and you buy me a bun, I will tell you everything.
Mental health wise, I am attempting to come off the anti-depressants I was prescribed 18 months ago as a short term thing to stop me hurling myself down a well. I decided that I wouldn’t know if I could manage without them if I never came off them to see what happens. I’m decreasing the dosage very slowly and very carefully because I am mad but not that mad. Of course I haven’t actually managed to talk to a doctor about it, because like so much stuff in the last year or two, they are rarer than hen’s teeth.
I am rather wobbly, but I think that will always be the case. So far I am not in the slough of despond. I am more in the lay-by of anxiety, but that’s reasonably manageable. I’m taking it day by day and seeing what happens. Some days I want to hide under the duvet. Other days I want to sing from the roof tops. Except not that because it’s too high and I’m a wimp.
I am fifty in nine days time.
How did that even happen?
I am having a strange relationship with the thought of being fifty.
It’s good to age. The alternative is unthinkable.
This is my second go at being fifty. As we know, I am incredibly bad with numbers so I thought I was fifty, two years ago. So as far as I’m concerned I have had two, free years and another try at it. Some days I look forward to my birthday. Other days I want to throw rocks at it.
I used to be a full on; ‘Let’s party! It’s my birthday,’ kind of person. April would be a month dedicated to celebrating and the more cakes/trips I could fit in, the better. Now I’m just not feeling it. Last year’s birthday was a cluster fuck in which we had no heating or hot water and hadn’t finished unpacking the house. Everyone came over and ate Dominos’ pizza, which I detest and then they all had a fight and cried while I watched and then everyone hated me when I shouted at them all.
Whatever happens this year will be better, unless the house falls down a mine shaft.
But I am kind of out of ideas.
I realise that largely I am very tired of thinking about the practicalities of life at the moment. It’s lovely to have a birthday. It’s not so lovely to think about all the things I would have to do when someone asks me what I would like to do/have and relies on me to actually organise it myself.
I spend a lot of my life doing things I don’t want to do, thinking about things I don’t want to think about and organising things for people who are not me. I realise that this is largely a description of adult life in its entirety, but there are times when I am fine with it and times when I am just sick of the whole thing.
As we know, it isn’t the cooking of dinner that is the issue, it’s thinking about what to cook for dinner every night for the rest of your bloody life.
I am a control freak and I hate surprises, so my family have, through no fault of their own, rather relinquished control over the whole birthday/celebration thing as they don’t want me to have to suffer through the whole, ‘I thought you’d like to go in a glider’ situation again (I still bear the scars of this particular outing after a quarter of a century).
Generally this is a good thing, except for the times when I am weary and just want someone to anticipate my every need and whim and make it magically appear (sort of how I imagine Brooklyn Beckham lives), but I can’t quite put my finger on my every need and whim because I have eye bags the size of Copenhagen and every time I sit down I start to dribble.
I have decided to mostly ignore my birthday and play things by ear. I shall, if nothing occurs to me whatsoever, pick a random day later in the year and have my birthday when inspiration has returned.
In the meantime, today I have a pressing need for roast chicken and mashed potato and Thank God that is both easy to achieve and also solves the perennial dilemma of what to have for fucking dinner.
P.S. I only came here to tell you that I have, along with nine thousand instagram accounts, also started a Substack newsletter today. It is for small writings about inconsequential stuff that flits through my brain. You can subscribe if you want. It’s called Shenanigans and Stuff and I am katywheatley.substack.com