Mid-Winter Blues

Our little house in the country.

I’m so antsy I’ve been sent to my room.The Bear told me that they really didn’t need me and my crankiness, so go and read in your bedroom or something.

I’ve got the mid-winter blues (I think).

I sometimes wonder if the universe has conspired to pack all of us into this tiny little house as an enforced way to learn cooperation, sharing and tolerance. If there was an exam today I would have failed for sure, hence why I am in my room. Which is not really my room, I might add. It is also shared by the Bear and the Fairy Queen who visit me during the night.

The shorter cool days and longer cold nights mean that we are all inside more, which means we make more mess (more cleaning), eat more (more food to make) and have lots of squabbles about whose turn it is to use the computer or watch their favourite show on TV. Claustrophobia.

In addition, we have only one car at the moment, which the Bear uses to get to work. You can forget about public transport out here; there is none. So that leaves me most days at home with my 4 year old daughter, 30 minutes from the nearest town. Isolation.

The Fairy Queen was going to daycare once a week, but our beloved day-carer hurt her back and had to stop work. There are no places at the local pre-school, and she starts school in 6 months anyway so what’s the point? (sigh). If Alex goes to work on Thursdays, he drop her off at Mum’s, which is great, and I study all day, maniacally. Out of the last 5 Thursdays, he has worked 2. Irritation.

The last few days I have risen at 5am, moved the Bear from the lounge-room (he moves between the bed and the fold-out futon lounge), so I can get to the computer. It was a laptop, but my son broke the screen so we have to plug it into a monitor, which makes it immobile (sigh). I study or write before 7, when my children get hungry. I squeeze in some more when I can grab an hour through the day or evening. Not an ideal studying environment. Frustration.

Is it any wonder I’ve been sent to my room?

Claustrophobia. Isolation. Irritation. Frustration. These are all recurring themes for me. I wonder why.

I grew up here and left it as soon as I could (I was 16), accompanied by the very same themes I am writing about 20 years later. I’ve been back for 9 years and have been battling them with varying degrees of success. Over the past 4 years, I actually thought I had completely transcended them. Not today. Nooooo.

I tend to be an action-oriented person – if I have a problem I don’t like to sit around and wish how it could be better. I make a plan! This is where my themes step in to thwart me – because I can’t change any of it. I can’t make a plan, I just have to deal with it. All I can do is change my attitude.

Ten Silver Linings

  1. Having only one car is cheaper and lighter upon the environment.
  2. Being at home means I have more time to pay attention to my family, my home, my writing and my studies.
  3. I have no choice but to sit with my feelings. No running away.
  4. My small house is quick and easy to clean.
  5. My family is close and connected and we know how to talk to each other.
  6. A small house is cheaper to run and leaves a smaller energy footprint.
  7. Living out of town gives us an unparalleled lifestyle in terms of privacy, beauty, peace, freedom and connection with the Earth and her seasons.
  8. Living out of town means that we have a strong, connected community, which gives me much joy. We all need each other.
  9. No daycare or preschool means that Alani and I can spend quality time together before she starts school next year.
  10. Having limited time to study and write means that I have to be organised and discerning about how I spend my time.
What situation do you have in your life that you can’t change anything about except your attitude?

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