Holiday Musings

So, we’re in this weird period between Christmas and New Year, where we have no idea what day or even what year it is. I’ve left the kids with my mum for a week, so my days have absolutely no routine, other than sleeping, eating and watching Netflix. I did venture out of the house once to stock up on food and will probably go out again today as I’ve run out of prosecco and tomorrow is New Year’s Eve. One must have bubbles to bring in the New Year.

The first day of my child free break I woke up at 7.30, had some breakfast, fed the cats and went back to bed, waking up again at 3 pm. Boy, I must have been tired. That’s a year’s worth of exhaustion catching up with me. I’ve been waking at more civilised times since then and even going to bed reasonably early, although I have had the odd daytime nap.

Parenting on your own is exhausting and it’s such a welcome break to be able to sleep whenever I feel like it and not to have to do anything for anyone but me. Even though the kids are nowhere near as needy as they were as small children, they do still need to be fed and the 12 yo checks in on me fairly frequently through the day. Plus, as an introvert, I find the constant presence of other human beings in the house very tiring. During the first day or two of their absence I keep expecting someone to walk into my room and ask for something, I am so constantly on edge.

That’s what’s so tiring about parenting on your own, being constantly on edge, constantly on call — there is no real relaxing because at any given moment a child is likely to want something from you. They could hurt themselves, or develop a headache, or demand to have a friend over or a hundred other unexpected things.

I hope Sam becomes more independent as he grows older. He has been exhausting since about kinder and early primary school. I worry about him starting high school next year — he is convinced he is going to fail every subject and doesn’t want to listen to any advice about working hard to get good results. I guess I’ll just have to wait until the first set of parent-teacher interviews in Term 1.

Not having the kids around and having time to ruminate, as I mindlessly scroll down Facebook, I’ve had time to feel all the feelings again, except I haven’t really been sure what the feelings are. There is sadness there and a big dose of loneliness, probably also resentment at the hand that life has dealt me. I wonder what it is I am being punished for that I have to live this shadow of a live — 10 years alone and broke. Not all ten years have been struggle-town, but a big chunk of them have been.

Except if I believe in being punished then I admit to believing in a power greater than me that has agency over my life, which I don’t. I don’t believe in destiny or fate. Or do I? If I believe in anything at all, it’s the Law of Attraction, but even that belief has faltered of late. But if I did believe it, that would mean that my thoughts and actions have attracted what has happened in my life in the last 10 years. Given my lack of self-esteem and constant feelings of self-loathing, that doesn’t seem that far fetched.

I also know that it’s impossible to change your actual thoughts. The only thing you can learn to do is to notice them and observe them and let them be. With time, you can learn to replace them with other, more helpful thoughts, but changing the thoughts already in your mind, you just can’t do. You can learn not to see life through their lens, not to take them as gospel and see them for what they are — something your mind has made up. They are make believe.

My consciousness likes to escape my incessent thoughts into dreams overnight, where things are better. Dreams where there is love, comfort and prosperity. When I manage to remember scraps of these dreams, I cling to them, sometimes for days, creating elaborate daydreams that get me through the tediousness of life. I’m like Walter Mitty during these periods, barely paying attention to what’s going on around me, just waiting for a spare 5 minutes to indulge in this second, more bearable life.

In real life, I face yet another series of job applications to satisfy the Centrelink gods and, frankly, to lift us out of poverty, as one day work a week is barely enough to pay the bills, but not enough for anything extra like paying off my credit card debt or buying Christmas presents. I’m loving what I do and wish there was more work there, but that will probably be a long term process and I just can’t wait.

As far as my own business is concerned, I wonder whether it’s time to pull the plug. It’s barely bringing in a few hundred dollars a quarter and my expenses are probably bigger than what I earn. Even though I’m good at what I do, I’m not good at selling what I do, or that I’m good at it. Or maybe I’m just trying to do too many things.

I don’t believe in myself and it’s no wonder others have trouble believing it. I have a feeling that 2019 is going to be the final big push I give it marketing wise and if that doesn’t work out I’ll just stick to working for others.

I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions and don’t even have a word of the year for 2019. Financial security is of utmost importance to me right now and I would like to cut my reliance on welfare this year. I want to write more, I want to be seen. I’ll spend the first few weeks of January planning out how to achieve this. Wish me luck!

Originally published at A blog of her own.