This morning I woke up to a text from my friend, urging me to rise and shine, announcing that it was Fridaaaaay, and thanking me for being a good friend. It was the best text ever. Mainly because I’d woken up feeling really crap about myself. I haven’t been writing, and while I thought I knew why, it didn’t make it any easier to bear. I was seriously beating myself up. I confided in her that her message had come at the best time, because I’d been feeling shitty about my lack of focus. She tsk’d and pointed out everything else I’ve been doing to occupy my time instead of writing, and told me I should celebrate those successes. If you’ll bear with me, I’ll share these achievements with you, because when I stop and think about it, I’m actually quite proud of them.
Firstly I had a massive declutter of my house. This is a big deal because I’m the biggest just-in-case hoarder. To give you some idea of how bad I am, I still had the boxes that had housed the crystal wine glasses we got for our wedding. We’ve been married thirteen years and this is our third home since then. I can’t tell you how many trips I had to our local Recycling Centre, because I lost count. I instigated the declutter out of necessity, because our niece and her friend (Fel & El) were coming to stay for a week, and I had to clear out some shit to make room for them. I have to tell you that our home feels so good now, no cluttered corners or little piles of crap everywhere. I’m beginning to see the attraction of putting stuff in the bin every now and again.
Secondly, my freezer broke. Well, the husband broke the freezer, but hey, marriage is all about glossing over these tiny details. Especially since he wouldn’t have been able to break it if I’d defrosted it at any time in the last century. Maybe a slight exaggeration, but not much. I’m the opposite of a domestic goddess, and I can always find better things to do with my time than defrost the freezer. As a result, our freezer had frozen itself shut in protest. Which the husband forgot when he rolled in at midnight after watching England play Belgium, and decided that he would fix himself and his niece a gin and tonic. Instead of going to the freezer in the garage (now there’s a declutter project for the next three years) to get the ice, he wrenched open the door of the frozen-shut freezer in the kitchen. Breaking the seal. And leaving me no other option than to defrost the bloody thing. As I chipped away at the ice with a granite pestle and sturdy pair of scissors, I calmly told Fel & El that they should take this as a life lesson: defrost your bloody freezer. El is considering having that translated into Chinese and tattooed somewhere. It’s good to have a reminder of the important things in life.
Then of course I was looking after the girls, but that’s a ridiculous excuse because they’re in their twenties and I could easily have fitted in some writing time. So what was stopping me. I’ve been thinking about changing the focus of this blog for a while now, and my friend wondered if that might be a contributing factor. Possibly, but then the change is something I’m excited about, and it’s well overdue I reckon. And then she hit me with the bombshell. Comparisonistis. She suggested that if I was comparing myself to someone else that I shouldn’t. My first instinct was to reply that no, I wasn’t. I couldn’t think of anyone I was comparing myself to. But I stopped myself from typing the reply, because what she’d said struck a nerve. I felt certain that actually, I was. But to whom? Then I realised. My fingers hovered over the letter keys on my phone as my mind raced around and finally settled on the truth. I was comparing my current self with the future self I hope to become. I can see how this blog can develop; I can picture my novels for sale on Amazon; I can imagine all the things I dream of coming true. But I have a way to go. Work to do. It’s felt as though there’s a massive gap. And I’ve been focussing so hard on what I want, that I’ve forgotten to appreciate where I am. The truth of it is that I already have so much that I dream of having. I’ve just lost myself a little in the future, and wanted to get there so badly, that when I compare then to now, it feels overwhelming. Yes there’s a lot to do if I want to get there. But I have time. I have so much time. And even by writing this one blog post, I’ve focussed, had some fun, and progressed towards that future me. And who knows, maybe I’m actually already there.