I just paid my annual subscription to keep this thing alive thus I am compelled to rattle the box figuratively marked “stuff to prattle on about”, and then spill the contents into your eyes.*
Sleep is still a notional luxury, but tiredness is now an active choice. My alarm goes off at 5.30am and I shimmy out of bed. I take a slug of water and shimmy one of my pillows to block No.2 from rolling out of bed, and to Ferris Bueller, my continued presence hopefully reducing the chance of rousing him.
I progress to the bathroom and dispense with whatever elements my body has grown tired of (sorry, but I “know” you like me to be thorough), switch on the shower and clamber into the warm, welcoming cascade of agua. I soap myself up, then switch it to cold, and try and control my breathing as ice shards shred me while I try to remove all the suds, without screaming for my Mummy.
I dry myself, brush my teeth, and dress, followed by an annoying bonus wee that I always seem to need despite having always gone as soon as I got in there…
Then downstairs I go, computer and kettle on, cats fed, brew made, Spotify, Word and FadeIn activated, and the “best”(/most selfish) bit of my day has started. I have about an hour to pour as much creativity out as I can whether it’s adding to an outline, or hurling scenes onto the page and words into characters mouths, and it’s bliss.
I love my wife and children, but this is my moment to be the Me that no one needs anything from for at least a short while. The cats might come and have a snuggle and it’s lovely.
Usually, this pocket of wonder comes to a close with an enthusiastic
through the monitor from #2, or #1 stumbling in bleary-eyed
“Can I put the TV on?”
“When you’ve got your uniform on”… and lo’ battle commences as the wheel begins to turn again.
The main problems with starting my day so early are that I’m “new baby” tired a lot of the time, and, because I start the day writing, experiencing life on my own terms, my actual job feels entirely beneath me.
The benefits and rewards though are myriad. I don’t have to wait until children and food are out of the way before I abandon my beloved to her own devices, I don’t feel guilty when the previous things haven’t occurred and another day has passed without me writing anything. I feel energised because I’m making progress, I don’t feel as much like a drone, I can watch whatever we want without feeling I should be doing something more productive.
There have been so many times that I’ve encouraged others to “look for the moments and not the hours” to do the things they love. You can do a lot in a 5-minute bubble that DOES exist than in a 3-hour block that you never find. Now because I’m MAKING the time rather than waiting to FIND it I feel incredible!
Incredible’s probably a bit of a stretch but that’s a lot closer to it than the last year has allowed for.
*Protective eyewear is reader’s responsibility