We spend so much of our time and energy at work that our real lives are lived on the periphery of our consciousness.
I came up with that statement. By myself. Noone helped. Although a big glass of vodka would have helped.
Ever since my holiday in August, I am finding it increasingly hard to accept that this is my life. I reckon I spend a total of 10 hours in the working week with my son. Between him, housework, work and watching tv, I think I spend about 5 hours with my husband, majority of that in the train travelling into work.
I am afraid to sleep. I can’t be wasting precious hours sleeping. So I make a point of falling asleep on the sofa with the tv on until 1 am, because that isn’t really sleeping. I am making most of life. Living on the edge.
I don’t really have time to be tired. I am too busy.
The sky is a beautiful bright blue, but not so blue that it hurts my eyes. The air is heavy with sunlight. The cool wind tickles my nostrils. My lips taste delicious, salty. I feel the grainy sand between my fingers and scoop it up in my hands. I love the ocean’s whisper as it crashes against the shore.
I lay there with my eyes closed. Pattering little feet come and go but I am not curious about them.
I feel the sky turn purple. I hear the hush of sunset. I long for a warm blanket.
Yet I lay there with my eyes closed. Passionate murmurs do not tempt me.
I lay there until my head clears of conflicting thoughts. My heart is strong once again, young and brave. The scars of survival fade away. The ocean’s whisper returns my innocence.
Slowly I open my eyes. The whitewashed ceiling is unforgiving. And it is all back again, the confused mind, the unending lethargy, the search for meaning. I am once again a patched-up little girl trying to learn the rules for living.
Colleague A: I have a cat. Her name is frog.
Colleague B: That would really confuse my child, I would have to say ‘This is frog, it’s a cat!’
Colleague A: She keeps jumping into the bath that I have drawn up for myself.
Colleague B: Well, she is probably thinking ‘They call me frog, I might as well act like one’. If someone asks you to name a child, you should refuse.
Have you overheard any odd conversations today?
When I was young, I loved to love love. Life was all about the voracious reading of love stories, the soft light of dawn, the splatter of rain drops, a stolen look, the giggling of girlfriends, a shared smile, heartbreak. Youth stretched out indefinitely ahead.
With each passing year, however, the Paulo Coelho stories became a little less inspiring, the magic realism of solitude, a little more unrealisitic. Life slowly became the chaotic clamour of a hundred little fights, sleepless nights after a baby is born, incessant cleaning, stacks of dirty dishes, coughs and colds, an annoying manager, a million microwaved meals, packing lunchboxes, ironing, inflation, changing immigration rules. Life becomes about survival. Surviving the mindlessessness of those hundred little fights, finding a moment’s relief in a hug, looking for redemption in a single thought that strings it all together, hoping for a minute of reflection in a constant juggling act. It never comes. The fight for survival stretches indefinitely ahead and the path is for you to tread, alone.