Waiting for the Devil…

…or “I seem to have been hovering at these crossroads for a very long time.”

There’s an argument that modern life or post-historical life exists in a state of suspension, of things-perpetually-on-the-verge-of-becoming-concrete. That is to say, we’ve spent all year almost-selling our house. I’ve spent nearly two years almost-getting another job.  We’ve spent seven years nearly-getting a regular babysitter. Or not-quite-sorting out our sex-life. Or finances. Or finishing this damned draft 3. Or. Or. Or.

Endless deferral and not the fun kind Sting gets up to.

Added to that, I’m tired and my office door won’t shut properly. And the mild depression I’ve wrestled with constantly for as long as I can remember is gaining the upper hand at the moment and that will not do.

So here are three things I’m doing in the next three days to address this:

  1. Leaving work on time and going to yoga in five hours
  2. Going home after that to finish another job application which I will fearlessly commit to
  3. Devoting Wednesday’s train journeys to powering through three thousand words of draft 3
And here are another three things I’d like to do in the two weeks
  1. Find a critical reader, one on the same path and at the same stage with their WIP that I am
  2. Have an unbroken nights sleep with no nightmares about my job
  3. Get back into a daily yoga minimum of at least the sun salutations and maybe even a couple of the stretches I hate most (one day, Lotus sitting position, your ass will be mine)
And for the next month?
  1. Not shout at the children once. No matter what the provocation. They’re provoking me because I’m giving them cause to
  2. Establish a ‘date night’
  3. Write 1,000 words EVERY DAY from Wednesday onwards (for tonight and tomorrow, see next three days, #2
You’ll notice that this is nearly all about me, me, me. That’s not a coincidence. I feel a need to re-establish a little personal breathing  space here. A hatha yoga teacher on the family yoga retreat we went on back in July told me that I had the breath expansion of someone who’d just given birth, as if I was still holding all this stuff relating to other people inside of me and was consequently completely unable to breathe in for myself – there just wasn’t the space.
So here’s the final, all-encompassing, random-time-of-the-year resolution – I’m going to learn how to breathe again.

About Dad Who Writes (Gabriel)

Writing, reading, listening, parenting... On Twitter as @dadwhowrites. View all posts by Dad Who Writes (Gabriel)

15 responses to “Waiting for the Devil…

  • bsouth

    Sometimes it has to be all about you. If you don’t look after yourself you can’t look after anyone else. Take care and good luck with the breathing. x

  • The Versitile Blogger Award « Affirm This

    […] Dad Who Writes –  Another blog I found this morning with a voice for life rather than a grammarian. […]

  • affirmthis

    Just left a link to your blog on my own as a Versitile Blogger Award Nomination. Thanks for writing!

    • Dad Who Writes (Gabriel)

      Thank you! I shall go and look. Though I made the decision not to ‘do’ awards a while back so please don’t be offended if no badges appear.

      Mind you, that was in the last incarnation of this blog. I suppose I might not have worked out yet whether this blog ‘does’ awards or not.

      Anyway, thanks for thinking of me! You’ve caught me having a bit of a reflexive morning…

  • charlotteotter

    I found in the last few years, it’s also been all about me. I did a decade of sacrifice and now I’m clawing back.

    Good luck with ALL your projects. I can relate to most of them, especially the ideas of fitting daily writing and yoga. I seem to do both in spurts.

    Hope you find a good critique partner. There are lots of MG writers on Litopia – have you spotted a potential there?

    • Dad Who Writes (Gabriel)

      Actually, I got stuck with Litopia! The entry test seemed to require such a high standard of finished work, the turn-around time longer than responses (well, rejections) I’ve had from bona fide agents (6 months) and the chances of being rejected several times so high that it looked like it would be some years before I was allowed in! Which sounds very silly, now I write it down.

      I really should go back and try again. I felt like such a fraud, though, piously posting my opinions about how one should do this or that when there’s no visible evidence (i.e. published stuff) that I have any right to pontificate. Which is EQUALLY silly.

      Yes, I know. Self-esteem issues.

  • P

    ‘Golly, tough lists’ is what I thought when I first read your post. Are they forever, I didn’t see a time marker to them. Good move though, why wait for the Devil if he’s being too rude to turn up after all this time? Someone really needs to discuss his behaviour with him.

    Maybe I should warn you – I’m in a bit of a picky mood today (can’t see the pokey stick girl but she may have crawled into my ear in the night and have her stick inserted into my index finger).

    Your use of the word hovering got me thinking about wings, wings not being fully spread. And with your devil reference, from devil and wings to angels. What is their part in the cross-roads wait?

    Your ‘me me me’ reference (me me me with love and a smile I hope) that’s very important (says the queen of me me me). Several women’s empowerment type workshops I’ve attended will have women write a list of 5 (maybe 10) of the most important things in their day/lives. And guess what, many don’t write themselves down – the whole point of the exercise to show this. I agree wholeheartedly with bsouth.

    Not just a gold star for getting to yoga last night -zenfightclub hero status. I have a yoga buddy, otherwise I’d skip out all the time. I assume now the mantra is “I am learning how to breathe”? Without breath after all, there is no yoga, as a very theatrical and scary but amazing man in Brighton instructs his charges.

    Picky (sorry) – the office door that doesn’t shut properly, that’s getting you down, can it be resolved? I notice it wasn’t on your list.

    So after your post post twitter comment, in this fresh new day what is the feeling and your knowledge about the list now? If content – great, if not, can you re-evaluate from this new position? You know how your own “getting the upper hand” techniques work for you so trust in them and do the right things for you as you need to.

    May abundance, adventure and opportunity become yours in your quest and some joy too of course.

  • Rol

    You have to make time to be selfish, it’s the most important thing in the world.

  • J

    Just remember what they tell you on the airplane. Put your own mask on first. Doesn’t mean you’re not going to help your child with their mask. It means you’ll be conscious to be able to do so.

    I think there’s a beauty in kindness that gets confused with selflessness. If you can figure out how to not trigger your kids into misbehaving, thus not finding yourself yelling at them, is that selfless, or selfish? I’d say neither. It’s kind…kind to yourself and to your kids (and supermum as well). If you can figure out the sex thing, it’s not selfish. It’s being kind to yourself and her, and your health, and again, the kids and your job too, because you reduce stress and cope better. Same with yoga. Same with your book. All things that appear on the surface to be all about YOU, but in reality are more just putting on your own mask first. Be kind. Kind to yourself and those around you. Selfish/Selfless doesn’t have to be a factor. That’s my wisdom for the day. Whew. All spent.

  • J

    Oh, and I took yoga several years ago because I didn’t feel like I knew how to breathe properly…it really helped. I haven’t been in several years (my teacher moved to Hawaii and I haven’t found another I like as much, plus the expense, plus the job, blah blah blah), but I still feel like I know how to breathe, and I try to do some at home. I wrote a blog post about it at the time, if you’re interested. You can’t comment because it’s old, but maybe it will resonate a bit for you.

  • Kristi

    I’m a bit late here but just chiming in with encouragement. I hope your “resolutions” are going well!

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