I am trying to organise myself. By saying this I have already got off to a wobbly start because one is supposed to be thinking along the lines of either doing something or not. Trying to write the novel/drive the car/climb the stairs doesn’t cut it - you either do or you don’t. Apparently. But, like I said, I’m trying. Mr. Signs, who has begun part-time psychotherapy training (Transactional Analysis), has identified one of my so-called “Drivers”, and it is Try Hard. As drivers go, it’s not such a bad one - Be Perfect is a real stinker to have in the engine.
The thing is that living with a chronic condition (see profile) for so long means that one is often applying the will negatively, in the sense that one has to discipline oneself not to do things. Times when a glimmer of relative wellness opens the possibility for taking action are potentially dangerous because all of you wants to rush in and do it. But overdoing it is easy and subsequent comedown hard as nails. So you learn to walk the line between yes and no.
I am feeling a bit better than this time last year. This is basically down to the fact that I am living life at a pace I can manage and focussing on possibilities. I had hoped for some more radical change with LP, but small steps are good and I was/am nothing if not realistic and, in any case, on we go. I have taken up Pilates. What I mean is I have had a one-to-one session with a practitioner and can now do lying on the floor and sliding my legs forward and back whilst breathing out. This is apparently not nothing. Next I will join the group and basically do what I can. The practitioner asked me if I had ever had whiplash or been in a car accident. I said no.
“You’re lucky then,” she said. Whatever. Tomorrow is pancake day, and after that Lent, for which time I am planning a project, in the company of a fellow Creative. Without going into details (for to name it feels jinxy), it will involve a certain amount of daily activity in the sphere of pen-wielding. Or is it pushing? Anyway, so tomorrow we will eat pancakes and talk about it – always the best part.
The rhythm of my life, though, remains eccentric. There are times, like today, when I do not climb into my body until nearly mid-day. I have just telephoned Waitrose - my supermarket of choice because of this – to see what time they closed and wonder why it has not dawned on me before now (especially now I have no young children) that I can shop, when I must, in the early evening, and actually this frees up a small but substantial portion of daytime energy so that I can write, eat, walk, do chores, see people (or at least one of those). And read.
I think I may only have read one novel last year – from beginning to end, I mean. Poetry and short things, yes, but novels ask a more sustained engagement which I wasn’t able to give. But I want to. So the rhythm of my life must take this into account. I’m reading What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt. Trying.