Exhausted, actually. Mentally, and physically tired.
I have seven essays drafted on writing, things that I am processing as I push through the TALKING about writing so I may actually get to the business of DOING the writing. But my brain is so mushified that all I can bring myself to do at this moment is stare at the wall and cry.
Writing is healing, and when I don’t have time to write I die a little inside.
I don’t know how to find the time to fit this into my life. I read blogs of other writers who have one day a week devoted to writing, or several afternoons a week. Of this I am jealous, as I have to squeeze my writing in during an episode or two of Dora the Explorer on most days.
I used to write in the evenings when the house is quiet, but lately I’ve been so behind on basic household chores I’ve found myself vacuuming, or folding laundry, or picking up clutter. And by the time I finish doing this I am too tired to think of anything to write that requires me to dig deep.
I’ve been contemplating routine again. I’ve said this before, but I phase in and out of the scheduled life. In the past, meal planning and scheduled shopping and cleaning days were empowering, but there came a point when even my basic hygienic duties were being neglected so I began doing just The Next Thing.
Today I was talking with a friend who also struggles with depression. She has come to the conviction that time can not stand still every time she is in a season of depression. She must find a way to push through and keep her household running. I understand this, but I do not understand how to execute.
In some ways I believe routine would remove the need to think so much. I would simply go to the grocery store on Monday, clean the house on Wednesday, etc. But in some ways I also find routine stressful. Time slots fill in quickly with Shoulds and Musts and I begin to see a dense forest rather than a peaceful meadow. Eventually I end up spending an entire day in my pajamas because I just can’t bear the thought of DOING something anymore.
But routine might open up the space to write. Wide open meadow-like space rather than disjointed and multitasking moments that make my brain feel like a fragmented hard drive. Perhaps that’s it: I need to defrag my life.
Bryan and I fight the most over this issue of planning. He prefers a schedule, written where we can both refer to it. I also value routine, but writing it down or printing it out creates in me an anxiety that darkens the soul. I fear the failure of more things that are undone, of lists unchecked, of schedules abandoned.
Tasks are measurable. One could look at my schedule, look at my living room, and see that I did not clean as it dictated on my list. But how do you measure the energy and brain power it takes to teach and train a strong willed child? To referee scuffles between siblings? To shepherd, rather than dictate? An entire scheduled day can be derailed by such things.
This week I have been feeling as if God is tearing back the scab of a wound, leaving it raw and vulnerable. My selfishness, my need to control, my unkindness toward Ruthie – it is nothing short of hideous to me. I am sickened by my behavior and the brooding in my heart. Yet, even in my repulsion, it seems I lash out even more.
I am fighting myself. I am fighting God. I know I will walk away with a limp.
(I’m not sure how I got from the beginning of this essay to the end. Clearly, a good free-write exercise can really clear my mind and flush out what’s hiding under the surface of my stress.)