The past month has been a writer's disaster. Between vocabulary challenges, grammatical confusions and subjects that are either too riske to write about or just flat too boring, August has not been one to put down on paper (or screen). Mind space has been occupied with more pressing problems like how to throw a sudden dinner party for 18 when I have crockery only for 12 and how to fall asleep at eight in the evening and sleep right through an evening of my life without waking up to regret it the next day. Like I said...pressing problems!
Every time I sat down to write, there were forces beyond my self that would force me to stop.
- The doorbell at midnight (all very exciting, friends from an ad agency dropping in to talk life strategies and fight about ethics and gossip about whose seeing whom and whose cheating on whom and whose flirting with the boss). I readily exchanged a chance to write for a chance to sit with 6 very interesting, very smart, very funny and slightly drunk friends.
- A phone call from an ex boyfriend who had completely vanished from my world only to re-surface, strangely enough, as I was trying to write. Ofcourse I had to take the call and ofcourse we spoke for 3 hours, and it goes without saying that I had to reminence and mull and snort over several things in the hours after the call, all of which effectively spelled death for my article which was oh, about fifteen words at that time.
- The arrival of my next patient. I am testimony to the fact that it is a lousy idea to try and sqeeze some writing between patients. Sometimes I barely get in five thoughts and one word before my receptionist comes in to say the four o'clock is here. Besides thoughts do tend to get a little confused in my head. I found myself sometimes thinking of root canals while writing articles and thinking of article topics (er, think - funny, shoes, clothes, poetry, boys) while elbow deep in a mouth...it was a bad bad idea.
- The urge to move and fidget and do something physical even if it meant twiddling my thumbs. For a person who can sit still for hours on end (book, movie, sleep, faking exhaustion!), I have named last month Angsty August. My body was in some kind of unknown angst. I was fidgety, it was impossible to keep hands and legs still. If my body couldn't keep still, my mind was even more unfocussed. Thoughts would enter my head and fly out at 300 miles / hour. I was craving fresh air, I wanted to be outdoors, I wanted music pumping in my ears and I wanted to walk, or rock climb, or dive from a really high rock in a really blue sea. I wanted adrenalin and I wanted it now. Most importantly, I wanted to not have to think.
It was a conspiracy. I was not meant to plan. I was not meant to control. I was not meant to try too hard. Everything about last month was about not doing what you think you should be doing, but just going with the flow. It was about making 24 hours feel like an eternity and not the other way around.
Now that Angsty August has gone, I am back to what I do best - planning and dreaming. If I could plan one perfect day just for me, this would be it:
9 hours of sleep
5 hours of work
2 hours of reading
2 hours of writing
2 hours of walking
2 hours of movie watching
3 hours of eating (now you know my weakness, I like long relaxed meals and eating out)
2 hours of learning something
2 hours of friends (extendable to 8 hours if necessary)
That is 29 hours and counting...and it sounds just about right.