In defence of *my* quiet life. 

Anxiety, Be nice, Epiphanies, It's not fair, Quiet life, Shed of the year 2015, Summertime drinking, Why aren't I Patti Smith?, Worry

I agonised about whether the title of this post should be ‘In defence of…’ ‘a’ or ‘the’ quiet life. I went for ‘my’ because it’s specific: everyone’s life is different, right? Regardless of its volume. 

In my teenage bedroom the walls were, and I use this term in its loosest possible sense, ‘decorated’ with pieces of plain paper on which I would write song lyrics, fractions of poetry, snippets of my own awful, angsty writing. I was aspirational pretentious. One of my favourite lyrics at the time went:

Why live in the world when you can live in your head? 

From Pulp’s Monday Morning. And now I have part of an Annie Dillard quote tattooed on my arm, which goes:

But a life spent reading – that is a good life. 

Are you drawing a comparison?

Seems to me that I’ve always tended toward a quiet, non-experiential life. And herein lies the rub: is this something I should feel bad about? Should I hate myself, even just an small amount? Are all the books, the songs, the imaginings really an adequate substitute? Should I accept, even defend, the stillness of my life or should I turn up the volume, as it were?

The other day I was having a private tantrum wondering why we weren’t going away anywhere this summer when we clearly should be able to afford it. I was angry that I wasn’t exploring exciting locations, having my mindset slightly altered, if only for the duration of the ‘holiday’, creating beautiful memories or, at least, well-shot Instagrams – see how I try to belittle to reassure myself? 

But then I realised. We could indeed afford to travel somewhere that’s not here, except we spent our money on a new carpet for the hall and a lovely garden bench. The quiet life. And I love my house, being at home, nesting. Like a tiny bird.  And the bench, which I’m calling my Reading Bench, will give me real long term pleasure. So just shut up. But… It’s a big world, kiddo. And before I die, I’d like to see a bit more of it. 

I realise that this post doesn’t really live up to the promise contained within its title. Not really a defence, is it? It would’ve been more honest to write:

I haven’t had a holiday this year. Not fair. 

  

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Miscellany. 

Damn like or damn comment on my damn blog! Thank you., Fatigue, MS, Multiple Sclerosis, Summertime drinking

Yo. It’s Sunday morning, I’ve thrown open my window and can hear the contented twitterings of various garden birds, floating into my bedroom.* The smoky haze clouding the sky has started to be burnt away by an increasingly confident, dare I say cocky, sun. It promises to be a lovely day. That’s what the Met Office weather app says, anyway. Albeit less poetically, and with pictures.   

  
I’m sure, dearest reader, you’ve gathered that I have nothing of significance to impart to you on this fine day. Yep. True dat. So, instead, I might equip you with a list to be going along with. It seems to be the only right and proper thing to do. You onboard, so to speak? Okay. Deep breath. Here goes:

  • Every morning I’m taking a, not ridiculous, but, let’s say, silly number of pills. Regarde: MitoQ x 2 (no idea if they’re having any effect at all, or what exact effect they should be having); Gabapentin x 2 (to be repeated twice more throughout the day, if you’re an MSer it’s 3x900mg – for LOUSY NERVE SPASMS – these work, good); sertraline, for my MOOD; amantadine (for the FATIGUE – don’t appear to be doing cuss-all). I’m not quite rattling yet, but, you know. 
  • Item two on my list. Er. I’m still under the specific weather system a committee has voted, unanimously, to call FATIGUE. 
  • It’s not like I’m completely incapacitated though, before you rush over with magazines and lovingly prepared meals in little goddam Tupperware boxes. More inconvenienced. Thanks, though. 
  • Can I get away with not washing my hair this morning? Because that’s such a tedious life-force sucking activity. And I really can’t be bothered. It’ll be alright, right?
  • Final list item: this is the end of the list. 

Are you still here? Well, can you leave please? Go! I’ve got a day to attack. Or nudge. Clip, at least.  

 

*This isn’t a good sentence. Badly constructed. I mean the sounds, not the actual birds.  Okay?

Little grey cloud. 

Fatigue, Life is hard, MS, Summertime drinking, Wasting the day, Women

Hey you. Yeah, I know. I’m sounding all whiny and dejected, aren’t I? And it’s a beautiful sunny day so what’s my problem, like? Well. It’s hard to be a little grey cloud when the day’s so temperate. 

Let’s go through the circumstances that have led me to feeling so stratusy.  

 
Still off work. Fatigue. I’m so bored of it that I could barely muster the infinitesimal amount of energy required to type those seven letters. Gah. Etcetera. It’s been one of those days where I’ve constantly been doubting myself, questioning myself. Should I be at home? Is being medically signed off justified? Am I faking it, you know, for the extra hours in bed?*

This morning, once I’d dragged my sorry ass outta bed (I’m never using that phrase again, just testing it out, hate it), very half-heartedly semi-yoga-esque stretched, blended up a spirulina/spinach smoothie, drank said smoothie, after ALL OF THAT, I made a list. Oh lists. Where all (some) of the things start. Aside: I went through a phase of giving lists *hilarious* titles, such as ‘the last list didn’t kill me, I’d like to see this one try’ and such. Good times. Anyhow. The whole writing a list business made me feel weepy and oppressed. Damn the patriarchy! (I’m not sure I can hold the patriarchy responsible in this case).  

 
Little wander round my house. Took the stairs two at a time (whilst gripping bannister, obvs). Made myself use my (cheap’n’cheerful) exercise bike. Managed fifteen minutes before I was almost dead from being bored. I find exercise tedious. Someone tell me about an exciting way of exercising? Or make it so it doesn’t matter? And just drinking wine is okay?

That reminds me. This might be why I’m all irritable. Hot weather demands that you sit outside, al fresco, sipping on an alcoholic beverage.  

Me and L, in happy drinking outside times.

Sunshine and supping on a lovely, icy, refreshing G+T/beer/cider is one of life’s most innocent of pleasures. And we can’t even have that, apparently. Because of, like, something to do with your liver or some such nonsense. Hokum. I’m on a self imposed ‘dry’ week/few days. Stupid idea. Disclosure: not an alcoholic. Medication/natural lightweightness means I can only manage a couple of glasses of wine or whatever. But, you know, soft-drinks just don’t cut it on summer days like this. Erk. Pull yourself together, Ema. 

Finishing Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everthing has not helped lighten today’s mindset either. Please do read it. Although I’ve just (always) been entirely inconsequential, the urgency and necessity of doing anything and everything in our power, as citizens, to force our governments to wake up and take action, to do anything and everything in their power, to avert the very worst future scenarios that lay in store for us if runaway climate change is not averted – that sentence has run away with me – basically, it should be all we’re talking about.  

 
My butterfly mind however, directed me to Iplayer where I watched (for the second time), Father John Misty’s Glastonbury performance. He full on nailed it. So in his words: 

But everything is fine / Don’t give in to despair / Cause I love you, honeybear.  

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=czninCkFfaA 
*Disclaimer. I’m not faking it.