It’s just as well that Mr 3 is still a little way off understanding the meaning of intellectual property, because he is the source of a lot of material that I'm merrily ripping off! The other morning we opened the curtains to a day cushioned in fog. “It’s a very froggy morning, mum,” he says. How right you are my boy, how right you are.
Over the past week I have been battling deep lethargy. What a hideous thing it is, a black hole for creativity. But at the moment, mounting jobs are starting to overwhelm, there are spanners in all kinds of works and the in-house concierge service is definitely oversubscribed. I have succumbed to some very froggy mornings.
The trouble is that there are but a few small and specific windows of time in which to work and be creative. Somehow, regardless of what else is going on, I have to be able to flick the switch and get in the zone. Every single minute is precious. In particular, those minutes where no small person swings off your trouser leg, whilst you wash the dishes with one foot in the bottom drawer to stop the baby’s fingers getting slammed in it..... Those minutes are absolutely golden!
But there is always a negotiation between what I really want to be doing and what I think I should be doing. Especially since the time that I'm taking for writing is often borrowed or bought. Everything comes at a cost. Choosing to do one thing at the cost of another, or, more literally, paying for childcare while I do something for myself.
Mother's guilt - the greedy rodent
I remember when my friend first told me about mother’s guilt, I thought I would have to stage an intervention. But with the arrival of my own children, there it was, like a filthy little mouse nibbling on a cracker. Now that I've added my own time consuming interests to the already laden plate of farming and family, that rodent is fattening up nicely. Nibble, nibble....
How to overcome the lethargy
So when those golden minutes are mine, I had better spend them wisely. Here is how I've learned to overcome lethargy;
- Get up an hour early and launch a surprise attack on the day ahead.
- 2 x cups of coffee whilst the children are eating their breakfast.
- Go for a short, sharp walk. Nothing too extreme, we don’t have much time, but enough to get breath in the lungs and the blood to the brain.
- Take a multivitamin - you have nothing to lose.
- Do ONE household job very quickly then walk quickly past the rest of the mess. Do NOT look directly at it.
- Eat a frog. This means; getting that repulsive, lingering job you've been procrastinating over out of the way. You know what I'm talking about. This is the miracle cure!
For me, number six, had everything to do with getting back to the accountant with information excavated from various records. What a grind. But once done, voilà! The mental block and lingering lethargy had lifted. Henceforth, frogs for breakfast and I’ll lay a trap for that mouse.