I can’t decide if over-thinking, forgetfulness and distraction are all part of my impending senility or because I am on the cusp of empty-nesting and have less hands-on parenting to preoccupy me.
It’s funny how, once the long-awaited moment arrives and the nest finally begins to empty, you suddenly find yourself with too much time to think.
I get so easily distracted these days. Last night I got sidetracked as I cooked dinner and found myself deciding whether or not to invite these new clients to our Christmas party, and burnt the chicken. There I was, weighing up the pros: they are French and I am a Francophile; she seems fun; I could use some new, fun friends; they like drinking – (always a draw).
And the con: I wouldn’t be able to get completely shit-faced and provide my friends with enough raucous entertainment to be the subject of every dinner party of 2015, at my own Christmas drinks party.
And before I knew it, the meal on our plates had rivalled the old man’s most disastrous barbeque-cheffing disaster of 2009, which had the carcinogenic qualities of a tree caught in a summer bush fire.
To recover from another of my questionable meals, I then wasted valuable Madame Secretary-time pontificating about whether my second glass of wine would be the one to give me cirrhosis of the liver.
I decided against the newbie French friends and to risk the cirrhosis.
This morning I thought angry, retributional (not a real word, apparently, but should be) thoughts for a good twenty minutes as I peddled frantically, (counting every second), on the exercise bike – they were mainly directed at why the fact I have to exercise at all.
Then, at my doctor’s appointment this morning, I found it impossible to concentrate on the real reason I was there when I became sidetracked by her absolutely vile, multi-coloured, patterned, nylon dress – (and, just saying, but she must be earning a fortune). I also pondered about why her tone with me was a little off, and came to the conclusion that she considers me a ‘time-waster.’
I considered Kurt’s future at least ten times an hour today, which is almost as much as men think about sex, apparently.
The thing is…It was not so long ago that I didn’t have time to think about anything other than responding to the perpetual bittersweet singsong of ‘MUM…MUM…MUMMMMM!’ – particularly during what a friend of mine and I called the ‘witching hour’ of the day.
The witching hour was what should have been that beautiful bonding time between parents and their children between the hours of 4.30pm and 6pm.
OUR children, however, were not textbook and were too tired to be human at that time of day, and instead were cranky, despondent and frankly vile, and would torment us with whines, eye rubs and tantrums until we could finally put them down (to bed!) and open the bottle of wine.
While other mothers of ‘perfect/normal/smugly contented’ children were singing, reading and snuggling up to their kids for a pre-bedtime cuddle, my friend and I counted down the seconds to wine-time, gave our spawn premature baths to pass the time, shoved in the dummy every time they opened their mouths to protest and clock-watched until the earliest time we could feasibly put them to bed.
‘Witching hour’ is very quiet in our house these days. I almost miss that whining.
NC exiles herself to the BF’s house most days – he has definitely replaced me in her affections – either that or she is working hard to earn money to spend on aforementioned boyfriend.
And Kurt’s ‘Top Gear’ marathon starts as soon as he returns home from school, with only a short pit stop for food, before he disappears back to his testosterone-infused man cave and the wisdom of Jeremy Clarkson for dessert.
So, until the old man gets home, in between finishing work, self-medicating and stuffing my face with dinner, it is strangely quiet in the apartment. Spookily quiet, except for the reassuring sound of the Princess scratching her fleas and bumping into my feet under my desk to remind me it’s nearly dinner time.
There’s almost too much time to think.
And I wish I could finish this post by impressing you about what I think about, such as deep, meaningful and philosophical thoughts about the state of humanity, global warming or the oil crisis, but alas, my mind gets far too bogged down with Cosmopolitan-level girly shit, to make it to urgent world matters.
I can ruminate for hours about where the time went and how I forgot to paint my toe nails, which means I can’t wear sandals. I can torture myself for hours over what a bad friend I am because I never call anyone – then waste at least 3 hours worrying about it and self-hating, yet I still don’t call. I can fret for an hour about what to cook for dinner and what the best way is to cajole the old man into buying a takeout.
There’s a lot to be said for being younger, ridiculously busy and having no time for distraction. My production line is much more efficient when I can hardly breathe. Quieter weeks, with the luxury of time to think about what I need to do, lead me to distraction and over-thinking, and although lists help and keep me focused to a degree, they only help when I remember to refer back to them.
But they are the future – they are the only real chance I have of achieving anything these days.