The Most Vulgar Christmas Tree in York, as voted by the Yorkshire Evening Press Readers Cats Arse Face Panel
I'm having terrible problems with impatience at the moment. Not in the sense of being short-tempered, which I am, but no more than usual. It's more, well, that I want things to happen. Mysterious, ill-defined things. Things, with a capital T that I couldn't explain if you asked me. I want to skip past the next few months. Fast forward. Get to somewhere a bit clearer. I swear, it's like being seventeen again, this separation business. I'm desperate to be further on, to have done more, finished with this phase. Everything seems to move glacially slowly to my sulky, teenage mind. All my little treats - and there are quite a few lined up, mercifully, in the next two weeks - seem so far away. The 23rd? AGES. 27th? Unbearably distant. New Year's Eve in Paris? A lifetime away. And will the trains even work? Uuuuurgh, imagine me in a teenage flounce of stupid, impotent despair.
Of course, at the same time I'm intensely lazy, so it's rather like having your feet on both the brake and the accelerator at the same time. Not that I would do that. But I can imagine it might, perhaps, have an untoward effect on major operating systems of the car, or person in question. Hypothetically. One might query the mechanical, er, emotional, integrity of someone who found themselves stifling sobs outside the Monk Bar Model Shop (spiritual home of all men in cagoules who like war) as they tried to explain the plot of The Nutcracker.
Being back in York doesn't help, because it's so intensely like being 17 again, slumping around the house irresponsibly and expecting to be waited on. I got a cup of tea in bed this morning! It must have been the first time since, oooh, the last time I spent Christmas here probably. I forget entirely how to be 35. The whole business reminds me of pining for boys who didn't know I existed or who had brutally chucked me, waiting for some indefinable 'life' to start and reading furiously, gloomily, eating 18000 mince pies and wearing ill-advised sequins and blue nail varnish. Of course, the 2009 version is more of a case of pining for lost opportunities, grinding my teeth and herding children. But the impatience is the same. I do not, it appears, have a zen bone in my body. I have no patience, no restraint, no faith that things happen when they should. I want them to happen NOW.
And just as it was when I was 17, there's nothing unbearable I have to get away from. Right now is actually pretty fine. The boys are remarkably sanguine about their new two homes life; they're sweet and ebullient and apparently confident that everything will be ok. I am really very happy too, if fraught and occasionally massively snappy. Moreover, an objective look back at the last year hardly suggests stasis or stagnation. Things have moved in all manner of ways, perhaps more than any single year previously. I wonder if partly, that's the root of my impatience? I'm desperate to keep the momentum up, and if it were possible to force things to happen through sheer flounciness, I would be well ahead of the game (it isn't. I've tried). As it is, I wish I could just accept a fallow period. A few weeks or months (years? God I hope not) when nothing very significant happens. Wiser people than me have tried to tell me how necessary it is, but I still bubble with impatience.
Of course, it's also partly that my mum is in a muddy field just up the road, and my magnificent, very poorly brother and his wife are taking his children to Lapland today before he starts yet another round of chemo. I can barely imagine how they've done it. That's a proper achievement.
Sometimes zen doesn't quite cut it. Sometimes there isn't enough time. And that's what keeps me up until stupid o'clock, plotting and wondering and getting frustrated.
Any thoughts? Or ideas for exceptionally absorbing activities to give my poor stumpy, ground away teeth a rest?
Oh, and look at these two, Team Snow:
The Space Cadette sledged so much she made herself sick. You have to love that in a 25 year old, no?