now that she’s back in the atmosphere
I don’t have drops of Jupiter in my hair, but I’m back.
My hiatus from home and life and blogging and everything else was due to an unexpected stint in hospital. Maybe I’ll talk about it sometime; maybe I won’t. I can’t say that it was either pleasant or welcome, but I can say that I was very lucky in many respects: excellent doctors and nurses, some positive clinical results, lots of newspaper crosswords and kind visitors, a slow-release morphine patch on my back that means I can bend and put my own underpants on again(!), a newly established healthy sleep pattern.
Something about being suspended from my everyday life for a week has allowed me to view it with an objectivity not usually available to my scatty, scatty mind. I found that I was nervous about coming home, because I realised that I didn’t particularly enjoy my life. That’s sad. I didn’t want to go back to my bedroom where I’ve spent so many days and weeks in bed. I didn’t want to slide back into my position as piggy in the middle of all my family’s dysfunctions. I didn’t want to go back to my office and my e-mail accounts and the Internet where I deal with a barrage of information and a constant stream of demands from here, there, and everywhere all day, every day.
But in recognising this, I can choose to do something different now.
If someone or something isn’t helping me to be healthy and happy and strong, I can consciously impose some much-needed distance.
Facebook is a big thing for me.
As a professional writer, I’m expected to be ‘social media savvy’. I have to be active online. I also need my personal account to manage my professional pages and groups. While I do enjoy staying connected with family and friends whom I might ordinarily lose track of, I realise that Facebook is an incredible time waster. It’s also addictive. The more you post and share, the more you want or need to post and share. It becomes a compulsion to post every curious thought that passes through your mind, every cute picture that you come across, every interesting article that you’ve ever read. I have made an effort over the last six months to limit my updates to interesting or funny (predominantly non-personal) things, but I’ve still been spending much too much time keeping up with the feed and various group/page postings. At the end of the day, Facebook is often little more than a writhing mass of collective attention-seeking and passive aggression. I can’t count the number of times that I’ve seen a friend’s update and suspected or just wondered if it was aimed at me. It’s an intense and destructive environment and I’m happier keeping away from it — just dipping in and out to make a Scrabble move or send a message to someone to arrange a coffee date. I don’t need to invest in people’s soap opera dramas or feel that I’m being watched or analysed by others.
So, I’m back.
And I feel a little different.
I’m hoping to start posting again daily, but I might not hit this goal if I’m too tired or if I’m aware that I’m overdoing things.
On a final note, I’d like to stress the importance of packing one’s own hospital bag if one has the chance. My mother packed for me three bottles of conditioner (no shampoo), a blunt razor, the toothbrush with which we sometimes clean the shower head, and her underpants.
Yes, I’m glad to be home.