Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Time of my Life

Life is hectic. One side of my brain - the one that is getting all the complaints from my sore back, my heavy feet, and my sleepy head - considers it hellishly hectic. I'm in a list frenzy of epic proportions. This week I'm planning my mum's birthday tea, Poppy's birthday party, my husbands birthday surprises on holiday, packing for said two week family holiday, trying to organise childcare so I go have a scan and take my mum out for lunch, baking for Poppy's school birthday celebration, baking and cooking for birthday party etc etc etc. I have lists for my lists. Holiday lists. Party lists. Present lists. My lists are so colour co-ordinated they look like the aftermath of a fight in a wool shop.
The kids sceam, the cats meaow and as soon as I sit down, the baby kicks the hell out of me.
"Take it easy," they tell pregnant women. Are they having a laugh?

But the other side of my brain is happy and relaxed. Whenever the frenetic fury of the other side stops squawking for a moment, my happy side realises that this is actually the time of my life. I have two glorious, gorgeous girls, one gorgeous, glorious guy, and one much loved, much wanted, long awaited baby on the way. My mum and dad, and brother's fmaily are close, alive and well.

My life is hectic, and rushed, and chaotic, and challenging, and exhausting and exhilerating, because my life is full. For the last two years, grief and confusion has played a large part in our life and the loss of three babies will always be felt. But. My life is alive and filled with love and laughter. I may be exhausted most of the time, but I am also grateful. And I need to tell the other side of my brain to chill out a bit more. This is the time of my life, and I want to live it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What am I doing with my life?

Maybe it's because I've recently turned 40. Maybe it's because I'm facing the prospect of bringing another life into the world. Maybe it's just the unfurling of my brain after a winter of hibernation. I've always been a liver and lover of life. But recently I've been wondering if perhaps I could have crammed more in.

There are mornings as I lay in the yet unseen bedroom, my eyes still shut, and I wonder what new things I will learn today. After a lifetime of learning, I seem to have gone on sabatical since my girls were born. And what makes my eyes spring open and stare, slightly perplexed, at the ceiling, is the vast dark abyss of the things I don't know.

I read an article recently about a man. He's the top dog at the British Museum. He has touched history (literally), he has studied life, he has experienced knowledge I could never attain. His whole life has been about discovery and learning. There are days I feel my whole life is about wiping bums and finding good deals on fresh fruit. Then I watched an interview with the award-laden Irish author John Banville. Litering his literary library, his knowledge in Greek and Roman mythology was so ingrained in his everyday thoughts, it didn't even seem like something specific he knew. It was just knowledge that I did not know.

I don't have a specialised subject. All those years of travel and working and reading - what did I actually learn? My geography is appalling, my third world development politics faded as my management skills took over - and lets face it - there's not a lot of knowledge there. Yes, I've read lots of novels, but what have I learned? Surely someone as widely educated and travelled and well-lived as me should know a few things? The essence of French cuisine? The planetary portfolio? The names of common plants and flowers? The bird species of Ireland? How to download the footage from my video camera to my computer?

So I have to start cramming. I have to put down my novels and pick up my text books. I have to get off the couch and go back to night school. Maybe once the baby's born. Ok, definitely once the baby is sleeping through the night. Maybe next summer. In the meantime I'll just have to wing it. But then again, not always. Yesterday Daisy asked me why I loved her. Ah. That I know. That I can answer that. Easily.