Now that I’m on summer holidays, I’ve finally gotten around to blogging…but it appears I’m having a blogging brain fart.
Since returning to full-time teaching, I can only find the time and energy to blog in the holidays. So when I do, I want it to be momentous, or at least vaguely entertaining. But sitting down purposely to do it feels contrived and forced and everything I write feels…meh.
My children are now of an age where they’re not eating their own poo, or weeing on CDs, or leaving Lego at the top of the stairs as a death trap. They don’t fall into beds of nettles (as much), or throw food at me (they’re more likely to trample me to death on their way to the fridge). They don’t blatantly turn off the TV right in the middle of a favourite programme (although they do have YouTube turned up so loudly in the other room that I may as well watch on mute).
I don’t have to wrestle them into submission to put a nappy on, or chase after them as they escape the toddler group to visit Pet Warehouse. They don’t even join me the bathroom every day anymore (although this still happens regularly enough for me to not feel nostalgic about it quite yet).
These were the events that used to have me itching to type about them because it was cathartic. It allowed me to grasp onto my last shreds of sanity by trying to see the funny side of all the crap that comes with the territory of having a family.
But as I look around for other sources of inspiration, I am struck with a sudden realisation: I can blog about how much of a sad bastard I am these days! It may not strike you as much cause for celebration but it’s a virtually bottomless pit of inspiration.
The things that used to give me joy and a sense of achievement (i.e. my children) have now been replaced by excitement at bagging the last pack of five suntan lotions for £11.99 from Boots.
My life is at such a low ebb that when £7.50 in Tesco Clubcard vouchers dropped through the letterbox today, my heart beat a little faster. I still had enough self-awareness to feel ashamed of myself, but not before I’d decided to spend them on two books for £7 and treat myself to a packet of chewing gum with the change.
And because respect is now a thing of the past, I may as well risk telling you that I felt a sense of pride about putting out a charity bag of old clothes on the correct day. Not only that, but it was early enough for it to be collected and was wrapped in only one bag instead of layering it over the seven I forgot to put out previously. I don’t care – I felt pure, unadulterated joy when I saw it had gone.
In the name of honestly and whilst I’m on a roll, I also felt positively smug at submitting meter readings (in your face, estimates) and elated to have purchased dog poo bags that are sturdy enough to not poke a nail through when I’m poop scooping.
I’ve even cleaned the oven, God help me, and almost wept when I realised I can now (nearly) see through the oven door once more. My cupboards are organised with items in date, no less, and with the labels facing outwards. I’ve opened them twice already just to admire my handiwork. And the fridge is currently a shrine to all things without mould or decay.
Blogging brain fart: resolved. Self-respect: zero.
Please send me back to work where I teach teenagers who already think I’m sad for being passionate about Shakespeare and tragic for caring about comma splices. At least I get paid for that.