Tired Friday With Cake Potential

It’s Friday….! Which means that I made muffins for breakfast (black banana from the fridge finally utilised), had a coffee (I ration the stuff) and got through my swimming class (instructor was very concerned because I was tired – kept asking what was going on. Aside from a busy week at work, and aren’t they all, the answer is simply PMS; should have said so).

Swimming and blogging are the weekly staples of my Friday diet, but I always try to do something more. In fact, I had so many ideas today, that I wound up on Facebook, because it all sounded like so much work! Sample idea:

  • making a cake! lemon loaf again? or that difficult apple pie that I fancied?
  • finish my registration for European elections – that one’s in the calendar!
  • watch RuPaul’s Drag Race – but not before other work!
  • do two-three loads of laundry (okay, one of those even happened)
  • footbath and scrub! ooh, and a facemask (I never do any of these)
  • look up the next slow cooker sensation and plan shopping, so that lunches for next week are done (steady on, got a couple of days yet…!)
  • ….more…

The problem is that Friday is duvet day for me. As in, the one and only rest day I allow myself in the week. I always make plans for Saturday, I work Sunday nights as well as Monday-Thursday – there is literally no part of the week when I’m not DOING SOMETHING. So maybe – just maybe – making a cake that I fancy eating and watching Drag Race is not the end of the world. I mean. Maybe. I can’t quite make myself believe it.

In fact, the one thing that is steadily suffering in my new world order is socialisation. Oh no, make that two things: socialisation and gigs. I all but stopped doing comedy, and while I get lots of human contact from my dayjob (yay kids!) and evening job (yay quizzers!), seeing my friends seems impossible. I did do pilates, yoga AND swimming this week, so maybe I can give myself a break…?

In any case, by writing this down I want to give myself permission to both Want All The Things and Not Achieve All The Things. I’m tired. I’m sitting on the sofa. I really fancy making a cake. Maybe there is nothing wrong with that.

I Love Swimming. I Don’t Love March

Quick note in addition to my Wednesday blog: this week has been… a bit not good. Tough, even. I expected myself to Do Stuff to do with my permanent residency – something that I am beginning to accept might not happen, because as I do the research, it turns out that the way I worked, earned and survived might not be good enough for the British taxman. I am still looking into it, but also trying to let it go slowly. I wanted this. Settled status will still be a option, later. We will see.

It is a very strange thing to think of the years I’ve spent in this country – growing up, learning about myself, trying, failing, designing my artistic career – as a retroactive audition for citizenship. I certainly didn’t “perform” my life to earn a passport, I haven’t come over with that in mind. I’m not the most business-minded person, although I am working to change that: that means that when I registered as self-employed, it was to find out whether I could hack it as a performer and get legally paid. It doesn’t mean I had what is considered a “viable business idea” or knew how to realise such an idea. Or earned enough to prove that in retrospect I was The Correct Kind Of Potential Resident.

So many of us. Doing cash-in-hand jobs, floating, trying to be free, trying to survive, trying to be artists, performers, to add beauty to life. In this new world order, we are so vunerable, so unpractical, considered unnecessary and extraneous, of low value. Kafka-esque paperology. Good thing I know that my value doesn’t rest on it.

And today is Friday. So I went swimming. I love swimming. For now it’s enough.

Back to Mother Water (#swimmingwisdom)

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Google searches: Breast stroke technique (disappointing. I need to learn underwater breathing before improving the rest…)

I went swimming today, after a long-ish break (haven’t gone since Edinburgh Festival). Giddy from the in-the-water euphoria, I deliberated how swimming is a perfect sport for a writer. Which it is! At least for this writer… 🙂

But still. You can do it with minimum equipment (granted, if you want fancy gear, don’t let me stop you!), your sweaty body gets immediately refreshed and it’s easy on the joints. Back pain reduction also doesn’t hurt (a PUN! Okay, let up, I’m still giddy), you get abdomen muscles with minimal fuss and repetitive movement can be soothing (that bit is personal, it would be annoying for some).

And the most important thing: WATER.

I love, love, love being in the water.

Lying on the water is a favourite; it’s beautiful to let it just carry you, feeling the minute changes of currents, that even an artificial environment like a pool will have, water sloshing this way and that, with gentle waves from your fellow swimmers coming your way. *** But swimming itself, conquering the space with the strength of your body alone – such a perfect counterpoint to writing, as well as a representation of it! You are the steering wheel, the sailor and the ship (to misquote a Polish poem). You are the inspiration, the work and the editor. You are the moving, straining body; an ever mobile, reaching mind.

You are the child in the womb; the grown human being, daring to look life in the face and comment.

You are everything at once.

And you get a lot of new writing ideas in the shower, after….

*** just make sure fellow swimmers aren’t giving you the evil eye, because you’re in their way…!

Today is the day!

Yes! Happy birthday, Will.

Will: Wasn’t me.

Rita: Oh, I’m not even going there!

Mood: happy

Google searches: (insert names of actors cast for second table reading) (results very positive)

Today is the day I stopped punishing myself for not being The Perfect Playwright That Could. Because I had this idea that writing since age 7 should have made me a pro at what I’m doing now, right off the bat. #seemslegit

Well.

But now that I’ve let that go…. I’m an imperfect, existing, real-life Playwright That Can Give Her Best And More. And that’s a much nicer thing to be!

So I went to the park (instead of punishing myself for not writing), and for a coffee with a friend (instead of punishing myself for not writing) and to a swimming pool ((instead of…. have you sensed a theme yet?). I celebrated Will’s birthday (shut up, de Vere) in good old sunshine, made new friends, dog and human, and – who knew – wrote a bit, too.

Now back at my computer, for more of the good stuff! My arms are like cooked noodles and I feel full of #swimmingwisdom (like that feeling when you stop fighting the water, and it carries you. That’s how I feel).

So yeah, today is the day! And I’m free to love my life again.

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