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Early autumn is fresh energy, late autumn is just cold

Back to school day is always such a relief. Even when the holidays are good, it’s pretty great to be alone again and get organized and get on with things. This time, the holidays were… mixed. Kind of horrible in the middle there. I mean the kids had a great time! Two holiday programmes that they very much enjoyed and had greatly looked forward to (to my surprise; usually they enjoy them but are still fairly reluctant to actually go). C stayed home in the second week, deciding that she’d done Rägicamp* enough times, which was fine by me – we wound up watching a lot of Gilmore Girls together (or, as she used to call it as a toddler – and yes, already hooked – “More Girls”). Because Gilmores is my best comfort viewing and much needed when I’m sick. Which I was.

But back up: it’s not just that I was sick. It’s that Armin and I both came down with a pretty heavy cold while in the middle of decorating. Ohhhh yeah. We had set aside that first week (which he took off work) to paint the hallway, cellar stairwell and part of the cellar. I had fondly imagined we could be done with this by about Wednesday, leaving plenty of time to go shopping, choose and install lights (this house is still shockingly unlighted) and even hang our art. You know, just… finish moving in. Which we actually did last autumn holiday.

Instead, we packed up the painting stuff only last night; we are still unlighted; the skirting boards can’t be replaced for maybe another week (depending on when A can get a drill bit); and art is obviously the last thing on our minds. It all took sooooo much longer than I expected, partly because I was clearly deluded but also because of sundry mishaps and setbacks (a lot of prep work we hadn’t expected, choosing the wrong paint colour three bloody times) and also of course that whole getting sick thing. Painting while sick is even less fun than you might imagine. God it sucked. So I was extremely happy to reward myself with More Girls as soon as I could reasonably do so (i.e. when “my” bits of the work were done and I wasn’t needed helping A). And that definitely did help to restore some enjoyment of the holiday, so, well done me. Also, we may not be done, but I am really rather happy with what we’ve achieved. The house is that much more ours now. Nothing dramatic, but it’s lovely.

I also spent a fair bit of time with spiralling despond over the state of my utter lack of career, because obviously. I am really struggling since losing out on that last job; it’s become even harder to picture a future for myself. Mind you, I have led a pretty charmed life. Basically everything always works out for me, I have an amazingly wonderful partner and perfect kids and I can’t believe how lucky I am to live where I do. So I guess the universe seeks balance; something has to be hard for me some time. Sucks when it happens, but fair enough, right? Still though. I find myself obsessing over what lesson I’m supposed to be learning from all this. Note, not what lesson I can learn; that would be far too sensible. No, I think in narrative arcs and on some level I firmly believe that I won’t be able to move on until I learn The Lesson from this particular plot point. So far the only lesson I’ve latched onto is “I really really really don’t want a corporate job” and that’s clearly not enough to work with here.

*A really cool volunteer-run week of sampling masses of different activities. The scheduling is chaotic, it’s not super helpful in childcare terms but it’s a lot of fun and practically free.

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