Sunday 23 October 2011

Feeling the Feelings, Thinking the Thoughts

This is quite a brave thing to do.  It feels very uncomfortable to sit and feel what we are really feeling and think what we are really thinking, right through to the end.  For example, I feel worried to death about getting the exhibition A Graceful Death ready for Birmingham next week.  Don't like this, I say to myself, Laaa laaaa laaaa, and I drown out the thoughts and look for a nice way to not feel anxious.  I do some more housework, Laaa laaa laaa, can't have silence because it makes me anxious so I put on the radio.  Going into the studio gets harder and harder to do.  I need to talk to the Glorious Clarissa now for hours, and then to Lovely Lucy Martin, Whirlwind Extaordinaire, and then to Olivia who will agree with me on everything...

I have been advised to sit down, when this is happening, and really feel the feelings and think the thoughts, and in squaring up to them, taking them on board, wrestling them to the ground, see that it isn't quite as awful as I think it is.  I have been told to take a pen and paper and make a plan.  But not until I have felt the feelings and thought the thoughts.  Until, in other words, I have faced up to the insurmountable problem of worrying myself to a frazzle about, amongst other things, next week and the exhibition.  Such a simple idea but so difficult to do.

We all know about my Sons.  Fabulous creatures, both of them, but quite a handful.  Feeling my feelings and thinking my thoughts about them was at first very alarming because I expected the logical conclusion to be that I would have to sell them both on Ebay.  I thought, if I actually follow my thoughts and feelings through  to the end concerning these two, I may find that I am not a very nice mother.  I may come to the conclusion that selling them to NASA is a good thing, and that they would do very well in space learning how to orbit for a few years.  What happened was much less exciting.  I did sit down and let it all happen, and I realised how very tired both boys were making me.  That tiredness was spilling over into all other areas of my life, and the anxiety about putting together the exhibition for next week was not helped by being so exhausted keeping my Man Cubs going.  I felt real anger towards them both, and I felt real compassion.  They simply haven't got a clue.  There they are, thinking with such conviction that they have nothing left to learn and that they are in control;  there they go, furiously judgmental and self righteous and then, coming to me because there is a spider in the room and they can't stand spiders.

After a little while of discomfort, feeling and thinking, I realised that I am doing the right thing with the Sons.  That is a relief.  I also realised that I am tired and angry and need some time off from them.  And that it is, actually, up to them quite a lot.  Not up to me.  Hoooray.  Now that lets me off the hook a bit.

As for the exhibition.  Well, thinking and feeling and so on, made me cancel everything that I could until further notice.  I simply need the time here to get the exhibition properly sorted, catalogued, prepared, packed, finished and mirror plates screwed onto every single painting.  There are now 48 paintings.  Blimey, that is a day's work and no mistake.  I still have to finish a painting for it, and I still have to plan my journey.  And to leave everything in place for 14 Year Old Son to survive the week with a friend who is coming to stay to look after him, and of course, to make sure the friend is safe. (Here, have this taser and don't be afraid to use it). After sitting and thinking about the exhibition, I understood that I was avoiding getting it ready and that I felt it was too difficult.  Well, it was too difficult if I was planning to do a hundred things other than the exhibition in the hopes that it would all go away and that somehow, Eileen might do it all long distance when I was not looking in between doing her own job, her degree and her own photography work.  So.  After sitting and thinking and feeling, the eureka moment was Cancel Everything, and so I did.

Another major Don't Want To Know Laaa Laaa Laaa item on the list is my health.  I am a veggie and I don't drink alcohol, I love water cress and I think chickpeas are fab.  But, I am a twit when it comes to sleeping well, being realistic about how much I can do, and being sensible.  So, sitting down and thinking and feeling and so on, makes me see that I avoid sleep.  Idiot.  What do I want to do that kind of dumb-ass thing for?  I avoid sleep because when I lie down in bed there is nowhere for my thoughts to go except round and round, and because I don't like feeling the feelings and thinking the thoughts and so on, they are chaotic.  And I get nervous and I get overwhelmed and the best way to deal with that is displacement.  Empty the dishwasher!  Get up and even though it's midnight, put the washing on!  Clean the bannisters!  And now, since I am up, do the hoovering!  Oh no wonder I have been feeling worse and worse.  I don't sleep, I try and avoid thinking and I am not facing up to anything.  And when I did start to unravel it all by letting myself think and feel all the way through, the things I was worrying about weren't that bad at all.  The most sensible outcome from that particular little sitting and thinking lark is that I have been exhausted for well over a week now, and have been sleeping early instead of late, having a wonder-snooze during the day and longing each morning for night to come so that I can go to bed all over again.  Blimey O'Reilly.  It's tipped a bit too much the other way though, and once I have caught up on my rest, I will be more normal.  Don't laugh.

Well.  Perhaps things are improving.
  • Boxing Boy, the sweet natured Viking in our midst, has just bought me a penguin biscuit.  Seeing how quickly it went, he went and bought me another.  
  • Furiously Independent Son, the extemely angry and world weary despot in our midst, has just done two loads of his own washing.  
  • It is just after 10 past 6, and bedtime is getting nearer and nearer.
I'm going to take all the penguins to bed with me tonight, I know where they are hidden.  Result.

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