I haven’t thought about it up until now because I’ve been so busy. For the first time in years, I was out every single evening from last Friday through until yesterday. My evenings have been filled with friends, family and watching an excellent film adaptation of ‘that Scottish play‘. My days have been filled with work. Work that has been getting busier and busier as we make our way through our mammoth quarterly reporting requirements.
Three months ago, being this busy at work made me grumpy. I resented every single extra minute at the office. Each shortened lunch hour also shortened my temper. Six months before that I was nervous and stressed because I had no contract and no money.
This time around I’m busy but I’m happy-ish. (The ‘ish’ is mostly to do with insomnia – I haven’t quite cracked that one yet, although I’m getting there). The happy is a bit more complicated.
It’s partly because, even with all the sadness I have within me and have seen around those close to me, I still feel lighter and more hopeful than I have in a long time. Life has a way of showing you the way – in amongst dealing with my own melancholy and sharing in the heartbreak of close friends, there have been new arrivals. That feels like hope to me. Tenuous, fragile, unpredictable, exciting hope.
The happy is also partly because I don’t think about the past as much – it’s still too painful to remember what I had, what I’ve lost, what I will never have in quite the same shape again. But it’s also too soon to look into the future and daydream – that feels like I’m tempting Fate, and I don’t feel strong enough to do that either. Which really only leaves here and now. Being here now is about as much as I am prepared to deal with right now.
So when I go into work, I don’t think about the hours I could have spent writing if only I was already a financially free and successful author. I don’t think about the walks I would have taken Simba on if he was still around. I just focus on the task in hand, and do the best I can.
I’m grateful to have a great contract that keeps me busy. I’m grateful that I still write during my lunch hour, and I can start to see my story and my characters taking shape. I’m grateful that my work is being appreciated. Being grateful and focusing on the now are keeping me happy-ish.
And that’s enough for now. Because actually ‘now ‘is all we have, isn’t it? So if I’m happy now, then I’m happy. Full stop.