I have my cranky pants on today. Next door are doing renovations, and it sounds like they’re using a jackhammer to pull the tiles off the walls in the bathroom, directly on the other side of my wall. This is day two. Yesterday it went on for nearly four hours—maybe longer, I was out in the morning–and it is driving me nuts. I cannot think straight, I’m getting a migraine from the noise. Yesterday I asked one of the workers how long they’d be doing that and he said, “it’s stopped.” Since I could barely hear him over the sound of the jackhammering at that particular moment, that was either a misunderstanding on someone’s part or a clever attempt to confuse me. And they promised that today would be quieter, and it’s not, and that is why I’m sitting in a coffee shop muttering into my latte.
I am very tired. Bianca came into our bed in the night, which always means I sleep very badly on the 4 inches of mattress I’m allowed. Then at five AM she did the old dreaming you’re on the toilet trick and wet our bed. I got her up, cleaned her up and put a towel on our bed, then she climbed back into her own and fell straight back to sleep, the little sod. I lay on my damp towel for a bit before I gave up and went downstairs to do the ironing. I could really do with a nap now but see above re: deafening noise, and also re: in public whereupon it is frowned. Grrr.
I am also cranky about myself, about the way I am failing to get out and appreciate being here. The way I live, I could be anywhere. This week I have actually achieved stuff, I have scrubbed the kitchen and lounge and given them a good declutter but big deal! We have been here four months already. We are one sixth of the way through and I couldn’t even tell you the best bits about Singapore because I haven’t gone to look.
I’m angry and disappointed. Do you ever play that game with yourself, if I didn’t have to work, I’d do…X? Well I do, and I’m actually living that now. I am so lucky, but I feel like I’m blowing it. Instead of doing all my X’s I’m doing housework (badly), grocery shopping, and lying on the couch sweating from exhaustion after a short outing. And then the tv goes on or the mobile phone games start and it’s shit. It’s really shit. I’m really shit. So what if I’ve finally seen all the old episodes of The Mentalist? That’s NOT what this trip was about!
Forgive me if I’ve already talked about this, but I’m too tired to check. And forgive me for having a rant about the same old same old, woe is me, everything sucks and I can’t change it crap. I am tired, and I am cranky, and I am not nice to myself when that happens.
I’m reading a book at the moment, The Art of Travel, by Alain de Botton, which is essays on the theme of travel, interspersed with discussions of travels of historical explorers and poets etc. It’s interesting, but kind of a hard slog at times and I wouldn’t have chosen it myself (it’s a book club book). ANYWAY, in the first essay he talks about how the idea of travel, and the picture we draw in our minds of our destination is always much more idealised than reality, and that reality always disappoints, because it contains all the mundane bits our mind has ignored. So we see a photograph of a hotel on a beach and imagine a perfect idyll, but when we actually get there it smells and there’s a freeway just behind the hotel and of course all the other people getting in your way. I think maybe this trip is like that; I had a vision of me having all the time in the world to take cooking classes and do yoga and meditate and ignored the reality that Bianca’s home from school at three thirty and someone has to wash the clothes and get the food in. But at the same time, I am wasting a lot of time. I was doing better when we were at the serviced apartment, I think when we shipped all our stuff over, my old habits came too.
Oy. I think I need to have an early night, and then to delete all the games on my phone and get on with it. What about you? Have you ever taken an extended leave from your job, or real life, with the idea of fulfilling some dream, and did it work out the way you wanted it to? How did you manage it? Please, tell me I’m not the only one who struggles with this?