Good old housework

7 January 2016
I feel a bit like a boat cast adrift. My routines haven't kicked in yet and I'm at a loss sometimes as to what I should be doing. I feel like the Queen Mary sailing into Sydney Harbour and just passing Fort Denison the pilot tells me not to dock at Circular Quay near the Harbour Bridge, but proceed up Parramatta River and find the smallest dock I can find to stay out of the way. And yes, I know this is all my own doing but it's taking a while to reorder my brain.  Letting go of the writing habit is difficult.

Of course it hasn't helped that I've pulled a muscle in my leg so I'm hobbling around and sitting down a lot. I decided to start knitting Tricia's cowl scarf to keep me out of trouble and that's been a real pleasure, but it's not enough. I've realised there are two habits I have to change - the writing itself, which was quite easy to stop, and thinking about writing, which is much more difficult. Transitions are tough. You're not one or the other but in that strange unfamiliar middle zone where old ways no longer work and it's easy to step on metaphorical snakes in the grass.

Well, I wrote all the above two days ago, my leg is fine now and I'm feeling more settled. I just have to get on with it. There is no use moping around like a 14 year old, I chose to stop writing and now I have to make it work.  In an attempt to get myself organised for the year, I started deep cleaning my kitchen benches and getting rid of junk in drawers that I've kept just in case. I feel good doing that and I'm rewarded with extra space and not having to look after things that have outlived their usefulness.

I spent some time outside this morning repotting some rare giant ferns (Angiopteris evecta). I've had them for a few years but moved them to another location on the front verandah and I think they got too much sun. It would only have been a brief hour of very early morning sun but it was still too much - they collapsed and I couldn't get them to rehydrate with normal watering. I took them out of their pot and sat them in a bucket of weak Seasol water. It took two days but they recovered.  Now I've divided them up into three separate plants, repotted them and when they start actively growing again, I hope to bring one into the lounge room.

Doing those tasks helps me move forward. Each day makes more sense than the one before it. The pieces are falling into place and the repetition of household chores gives structure to my days. Taking the time to organise myself for the months ahead and doing some physical reordering of my work spaces is pulling me back into familiar territory. Good old housework. There was a time when I could tell the time by what I was doing and that's starting to happen again. It looks like housework will save me again.