Daily Archives: April 10, 2009

Life’s Little Annoyances

It’s been a fairly busy, and stressful couple of weeks here in Gladbloke Land.  Ok, let’s give it some perspective… we’ve still got a roof over our heads, food in the cupboard, and the beer fridge is doing ‘just fine’, so really, I haven’t got a lot to complain about by comparison with say, most other folk in the world. 

If I was going to be honest, the last month has been more ‘Niggly’ than stressful.  If you have ever read JRR Tolkiens ‘Leaf by Niggle’ story, then you’ll know what I mean.  Niggle, for that is his name, is a painter, who is constantly interrupted… by his neighbour Mr. Parrish, his friends, his own laziness or other distractions.  Small jobs turn into big jobs, big jobs lead to other jobs, and everyone around him seems hellbent on interrupting him whenever he gets motivated enough to get going.

He suffers from indecision, a kind heart which won’t let him say ‘NO’, and by his conscience, which constantly chides him for being selfish.  He always does the right thing.  Even though he suspects his time is short, and that he will never finish his important work. 

I know how he feels. 

Niggly.  That sums up the last few weeks.  Every piece of toast I’ve dropped is landing butter side down, 5 minute jobs have turned into all day affairs which left me too tired to do anything creative.  Reliable gear had suddenly become unreliable, my pushbike tyres are proactively finding every nail on the road, every thing I reach for is missing, and constant ‘interruptions’ have ruined the sparse time I did have to write, think or research. 

I found myself honouring long forgotten promises, taxi-ing children round town, and trying to knock over a list of jobs that would choke an elephant.  Why? 

Because I have to… I’m Mr. Reliable, apparently.

But sometimes good things happen to those of us with that ticking clock hammering away inside our heads.  Deciding that spending time with my youngest child was far more important than researching 15 century Portuguese naval voyages (for my novel… don’t ask, but it’s very important I get this right!) we ended up in the library the other day. 

caravel_espirito_santo_brazil

While she played with some of the toys, and fiddled with the kids computers, I sat and fumed.  I had little enough time to spare before heading back to work, and I really wanted to be researching and writing my novel.  The words are blazing trails across my mind, and each time I sat down to write, the computer would play up, the phone would ring, or visitors would arrive. 

The pent up frustrations were really starting to show… it occurred to me that no-one wanted to interrupt me when I was slaving away in the shed, mowing the lawn, or trying to dig through the rocky shale that makes up the ‘soil’ here in Gladstone.  Oh no. 

SO, there I sat in the peace and quiet of the library, pencil in hand, notebook open, trying to work out how the hell the medieval sailors managed to survive without filtered fresh water, and what sort of accomodation did they have, when my eyes did a quick scan of the bookshelves and stopped on a title called, “Ships of Yesterday” or, “The History of Shipping”, or something similar…  the fact is I literally reached forward and plucked a children’s book off the shelf directly in front of me and there were the answers to all my questions, WITH, drawings! 

Suddenly, the air about me was filled with the sounds of bluebirds singing, and I felt that God was in His Heaven and All Was Right With The World. 

It occured to me that we have bad days/weeks/months, because that is the way of the world.  These ‘downtimes’ make the uptimes all the more sweeter, the times when everything ‘clicks’, when, for no reason at all, things go smoothly, your plans actually come to fruition, and you are not frustrated by nagging interruptions that demand your entire focus to make them go away. 

I still don’t like having things go wrong, in vast numbers, over short periods of time, but I am super grateful that this isn’t a constant state of being.  It’s a nice thing to realise that nothing is forever, and that sooner or later the wheel of fortune will turn once more to Sunny Side Up. 

I sure hope it happens tomorrow 🙂

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