I was an utter waste of skin yesterday. Not only did I procrastinate in the silence of the house for several hours, I listened to Pink Floyd on repeat, ate pizza, and stoated about wishing there were other people around.
It’s an odd phenomenon. For years, as a bachelor, I lived a life full of the kind of stuff that gives bachelors a bad name. Life was great; I had a good job, a neat little flat in Shawlands on the south side of Glasgow, and above all, I had all the time I wanted to do anythnig I wanted, my way, in my own time, and if I wanted, enjoy being on my own with no distractions.
Then I got married. I settled down. I’d always said I would be 30 before I even got near marriage and I missed this target by a month, so I can’t really argue with a few days here or there. I knew Gail was “the one” and so I new then that my life had moved onto a new chapter. It felt good and it felt right.
Life became more hectic. A child also came into my life and, to be honest, it changed me. Suddenly I was a husband and a dad. I had dependants. I was answerable to other people’s wishes, demands and judgements, and it all added up to one thing: responsibility.
As the years moved on I longed for those diamond days when I had the house all to myself, when silence was my friend and I could relax through a day however I liked. But in the early days of marriage there wasn’t a lot of these so when they did come along, I celebrated big style.
These days, with my family living such diverse lives, I seem to be getting these spare days to myself more often. Too often, perhaps, because after the first five minutes of rejoicing at the peace and quiet I know has become mine, I start to miss having them around.
This only seems to happen when I’m inside the house. When I go out on a Saturday for one of my walks and to a coffee shop, I can be with nobody except my own thoughts for several hours at a time. I go to gigs myself, writing meetings and book events. I’m happy in my own company because, mainly, nobody in my family really gets what being a writer is about. And that’s fine.
But inside the home, when I need quiet to be able to concentrate, it’s somehow reassuring to know there is someone else in the house. That if I need to talk to someone I can and not have to walk around aimlessly chatting to other imaginary writers – or worse, the characters in my books!
I’m sure there is some psychological reason for this strange reaction, but I’m lost to what it is. I’ve put it down to me having gotten too used to being important to other people, to having realised my responsibilities to the point that, although I can still pull out that old bachelor hat when I want to, I’d really rather not be bothered any more.
I’m off through to Glasgow tonight for a couple of hours for a hastily arranged meet up of The Diners. We’re meeting for a bite to eat, a few drinks and to arrange our November trip. Not the best day for me since I’m leaving for London in a couple of days but I have to go.
London looms closer hour by hour now. The excitement is growing and I cannot wait to get stuck into the city. Above all, Gail and I deserve a break together.
To a degree you have answered your own question:
“Above all, Gail and I deserve a break together.” 🙂
The cats are good at giving me that company when I’m rattling around the house on my own. Violet sits in my lap as I write, and Iris prowls around every few hours, reminding me to take breaks. It’s nice to have another living thing in the house when I work.
You and I are similar creatures in our contentedness of being alone. And it seems we are both lucky to have spouses who allow us this freedom.
Enjoy diving into London.