Even superheroes need recovery time.




I have the best of intentions and somehow, here I am, with nothing achieved in real life but a whole generation raised and married off in The Sims.

I would like to say to all busy people (you know who you are) that yes, I do understand this is a waste of time and yes, I do realise there are better things I could be doing and no, I do not have an army of house fairies to make everything fey and beautiful while I sit on the laptop all day.

In my defence (though I resent having to defend it) I've had a very busy week and only today where I didn't have to be doing something. And when I'm busy or have been busy, I need recovery time.

It's at this point that most busy people roll their eyes. They do not understand the idea of recovery time. They have busy lives too and they work full time and they come home and do all their jobs and they don't have time for recovery, they just get on with it (sigh).

And the evenings are enough for them, after the busy day; and the morning before they start it all again, that is enough for them too so that the opposite ends of the day feel, to them, as if they have had time to themselves before and after the busy-ness.

I never did get the hang of that. To me, evenings and mornings are a time of held breath either side of the part of the day when I need to put every last bit of effort into seeming as most people seem and managing those aspects of life which make it possible to live without too much want.

When you have lots of things to do, you are busy, but when you have lots of things to do and also, the whole time, have to be a version of yourself that isn't quite true, that's when the strain tells. After a busier week than normal, I need recovery time to re-establish the me who keeps me sane.

At this point, the busy person, thriving on their moments of hearth and home amongst the many hours of worldly-wares, has no idea what I mean by needing to be someone else. I expect they think I mean like when you act in a professional way at work, to give the right impression. No, not so.

It's like always being in a slight disguise, one which doesn't quite cover who you are but hides it enough so that you pass into the world and do what you need to without giving away everything precious.

That disguise is not easy to wear though and sometimes you don't get it right. Other times you need more layers so that there is nothing visible of the real you, it is all packed away inside the outer shell that everyone can see with their harsh, daylight-bright lamps for eyes.

And blessedly sometimes there is no disguise at all and the real you parades forth, resplendent, happy, loved, knowing that today is one of those rare times you feel comfortable in being abroad as yourself.

Most days when money needs to be made and people like to see me as a real person who can do real work, I at least have to flip the cape over my shoulders and pop on the little mask, the one that lets them see enough to know when I am laughing but not so much that they see when I cry.

Those days lead me back here, home again, resting, secretly revelling in the absolute peace of being just me, right now and right where I am.

Amanda




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