Moored in Brisbane we are in a perfect position – to my right I can see the botanic gardens, to my left is a restaurant, the cliffs and a walkway. Each time we have stood in a city street and wondered where the library… the bookshop… the supermarket is, someone has stopped and asked if we needed any help.
I was rowing Small DB ashore this morning to do a load of washing – “Hello!” called a man with a French accent. “Do you need some fuel? Are you OK?”
“I’m fine,” I called back. “I just like to row!”
Small DB and I walked through the gardens as our 32 minute wash cycle does its thing.
“We love your bag,” say two women on the walking track to me. “It’s fabulous!”
I’m sitting with a cup of tea in the morning before everyone is up. Two guys go past in a dinghy at a slow chug and spy me.
“You’re living the life!” says one of them.
And it’s true, I am trying; although appearances are obviously deceptive. From that dinghy, I look like a woman sipping coffee on her Very Expensive Catamaran, like I have my shit TOO-GETH-AH! When inside my head is;
- what will we have for breakfast?
- what will we have for dinner?
- we have to make sure to buy some food so we can pack lunches when we go out exploring so we don’t have to pay for a cafe or hunt for a supermarket…
- I need to get in touch with X,Y,Z
- when was the last time I practiced my violin?
- why doesn’t there seem to be ANY disciplined area of my life? – oh that’s right, I had children, and to take things one step further, we decided not to send them to school…
- and I appear to have had a self-discipline bypass – check my fingernails for confirmation (there aren’t any)
- why can’t I find a reasonably priced insulated stainless steel teapot?
- maybe my brain would calm down if I learnt to meditate…?
- or maybe I should just buy that six bottles for $36 deal from 1st Choice Liquor?
- remember to send those books back to the couple in Hervey Bay who lent them to us
- would it really be so bad to get a BoatCat and just figure out all that vaccination/quarantine/legality/rabies shit on the fly?
- will we really go overseas on Bella Luna?
- is Z-Mow truly lost forever?
So. I’m trying. Just because they’re first world problems doesn’t mean they’re not giving me brainsnap. This morning the overwhelm got me in its grasp and shook me.
“Take me ashore,” I begged M. “I’m so hot. I’m so hot.”
“Oooookay,” he said, looking at me as if I was odd.
Sometimes the heat does my head in. Coupled with the stove (which literally doubles as a heater) the floating cubby turns into an oven (albeit not the kind I can bake cupcakes in dammit) and my coping mechanisms start to excuse themselves and go elsewhere.
Plus the 9yo is in mourning for Z-Mow and also obsessed with letting NO BREEZES COME NEAR HER PERSON and closing the door and hatches with infuriating regularity. We sing at her:
I don’t want any air in the room,
Keep it locked up tight like an Egyptian tomb…
Gluten free donuts are helpful for the overwhelm. So are shady spots under enormous fig trees.