Judging from facebook, the world is divided into two types of people: those who love the loss of routine over Christmas, and those who secretly want it back, but feel it would be rude to admit it.
I’m torn. I need the long lies and the time with family. I don’t want to wish them away. But I miss my autonomy. Maybe it’s because whatever I’ve felt about the demands on a stay-at-home mum, I’ve largely been free to organise the order I respond to them. Few people have that luxury, but I’ve got used to it. And now the children are all at school, I’ve become even more spoiled.
Perhaps it’s more about rhythm than routine. There are things my body and brain expect at certain times. They need food, sleep and sanitation, but they miss writing and regular exercise.
I’ve not missed the irony. Christmas, with its sights, smells, tastes, nostalgia and people, is a feast for the imagination as well as the stomach. There are times the rest of the year, especially writing fiction, I feel starved of ideas. At the moment, I’ve scraps of paper and notebooks with them dotted around the house. (Organised people carry the same pad all the time, I know!) I can’t afford much time alone to write, but knowing this, makes me want it more. I’ll just have to be patient, enjoy Christmas for itself, and bank up the enthusiasm and ideas for January. I don’t want to miss the people I love and see too little the rest of the year.