A Cage of One’s Own

Ya know, I usually play up the whole monkey thing because I think I’m so terribly clever and no one will ever get sick of it (shyeah right, you’re thinking), but, honestly, my flat really is starting to feel like a zoo right now.

Within one week of returning from two weeks in Singapore with my husband and in-laws, I already hosted two separate visitors and received news that another was scheduled to arrive, well, as of yesterday and staying for two weeks. Apparently so much poop flies around in here that my husband’s ears must’ve gotten clogged, because for the second time we have a scheduling conflict thanks to our stellar communication with each other. The first time was last fall when we double-booked my parents and a couple friends of ours—six adults in a wee flat of one bathroom + two beds + one punctured aerobed screamed nightmare to me, so I took my parents to the Cotswolds for most of the overlap while my husband hosted our friends. Problem solved.

Well, it turns out that I’m fleeing to the countryside yet again during my father-in-law’s present visit. Something about telling my husband, “If your father hasn’t decided on his dates yet, late August is out because I’m going on a writer’s retreat in the wake of our insane spring and summer,” got lost in translation, so he’d emailed his dad that late August still worked great. Great.

So here he is, and here I am packing up to leave on Sunday for five nights in Cornwall.

Could I have canceled? Sure.
Was there a chance in hell I was going to? No sir.
Do I feel a little bad about that? Of course!

But maybe this is a good time to mention that we’ve hosted over thirty (30) different people in less than three years since moving to London. And hosting is particularly problematic for those like me who work from home. And whose office is also the guest bedroom. In all fairness, though, this guest is super easy and independent, and we’ve given him the master bedroom so I can access my computer.

Nonetheless, after doing a little more basic math for this year alone, I estimate 30% of 2011 will have been spent hosting, traveling, and visiting home. Which leaves a lot of everyday life to be crammed into that remaining 70%. Which leaves not a lot of time for a reclusive writing life. (And I don’t even have kids!! How do you writers with children do it all??!!)

So I’m going, to a cage aaall to myself. No work, no hosting, undoubtedly a little hiking, but primarily writing. Selfishness has never tasted so delicious. See you in a week or so.

And how about you? How have you made a point to prioritize your writing, to give yourself some space to think, imagine, and create?


About thefallenmonkey

Primate that dapples in writing when not picking others' fleas or flinging its own poop. View all posts by thefallenmonkey

10 responses to “A Cage of One’s Own

  • Glen

    Cotswolds – check
    Cornwall – check
    dodging father-in-laws – check

    are you attempting to live my life ?

  • Glen

    oh – and have a nice time πŸ™‚

  • Alannah Murpphy

    Have a lovely time. Cornwall is beautiful. Have been to St Ives. The Lizard. Penzance. Mousehole, and others I cannot recall. I also volunteered many moons ago to do a beach cleaning for 7 days, it was very rewarding but sad to see how people treat beaches, as if they were dumping grounds.

    • thefallenmonkey

      Oh, that’s a shame about the beaches needing so much clean-up! It’s so easy for each individual to just pick up after themselves, but no…they have to let the mess compound into a huge task for the few that care. You’re a good person to have helped with that.
      I’m in the Par / Fowey area and have fallen in love with it. Walking in Daphne Du Maurier’s footsteps (dead author-stalker that I am :)) when I’m not writing. I’d really love to bring my husband back out here, so might save the other towns of interest like St. Ives and Penzance as treats to still look forward to.

  • Eva

    Hahaha – I know this situation so well! Even my office is also the guest room. πŸ™‚ Being social indeed is poison to being a writer. But I think you did the only right thing – withdrawing yourself and making tough choices. There always will be one more reason not to write. There will always be one more visit, one more party or dinner. But there is only one book (for now) and you want to give it priority, too. Who else will if you don’t?
    Wishing you a great writing week, am sure you will be back all energized. πŸ™‚

    • thefallenmonkey

      “Being social indeed is poison to being a writer.” I love that. Thank you SO very much for the reassurance that I did an okay thing. This gift of an experience has eroded away the bulk of the guilt. πŸ™‚

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