This Is What I'm Saying

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


James Joyce is one of my favorite writers. And one of the major themes in his book "Dubliners" is that many people suffer from paralysis of will - they are unable to take decisive action to improve their lives. Joyce felt that the entire city of Dublin was paralyzed by its ties to the Roman Catholic Church and to England.

Anyway, I have been operating (or, not operating, rather) under a Joycean paralysis for the last week or two. I've been slacking off at work, avoiding household chores, forgetting to pay bills, and even scrimping on the finer points of personal grooming. You might not know it to look at me, but I was a real mess for awhile.Over the weekend, as I scanned our dusty, cluttered house, I recognized my paralysis for the first time. First I evaluated my behavior like a critical old aunt: I was a lazy slob who ran away from her problems. Then I considered myself like a mom with an impish child: Life has been really busy and challenging lately, and my coping skills haven't been so good. Weighing both of these opinions, I decided that I am just a big, sloppy, fretful human who freaked out for awhile and took a little hiatus from some of the ickier aspects of being an adult.

But the good news is that I am out of the funk. On Saturday I did several loads of laundry and cleaned house. Today at work I cleaned off my desk and recommitted to being a "good and faithful servant" of my employer. And I am paying some bills and facing our finances like a responsible adult (deep breathing exercises help. so does wine). So if you've missed me here in grown-up land for awhile, hello! And thanks so much to my sweet husband for understanding how I felt and embracing my crazy. I no longer feel like a paralyzed Dubliner, and my only lingering connection to the city is my fondness for Irish whiskey.