This week I am knackered. Red Bull doesn’t touch it. Touché Eclat doesn’t hide it.
Everyone has started asking me whether I’m okay.
It seems my face is the main cause for concern. I look like a bloodhound on chemo. More specifically, I look like a bloodhound on chemo might look IF he were forced to shuffle around, say, Asda, for the rest of his life. My body, too, is exhibiting signs. I walk at a pace that would embarrass a sloth. I sigh and whimper and make grotesque mewling noises. In the evenings, when I haul my sorry ass upstairs, my posture is so spectacularly humped I cast a shadow that looks exactly like a FAT Nosferatu.
There are many reasons for my exhaustion:
1. My partner has taken up a job in London, leaving me to care for three small children, two incontinent cats, and a house, single-handedly. When I say single-handedly, I’m not being literal. (I don’t know how that woman off CBeebies does it, to be honest.)
2. I need loads of sleep – but I don’t get it. Mutants like Mrs Thatcher and Martha Stewart might only need 4 hours sleep a night, probably less, the fucking freaks, but I need 10. I love sleeping. I love sleeping so much I have dreams about sleeping. You could put a million billion genetically-modified peas THIS BIG under my mattress, and I wouldn’t give a shit.
3. Finally, there is the accumulation of six school runs a day, overseeing school creative writing workshops, blogging, the demands of a start-up PR business, and just generally trying to get my shit together after being at home with the kids, all on ONE day’s childcare a week.
Of course, it doesn’t help that we live in a country that has opted out of the European Time Directive - a country that has the longest working hours in western Europe – a country that can’t be bothered to provide adequate childcare or paternity leave but still expects you to be working 24 hours a day. *wipes rabid drool from chin, burns bra.* These days, if I happen to answer the door in my pyjamas, I have to pretend I’m a new mother, or a nurse who works shifts, or that I’ve been up since 5am, baking bread, writing reports for the UN Security Council, and ironing my children's fucking homework, and that I haven’t had time to get changed. Actually, fuck that for an excuse … I am tempted to say that I’ve been SO ridiculously busy that I got changed to GO to bed about six hours ago, but got so distracted by my important schedule - by the trillion things that just couldn’t wait – that I didn’t have time to sleep at all!! Anything is better than someone thinking I might be mental, or idle, or on incapacity benefit, or, in other words, not earning money, not fuelling the retail economy, not buying shit I don’t need …
Meanwhile, I’m not sure whether there are any solutions for the outward signs of my exhaustion. I could try facial yoga, like Gwyneth Paltrow, but then I’d have to hire a contract killer to take myself out. A less extreme solution would be to inject 50g of pure caffeine straight into my face. Or move to Denmark. Where it’s civilised!