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How do people without children cope with the sheer emptiness of life? Maybe it is people who have had children, but then no longer have them albeit temporarily, that feel this way. I guess I managed before I had them. Weird. I guess people have work and TV to anaesthetise themselves? Is that why people drink so much? The above classes went OK. The Web Design one had a weird atmosphere. Maybe it just wasn't a good combination of people. There was a hint of end-of-term hysteria. The banter between students, which was on the surface was good natured, had me wondering about what was going on beneath the surface. It started with a discussion about the temperature, how one student lived in a drafty Victorian house, so was cold, and how another had walked to the class with her coat open as she didn't want to get sweaty, but who was now feeling hot. If you have more than a couple of people in the same room you're never going to get the temperature right for everyone. It was as if they were clashing, but under thick veneers of politeness. That's one class that I will not miss. I was worried I wouldn't have enough material, but I'd forgotten we hadn't finished last week's lesson. I had to skip stuff in the end, such as colour theory and future learning, but this was OK because the students can get this from the handouts.

The Internet and Social Networking class was much more chilled. We were looking at Gmail, but also took in Paypal. One chap said he hadn't known about double clicking before joining my class. Another student bought me a bottle of wine to say thank you. One student vented her frustration with Google for trimming content in Gmail. I hadn't even noticed this happening - I pay attention to the name at the top, rather than any signature at the bottom. Sometimes teaching email hasn't been easy, but by focusing on just one type it seemed to work better. Once back in Epsom I got my hair cut. Part of me wishes I never had to have it cut, but I do think it looks neater now. I'm in the library at the moment, because I'm putting off going home to an empty house. It's so weird not having children's needs to deal with. I mean, I liked being able to sleep through the night without interruption, but still... I need to check my notes for tomorrow's Web Design class. I've taught it before, but it pays to revise before each session. Sometimes technology has moved on so you have to make updates, at other times you just have better ideas of how to teach the material. I am feeling cheered by the response I got from a post on Facebook regarding how not to feel sad. It looks like I'm going to see lots of people on Sunday, which will be great.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 7th, 2012 04:47 pm (UTC)
Hmmm, I find the problem normally I never have enough time to get things done - I certainly don't have trouble finding things to fill the available space. This was why I was quite relieved when I was working 4 day weeks earlier this year - I had 50% more weekend to get things done!

Work and travelling to and from work takes a substantial bit of my life. I get home and get something to eat then maybe do some tidying up (house is in a state), catch up online with social networking while being in front of my SAD lamp, maybe make some phonecalls, try and decipher Florian's handwriting to type up German notes (recently have typed up 5 years worth of lesson vocab), help mum with any computer issues she has, try and do some reading, listen to new cds I've bought. I keep meaning to do more excercise, but something like rowing takes 30 mins of my time and longer to cool down afterwards. Likewise doing dumbbell excercises, pressups and situps takes time. There are also household chores like washing that take a while. Bathing takes a substantial bit of time too as I have to soak each bit of me for at least 15 mins with the bath oil. Seeing Squirry usually takes an evening a week at least and sometimes a good chunk of the weekend. I'm also trying to organise my birthday do and try and be organised about my holidays (and going to a new location means buying and reading a travel guide about it).

I keep meaning to watch some of the vast number of DVDs I've got that I've not seen and keep meaning to look at German news sites and to translate more articles than I do. I also mean to go to more comedy nights. I also keep meaning to set about finding a venue for relaunching my Mitelalter night. There are also various pet ideas I'd like to develop a solution to (I recently tried to fix ljArchive - an archive facility for LJ but came to the conclusion LJ has changed in undocumented ways so all backup utilities aren't working properly).

I have live music gigs to go to, friends to see, clubs to go to (mostly for the socialising, but sometimes I dance and sometimes I think wishfully about certain people at the club). I keep meaning to write my Christmas cards (first step would be deciding who to get them for) and visit some museums, particularly the lates. I'd also like to do more research into treatments for eczema and if I could get to it (it is in a village in Kent) would love to do more to help Anim-mates than buy the odd thing for them.

One thing on the keeping busy front that did occur to me was with L where I realised I didn't have a free evening for a week and a half if I was going to ask her out, and at other times with other people realised it could be a while before I could see them and certainly if I ended up with a girlfriend tomorrow would have the problem of having 9 months worth of advanced tickets to gigs to contend with where I only have the one ticket.

Edited at 2012-12-07 04:47 pm (UTC)
Dec. 7th, 2012 05:37 pm (UTC)
Cool. It certainly sounds like you've got your life sorted, as much as such a thing is possible anyway.

I guess my problem is the change in routine. Normally I see my children at the weekend, but not this time. Plus, it's the end of term for me - last class is tomorrow - which is another change in routine. I've come to rely on doing certain things on certain days, so feel unsettled when I no longer have those emotional crutches. That's one of the reasons why I don't like Xmas, my emotional crutches are taken away. Although we do get an Xmas episode of Doctor Who.

I think when I was talking about 'emptiness' I meant in an emotional sense. When I'm with my kids I know who I am. I am a father. Without them, who am I? That's not a criticism of people who have chosen a different path. I'm just still sad I don't see my children every day. I think I always will be.
Dec. 7th, 2012 04:57 pm (UTC)
As to my drinking, well I like a nice drink but it isn't unusual for me to go 4-5 days a week without drinking anything (which surprises people who see me socially). This week I drank on Sat night and the next time I drank was last night having a 330ml beer post meal then a whisky while soaking in my bath.

One of the reasons I used to drink so much was my skin - it was sufficiently damaged that it leaked vast quantities of water. This meant I often drank vast quantities of liquid (be it soft drinks or alcoholic) and went to the toilet relatively infrequently. Now with Salcura my skin is a lot healthier and in the office I find that I drink half the volume of liquid and go to the toilet twice the amount of two months ago. I haven't been out sufficiently to be sure yet but I suspect am also drinking less alcohol when out and about too.
Dec. 7th, 2012 05:43 pm (UTC)
Though I said drinking, I also meant drugs in general. I partake of nothing stronger than caffeine. I can't cope with the hangovers, half-remembered conversations and the fact that I don't think I like myself when I'm drunk. I'm prone to melancholy in the normal scheme of things, I don't need to give the Black Dog any encouragement. Once again, this is a choice I've made for me. I'm not suggesting everyone should do as I do. Heaven forbid.

I'm glad the Salcura is helping.
Dec. 7th, 2012 05:02 pm (UTC)
There was also an exercise in the book feel the fear and do it anyway where you draw a grid of the important things to you in your life. A lot of parents have relatively little in it except family. The author pointed out that if you loose that one thing in your life then you are wiped out - there is relatively little left. A more balanced person has a little less commitment to family but has a lot of other things that are important to them in their life. If you have the chart and 9 things that are equally important to you if you lose family you still have the other 8 things so aren't so wiped out.

That was one of the very few good things about that book - I prefer Andrew Matthews's book being happy and Paul McKenna's books + cds.
Dec. 7th, 2012 06:30 pm (UTC)
I am glad that you will be seeing some people on Sunday and I hope you find some other fun things to do. It does seem terribly quiet when the children aren't around. Sometimes I appreciate the time to do what I like, other times I feel like a big bit of me is missing. I think you're very proactive at dealing with times when you might feel miserable usually, was this weekend an unexpected change in plans?

Have fun anyway.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )



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