The Terrible (Forty)Twos

In my dreams, I never have an age.
— Madeleine L'Engle

I realised the other day that I hadn't written for approximately four months.

Well, that's not strictly speaking true; I have written bucketloads, most of it as other people (the life of a ghostwriter is never dull, and frequently vastly entertaining). I've interviewed some amazing people in that time frame, including a teen scream moment with a rockstar of my (fairly) tame youth and put approximately 40,000 words on the page/screen.


I haven't written, written for four months.

No blog posts, no blather, no fractured fairytales. No outpourings of shoe-driven angst.

It must have made my friends and family very happy.

Then, late last night, after a more than unusually grumpy day - which is saying something - I realised why I had been suffering from a lack of enthusiasm about putting my talons to the typewriter.

It wasn't a case of traditional writer's block; on a daily basis there was lots I wanted to say. I had no problems putting it all in order in my head - I had no issues putting it all on the screen for other people, or even for myself in professional terms! I just couldn't put it into personal perspective.


Because I have been, in layman's terms - I don't want to blind you with medical science here - suffering from a terrible condition. And I think, to be honest, it's been going on for some months; probably since around February this year. It's not good, but with a bit of luck, a fair sky and a following breeze, it should clear up around the same time in 2015.

I call it...

The Terrible (Forty)Twos.

You can put Twenty, or Thirty in the brackets if you like. Start it with the Terrible Twos, and roll on from there. This year has been - with notable exceptions - a total cow. And thus, so have I. The Terrible (Forty)Twos have given me malingering yucko sickness, fatigue, broken bones, and general ill-will towards nearly all mankind on a scale which should lead Tony Abbott to employ me as a Weapon of Mass Destruction. Just send me out against Anonymous Bad Guy #1 and they'll turn tail and run - the scowl on my face will be enough to make them quake in their boots.

Once I start whinging about how much my head aches, they'll blow themselves up. Happily.

The Terrible (Forty)Twos give you a lack of will to want to do stuffs. Any stuffs. They make one want to burrow under the doona and not come out until the champagne and red velvet birthday cake with forty-three (!!!) sodding candles* on it come waving past the pillow, tempting the grey roots and panda eyes blinking into the sunshine.

The T(F)Ts bestow the bearer of them with a case not only of the grumps, but the sads. This leads to a delightful combination of snarky remarks, which when challenged very mildly get responded to with big swimming pool eyes and a 'whu-whu-WHY would you say something like that to me?' - so that The Man Who Vaguely Resembles David Tennant doesn't know whether to laugh, hide, or quickly buy a semi-trailer full of Lindt balls and then run for the hills (NB: Option C is the correct choice for future reference).

When it comes down to the crunch (that would be my neck as I try to turn more than 23 degrees), in 2014, my body - and my spirits - have had the middle-aged equivalent of a toddler's tantrum.

You may wonder what this has to do with an inability to write a blog. I wondered that myself for a while.

Then I realised.

What the T(F)Ts did was take away my happiness in expressing myself. When you are low, or blue, or not happy in your own head, it's very difficult to feel pleasure in putting your thoughts on a page - whether that page be digital or a piece of scrap paper. Work is work is work; but when it comes to the messages of the heart, then illness, whether it be mental or physical, or a combination of both, is the biggest barrier there is to enjoyment for a wordy girl in being wordy.

Along with some running along the beach at sunset and screaming in a very loud voice, it was allowing myself to recognise that I had, as Shirley MacLaine said so memorably in Steel Magnolias, simply been in a 'very bad mood' for a long time - since that bloody birthday - which let me start writing for writing's sake again. Words simply started flowing, in the form not only of this blog, but a story that I didn't even know was inside - but now has come pouring out, it seems, as almost fully formed. The meaning of life, it seems, ain't 42 at all. The meaning of life is in fact COPING with 42, and slowly dragging the sorry mess it makes of you to the safe shores of 43 - and let me tell you, the day I thought I'd be saying that is the day Satan started iceskating and roasting chestnuts on the frosty shores of Hell: The Frozen Extravaganza.

So my faithful friends and supporters must once more, as they say, go into the breach, and bend their backs to my ramblings, and say 'oh, thank goodness you're writing again... we really missed you (gritted teeth, fingers crossed behind back that I will lose use of my fingers in freak typing accident)'.

Mean it, kids.

Or I'll start whinging about headaches again - and throw that semi-trailer load of Lindt balls at you.

Well, the empty wrappers anyway.

*PS: if there's more than one candle on the cake, I will burn you, Man Who Vaguely Resembles DT and assembled loved ones. This is not a threat, it's a promise. Kisses!