Elli has been sick for six days now. She has been hanging around home sleeping a lot and feeling wretched. Sick children evoke really powerful emotions in people that are very much akin to 'cuteness'... at least initially. When she gets sick I want to take care of her and protect her and watching her find some peace in sleep is incredibly satisfying. I am perfectly happy to fetch her water, clean up her messes, read her stories, and generally act like a servant.
For about three days.
After six days of continuous illness that satisfaction with helping and waking up five times a night for various reasons has quite gone away. I should perhaps be a better person, more willing to be patient and able to deal with a sick little one. I am not, though. The real issue is that with Elli home all the time and constantly needy I never get my flow time. I can't focus my mind on anything interesting when I have to be ready to fetch and carry on a moment's notice.
I listened to a speech by John Cleese yesterday about creativity. He talked about many different ways to encourage creativity and one of the ones that most resonated with me was setting aside concrete blocks of time. Having a specific block of time, 3:00 until 4:30, for example, allows a mind to really go into flow and to set aside worries and interruptions. I certainly believe that this is a great way to encourage creativity but I think that is more of a function of finding flow.
I know that when I have someone around the house who is constantly calling me for various things I just can't get myself into a good frame of mind. I can't really settle in to a deep trance and fully involve myself in things when I know I am likely to be pulled out at any time. It isn't even a matter so much of the amount of time so much as it is about having certain time. If I know I must be aware of the world and responsible for what is going on outside my focus I lose my edge and never really get as deeply in as I need to.
Hopefully the next day or so will see Elli fully recovering and heading back off to school so that I can get back to my alone time. Regardless of what I am doing the ability to throw myself wholly into something, anything, will be most welcome.