Do you faff? Faffez vouz?
The OH constantly accuses me of faffing around. I ask him if he wants a cup of tea and three hours later he might get it because on the way to the kettle I cleaned the garage, did a load of washing, emptied the bins and cleaned my shoes.
I do it with everything.
I faff around particularly if it’s something I want to do and won’t allow myself the time to do it.
The Lockdown Dolls’ house is a case in point.
Why is this? Why do we faff?
It’s not just that procrastination is the thief of time, though it is, it’s stolen my entire life one way and another; the likelihood of me being an Olympic thingumajig, whatsit? That race where you run up to someone with a stick and they grab it off you, already running and rush off and give it to someone else and you flop forward and do some heavy breathing, holding your knees. My chances of being in that, vanishingly small, I should have started years ago, though I can breathe heavily and hold my knees, I’ve got that off pat. I don’t suit the vests at all, not with my bingo wings, and I would want Bermuda shorts and those in a generous size (we can’t stand it when they ride up your bum, us athletes.)
It might be something to do with creativity. All the creativity happens on the last four inches of the table. It takes a couple of hours minimum of sticking, sanding, chiselling, sewing, painting, whatever, for the creative bit of the brain to wake up and suddenly start having good ideas. This is why yer actual artist is up all night – inspiration struck exactly at bedtime and that was that. Until the muse awakes you’re just faffing. Must be tricky if you’re a dancer, having to kick a football round the stage, or paint the scenery until Terpsichore awakens.
I think it might have a lot to do with the difficult childhood thing. Constant criticism feeds the fear that you simply aren’t good enough. Wondering why I have the nerve to imagine I can sculpt when I’ve been doing it for thirty years, is deep seated lack of confidence. On the other hand I have interviewed people who thought, mistakenly, that they were wonderful, and I would far rather be the other way round. I have also interviewed many artists working in all disciplines and trying harder because of childhood difficulties and they were amazing.
There is also a possibility that the better you are, the more self-critical you are. I have destroyed a lot of stuff that anyone else would happily put on a table and sell, I have occasionally put on a table stuff I think should not have been there. One of the hardest tasks is to see yourself as you really are. In any way at all. The bloke blowing kisses at himself in the mirror simply cannot see the bald spot, it is not available to view, by him.
It is also guilt. I love doing all the creative things, so naturally I won’t allow myself to do them. Hence all the shoe cleaning (tricky for sandals with your bare feet in them, if anyone has a cure for black instep, I’d be interested.) I feel I don’t deserve it. I will always look after everyone else first. This of course is the effect of having difficult and demanding people in your life. If it happens long enough you adopt a servant mentality. Chains in your head, dangerous and limiting. Quite a few famous people were, famously, horribly selfish and very focussed and also, not very nice.
Which is better, to be a nice person who faffs or a selfish person who achieves?
Perhaps it is the lack of realisation that we are not invincible or going to last forever. You would think under the current circumstances that we would all be achingly aware of that, yet more people than ever are faffing around, fiddling, unable to settle. Given all the time in the world to do nothing, choosing most of all to sleep and eat.
All we all have in common is time. We all have the time of our lives and the choice, once the hand to mouth basics are sorted, of how to spend it.
I appear to have chosen to spend my life faffing about.
I was, given that my Olympic career is on hold, going to be a famous authoress but I’m faffing around with the next novel instead of sending the first one off to a million publishers in a confident manner. Either I can’t see the bald spot, have no idea why some others which are not that good, got published, or I secretly believe I don’t deserve it.
I think that afflicts a lot of miniaturists. Believing in yourself may well lead to decisive action, until then I’m off to organise the books, tallest on the left. I will then polish my instep and may make a cup of tea for lunch around four o clock, once the kettle is descaled. Though first I have a couple of folk to look after – a thing to deliver – a letter to cheer someone up – a phone call to a lockdown – and then,
and then it will be bedtime.
Honestly! Where do the days go?