Sunday 22 May 2022. Evening

The swimming spot in the river Cam, Cambridge, May 2022. Photo by Jessica Zarins

Went for a long swim this morning. So long I struggled to warm up on the cycle home. It felt incredible, to not be in a rush and to just follow the river. The rest of the day I spent in the garden soaking up the sun, getting so hot I struggled to cool down without another swim.

I got everything done today that I wanted to do – swim, eat, read, spend time with friends, sleep, clean my bedroom. It’s only the writing left now, and I’ve saved that for last. The familiar Sunday night melancholy starts to sneak in and I question whether anything I’ve done today has been good enough. Whether I’m really ready for tomorrow. Whether the new week means a new start, or just the end of another failed week where I don’t write enough, and not well enough.

The Sunday papers tell me that record numbers of children are seeking help for mental health problems in England. I think about the children being born in this age, and their future heating up. I think of all my thoughts that I never write down; the conversations I have in my own head but never say out loud.

I watch the last two episodes of Conversations with Friends on BBC iPlayer. It’s the story about a 21 year old woman in love with and loved by two people, and was written by a then 25 year old woman who is a literary genius. Both women, the fictional and the factual, have had more romantic and creative success than I have in my 34.

But they probably didn’t go swimming this morning, and then spent the day in the sun. That’s the thought I will take with me tonight.

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