Most families have little sayings that work as in-group shorthand. Some of these sayings pass from one generation to the next. A few of ours come directly from the Mathematician’s family in England. The phrase “mum’s squeeking,” for example. Most often used in a car, in a lot of traffic.
One such phrase or term which I use, and which is often used about me, is “Mum’s in a Putter.” (Putter rhymes with, but is not as delicious as, butter.)
This is a state of complete discombobulation, where I’m so distracted and unable to focus on the here and now I walk from kitchen to study and back again five times before I remember (1) what my destination really is; and (2) why I was headed there in the first place. It’s used, in our family, about the week after having a baby. Anybody who has ever had a baby knows what that week is like. That New Motherhood Putter-hood. Another example: blood draws are so traumatic for me, for the whole day after I am deep in the grips of Putter-hood.
Finishing a book is also a one-way ticket to a Putter of gigantic proportions. Finishing a series? My first experience that has got me in a Putter that has lasted more than two weeks. Yes, I am writing to you from the very heart of a Putter.
There were many things I meant to get done these first couple weeks of freedom (because it does feel as though I’ve been let out of a box). One example: I had meant to start posting regularly in the first week of January. Lots of material to read and organize for the revisions on English with an Accent. Notes on the next novel. I wanted to get the corporate taxes sorted out. I’ve got a stack of about twenty books, and I intended to be half way through that stack. So far I’ve read one novel (The Host, Stephanie Meyer) and run aground on another (We Need to Talk about Kevin, Lionel Shriver). Kevin in not the kind of book I can read in a Putter. Another time I think I’ll like it a lot, but not now. I’ve made more progress with Shannon Burke’s Black Flies. But two books in two weeks? I think I’ll have to make more of an effort to extract myself from this particular visit to Putter-hood.
Want to help? Ask me a question I can answer here. It might give me a push in the right direction.