Tric Kearney: It's my life

Forgive me but you will have to lean in close if you wish to read this as I’m whispering, says Tric Kearney.

Why am I whispering? Because, believe it or not, I am in the midst of a miraculous happening. 

In fact, if it were night, a blue moon would be shining brightly, as today for the first time in months I am home alone!

Oh, I can feel the envy of so many of you parents of young children as you read my news. Yes, it is true, I’ve checked every room in the house, not once but twice and there is not one other human being at home. 

The stars have perfectly aligned and yer man and my four children have taken themselves off elsewhere. Where exactly is elsewhere? Who cares. All I know is it’s not here.

So, with at least the next three hours to myself, what on earth will I do? Looking around, I could fill an entire notebook with lists of jobs that need doing. 

There is plain and simple tidying up, which might actually take the three hours, or perhaps I could tackle the never-ending laundry? Maybe I could surprise, or shock everyone by baking? Or, as it’s a blue moon, I might even clean the windows?

But seriously, now that I’m alone in the house, am I really going to spend my free time doing ‘jobs?’

Not a hope. Instead, I’ll celebrate this magical moment by boiling the kettle, because I’m already so overwhelmed by all I’m not doing that I need a cup of tea. 

The truth is that, while having the house to myself should be a delight and in many ways it is, it comes accompanied by a truck load of guilt. As I wander into the kitchen to sit and relax, deafened by the lack of noise of any kind, I wrestle between making the most of my freedom and feeling like a lazy sod.

Of course, I know exactly who is to blame for such crushing guilt, my mother. After all are not our mothers the one person we can rely on to blame for everything not so great in our lives? I know my own children certainly believe so.

However, in this case, I believe I’m well within my rights to blame my mum, as she is, without doubt, the busiest person I know. 

Most mornings I ring her from my dirty-dishes-laden kitchen, to hear such things as, “Just a minute there, I must turn off the oven, I’m cooking a salmon and leek pie for lunch,” or she may tell me she is in the middle of cleaning out cupboards. It’s not even 9am. Perhaps I’m adopted?

Don’t get me wrong though, I was born a fighter and I regularly manage to dig deep, and successfully battle my crushing guilt. However, even in such delightful moments, I find it difficult to relax, so much so that upon hearing the postman I can be seen leaping an Olympic height off the chair, before sprinting to retrieve the post. 

Or racing to answer the house phone, which only Himself rings, “Hi, did you have to run, you sound out of breath?” to which I wheeze, “No, I’m just exhausted — I’m in the middle of cleaning the bathroom.”

Of course, this means I now must clean the bathroom.

So, what will I do with my precious time today? I suspect I will spend most of it planning on doing many things but in reality, end up doing very little. Perhaps I just need more practice?

On a positive note, it would appear from all evidence to date that it is unlikely any of my children have inherited my guilt affliction.


Abstracts with a structural focus.Meet artist Shane O'Driscoll: 'For such a small island, we have a massive reach creatively across the world'

Ciara McDonnell shares seven of the best places to ring in the new year abroad.7 of the best holiday destinations to ring in 2020

More From The Irish Examiner