It's been a good few weeks for me. A lovely long weekend in France seeing a friend and her family after a couple of years of just skyping. Wow! I had forgotten quite the quality of energy a 17 month old requires. Then it was the end of term and the holidays. We visited friends and family, it was great overall. Great, but exhausting. George was a little under the weather so a fair bit of it was slow but it was as you can imagine busy despite lots of filmwatching a sofa days. On my 'free' days during the term when the children are both at school and playschool I've had hospital and dental appointments lined up. It's felt a bit like I am on a treadmill, just ticking things off a neverending to do list than getting any 'me' time.
Following all that kind of disruption to the usual routine comes a period of adjustment, this week is about getting back on top of life. The laundry's piled up, I've caught the cold going round, my head feels like it's in a vice. I'm behind on my nutrition course which I promised myself I wouldn't do (my peer coach assures me this time next year I will be so healthy I won't get colds which sounds good to me!) , I don't blog here anymore, I don't read the craft blogs I like anymore (or comment) everything feels a little off kilter - unbalanced, like that part of my life just took off somewhere. In the evenings, particularly if the children have been to something after school I get the dinner on, eat, get them ready for bed, tidy the kitchen and do the washing. I seem to get to this point for around 9pm. 9PM!!!! Then I don't feel like I've got anything left, the day's been too full, I. AM. DONE. I've done little crocheting, which is a sure fire indicator things are not feeling right, I make too many mistakes when I'm feeling bushed. Instead of feeling grateful when I look at the possibilities of March and the full calendar of stuff we have lined up: seeing friends, going to see Bonobo and Bombay Bicycle Club, dinners, birthday parties, nights out, there's also that underlying sense of dread at fitting it all in and anticipation of inevitable exhaustion. Argh! I think it's because I have a head cold - do you get that? Basically looking at everything with a heavy dose of negativity when you feel done in? I know everyone gets that. What am I talking about? When I'm like this I also seem to I spend my time overconsuming on generally useless material (shopping sites and facebook) I feel less than myself, wasting time looking at what people I am not interested in have been up to or not making decisions about stuff I want to get for the house. It's exhausting, too much consumption, not enough creation.
I do read a few blogs now and again, self development/health ones mostly because of the course, I'm apt to overdose on those a little, but I just checked in with an old crafty favourite at Meet me at Mikes (not generally useless material!) and read this post and did it resonate?! It did.
I don't really participate in blogland in the same way I used to and I miss it because for the last few years even though I'm no *serious* blogger, I have been supported by the network. In the early days I felt this weird compromising feeling of spending my time 'making' when everyone from university was forging what I viewed as a successful interesting career in the big smoke. Don't get me wrong, I'd go to workshops at the Make Lounge and there were plenty of people interested in the same stuff at the same time, but nobody in my 'inner circle'. I got lots of encouragement from the family and I had one friend spending time knitting but it felt a bit inferior getting back to knitting and starting the love affair with crochet. I'd manage to do bits in the fragments of the day when I wasn't looking after small children and compared to what everyone else was doing, pulling in big salaries, going to warehouse parties, getting memberships to private clubs and travelling, it felt very small time for my biggest achievement to have been learning how to do a granny square or managing to potty train a toddler. It felt a bit lonely to be honest. Blogging was a big part in encouraging me to keep going with my crafts, I didn't know anybody who'd had a baby and there were all these mummy blogs out there as well. It was a bit revelatory. But now, I don't check in everyday, I don't get to 'know' blogs anymore, I don't comment, I rarely inspire myself on pinterest any longer, I don't check in with or participate in twitter anymore. In fact I'm ashamed to say that weeks after my last post I've only just got onto the typepad interface that two lovely readers commented on my work and I failed to 1) pick up the emails that would have alerted me to these (my inbox is so spammy I have thousands of useless emails clogging it up) 2) reply to them, which is just common courtesy. I have started to document my life, I've said this before, on instagram and only instagram but I'm missing starting to miss the blog commitment. Half of it is lack of time and half not knowing how much you want to share. Before, when it was basically anonymous and no-one I knew read it, I felt alot different. Now I can't decide where to draw the line or what to write about. And also, in all honesty, organising a photo or writing on a day that has been happy, but quite a bit like every other day can feel more like a self imposed obligation than a pleasure!
I would hasten to add there is 'real life' stuff that makes me feel like my head's in a permanent fog as well. Bad news at the end of last year, related to the family. The sort of bad news that makes it harder and more difficult to see the good, dredges up alot of stuff from the past. Strange, sticky, unresolved and almost tangible energy concerning what this life thing is all about starts to descend into the everyday. Sad thoughts begin to permeate the mind. It stops your head working properly. You start overthinking - past friendships and relationships surface, understanding how current people got into your life, who you spend time with and what it means to you. It's complicated and a whole other post or entirely new blog I think! I feel like there's water spilling out daily - read this piece by Sarah Wilson to understand what I'm talking about.
But the work I'm doing in my online course has been an inspiration and the community of people I've met through partipating in that has kind of taken the place of the blogging, so it's all good really. Not to say I'm not going to keep this going but something has to give and it just means I check in less here and create a little less. This is what I've been doing to keep myself inspired and at the end a little list of links.
* I'm writing morning pages everyday. I follow the format by Julia Cameron in her book 'The Artist's Way'. You basically write anything you can remember from when you were asleep, brain dump any thoughts on your mind and list 10 things that you're grateful for. You write 3 pages. It's a powerful method, believe me it works for the good in your life. I got onto it from a lecture in my course, there are so many helpful suggestions and methods that I'll be able to use to coach clients (I'm training to be a health coach) that I'm banking and also implementing. This one is a keeper.
* I'm practicing yoga everyday. Ten minutes minimum. Sounds ridiculously short? It is, you're absolutely right, but if I can do more I do and even if I don't it's well over an hour more yoga a week than I was doing. Achievable and beneficial.
* Reading everyday. I love to read, it's a non negotiable. Even having kids, everyone can manage 10 pages. I just finished 'Wild' by Cheryl Strayed which was hugely inspiring and am half way through 'The Goldfinch' by Donna Tartt which is quite extraordinary. I want to write like that woman.
I've been reading Sarah Wilson and getting the kind of life talk and tips on health that light me up.
I've been watching House of Cards on Netflix and settled down to a cosy evening the other night with an amazing friend to watch About Time by Richard Curtis. It damn near kept me sobbing for an hour after but if your dad left this world to cancer I challenge it not to do the same to you.
See you soon