Oh wow. The feeling of relief, of relaxation, tiredness even… is immense.
But also, there is exhilaration.
I have to thank Hubbie and baby girl. They let me do my thing these last few days, escape to quiet rooms of the house, yell at them to not yell, and even run upstairs onto our bed where I could truly be at peace.
I sacrificed a lot. Baby girl’s school work. She did maybe a task a day.
The cooking. It was either Hubbie doing it or grabbing some kind of half-healthy takeaway.
The time. Instead of spending time with my family, I was furiously going over and over and over my manuscript, trying to get it up to the standard I would be okay with, before sending it off for a competition tonight.
Don’t mention the cleaning.
Don’t mention the washing.
Don’t mention the clothes hanging up in the house waiting to be put away.
Don’t mention anything to do with the house!
The phone calls. The jobs I put off. I sacrificed so much, and I would do it all again.
You know what? Because I love it.
When you find that which you’re passionate about, you want to spend as much of your life doing it, right?
If my house, the washing, even some odd jobs have to suffer I WILL TAKE IT.
Because I’d rather be known as ‘that writing gal,’ than the woman who had a clean house.
Really. What is important here?
(Having said all that, I’m actually aching to clean every crevice of the house tomorrow!)
Anyway… the mad rush is over. 88 thousand words have been submitted, and I couldn’t be happier.
It’s not even about whether I win or not. I honestly doubt I will. But I proved to myself that I could hit the deadline, I pushed myself to re-edit and re-structure my novel, and if you think about it, regardless of the results, I am one step closer to getting there.
I have no time to write, because I am writing elsewhere.
I’m trying to hit a deadline, and that deadline is tomorrow, by about midnight, though I hope to God I hit it by evening.
I’ve made soooo many sacrifices these last few days, but I’m so busy I can’t even write about them.
The biggest sacrifice has been from baby girl. I have even cut back on her schoolwork and tasks, so important this deadline is to me.
She’ll catch up, it’s cool.
But she has been unreal, and so understanding. I had to meet her in the middle though… as soon as I finished work today, we had a coffee break, we played dolls together for several minutes… and then my butt hit the couch to write on my laptop.
She didn’t whinge. She didn’t complain. She didn’t bug me. She even left me in peace to write and edit and re-think EVERYTHING, and I am so grateful.
But, it’s not over. Even though I’m grateful for her understanding today, I’m praying some of it extends to tomorrow, since I have to review and rewrite two more chapters, go over my entire manuscript again, write a freaking 1 page-synopsis condensing approximately 88,000 words, while trying not to LOSE MY MIND while doing it.
Over this last month of winter, every time we’ve had a sunny day, a still day, or a day worthy of breathing “ahh” despite the cold, I’ve had the same lyric waft through my head.
“Here comes the sun…”
Lately, it’s getting stronger.
It’s from Madonna’s song, ‘Rain.’ It’s one of my many favourites of hers. Not just because she sings it, but rain itself is a dominant, spiritual, natural theme in my life that I draw on time and time again.
It’s cyclic emergence, and subsequent meaning, is so important to me.
And although she sings about rain, with the downpour of it being a release of emotions, she then goes on to sing about the sun.
“Here comes the sun,
Here comes the sun,
And I say,
Never go away.”
It’s a little like my yin and yang post from the other day. We need a balance don’t we? Life can’t exist with just sunshine, with just rain…
But at the same time, we’ve had so much rain in our life lately.
Rain in the form of winter.
Rain in the form of crap raining down on us.
Rain in the fact that life is a lot harder for us than it used to be.
Rain in that it is absolutely guaranteed that we are collectively struggling in one form or another.
It’s metaphoric connotation is HUGE.
Today, I didn’t wear my jacket as I headed off to do the groceries. Sure it was a little fresh, but generally, I was okay.
The sun was out.
I felt the difference. It happens sometimes in late July. There will be a couple of sunshine-y days, and you can just tell, that slight shift to crisp, bright, Spring days, is just around the corner.
I’ve been trying to cultivate more yin in my life lately.
Living in the world we’re in, it ain’t easy. Especially these days. There is so much pressure on women, put on by no one but themselves.
She is all YANG.
She has to do everything.
She has to be as good as, or better than her male counterparts.
She is meant to be a wife and career woman, while also being a stay-at-home Mum, pursuing her passions in all her free moments, and dedicating her weekends to long walks/jogs, cooking healthy in bulk to set her up for the week, all while looking immaculate with her clothes ALWAYS laundered.
It is TOO MUCH.
There is no calm. There is no ease. It is go-go-go.
25 items on your to-do list, and as you’re ticking one off, off you go rushing into the next one.
There is no present moment. Things are too fast.
There is so much doing. There is so much aggression.
There is SO MUCH.
It was easier back in the cavemen era. Stay with me. Biologically, the man is the hunter, and the woman is the gatherer. She would stay at the cave with her offspring, and the man would go off in search of food.
But I mentioned biology? Well think about it. A man’s genitals are on the outside… if he was speared or harmed, his little men would just regenerate in a few months.
A women’s genitals are on the inside… what we are born with, WE ARE BORN WITH.
We were biologically made to stay protected.
The man was active.
The woman was passive.
Now we are all bloody ACTIVE.
None of this is to suggest that a woman is not meant to, or is not capable or achieving anything that a man can. We can do all that and more.
But finding that fine balance between the active, aggressive, go-go-go yang power, and looking instead for our innate inner feminine, calm, receptive, yin energy… that’s something I am working on.
I think in some way all us women are.
Look at this virus. Like, so many women I know are happy to have slowed down. Our biology tells us we go too fast, too hard, and do too much, and yet it takes the entire world practically shutting down to make us think, “huh. Maybe we were doing things all wrong.”
I diverge, I babble too much.
But today, it happened. I went way too YANG.
It happened during the first lockdown. Working from home, home-schooling… it all got too much for me, and many a time I found myself breaking down.
My first breakdown of this second lockdown happened today.
I was shitty, fuming, pacing around the kitchen like a caged animal.
Taking these loud guttural breaths, not yoga-like AT ALL.
Trying my damn-dest to not cry and have the well burst out of me.
I was trying so hard to not let things overwhelm me, but they were. I had a couple of realisations this week, and suddenly, everything was happening at once.
I had to do everything at once.
But I couldn’t do everything at once!
Finally, I spoke up. I started talking to Hubbie… and my yin appeared.
He was at ease. He was calm. He let me stop erupting, and when I was done he put it in perspective. We worked out what I had to do. What I definitely didn’t have to do. And he reminded me that this worldwide virus, was shit. It was screwing with everyone’s lives, some more than others, some more seriously than others…
So some things, in the scheme of things, could wait.
The weight that lifted off me… Here I had been, trying to make all these things happen…
When I had to let go. Just let things happen.
Remind myself of my inner yin, that part of me that longed for the slow-down, quiet, the receptive nature of life that we have all forgotten.
But in times where we forget… I was so lucky to have someone to remind me.
Sometimes I am his yin, sometimes he is mine…
And just like that, his yin, became mine again.
But let’s not forget… it’s yin, AND yang for a reason.
We’re relying on technology so much nowadays, being separated from one another physically, and so it brought me much joy to see facebook spring forth a memory this morning.
I mean, I knew what day it was, I’m kinda counting the days to August (with nothing to really look forward to at this stage, let’s face it, but ‘eternal dreamer’) so I did realise it was the anniversary of our dear baby girl’s christening, from 6 years ago.
WOW. 6 years ago. Photos, with family and friends. My gorgeous baby girl, actually, a baby girl! Not 6 going on 13 as she wishes she were. Even a video was there, and I could hear the music in the background, was reminded of the joy of the event, and tried to imagine what it’d be like to be amongst people like that again…
No fear. All love. Happiness, laughter, good times.
I hope this virus passes soon, for everyone’s sakes. And then when facebook brings up 2020 memories in years to come, we’ll look back on all the masks, isolation woes, and toilet paper wars, shaking our hands and wondering if it was all a dream…
Or a nightmare. In the meantime, let’s look back on the memories, and look towards making new ones, hopefully soon…
We’re all very much alone. We only see those who live within our walls, while some of us see a few more because of work.
Yet we are forbidden to see anyone outside of those places. And in most cases this includes our wider family and friends.
And yet, though we sit at home, night after night, separated from those we love… we are actually, not physically alone.
I mean, with everything happening from home… we are never ALONE.
Work from home. School from home.
Do EVERYTHING from home!
I don’t get those days that I used to, back when baby girl was physically attending school. Days where I could catch up on stuff, sit uninterrupted with my thoughts, and actually get SHIT DONE.
Today though, I pleaded my case. I told Hubbie I was getting SHIT done today.
And when the opportunity arose for the two of them to be out of the house…
I grabbed it.
They went out for a short while for some exercise. I felt amazing, to again be on my own, ALONE, doing things that I can’t do while separated from the rest of the world, because now I am physically never alone… at home.
Oh geez. We are a complicated race aren’t we?
Anyway, I felt great. Nothing as satisfying as putting a tick next to jobs that have been bugging you for ages…
It wasn’t a surprise to me this morning, when a friend reminded me it was now officially, the season of the lion.
The Leo horoscope, was upon us.
Only it wasn’t really a reminder to me. I wait for the changeover to this feline month, and the last month of Winter, not just because I love cats and hate the cold, but mainly for the fact that it’s my birthday month, and a celebration month for A LOT of my family.
But, things are a bit different this year. It’s guaranteed there will be none of the usual birthday hoo-ha’s this August, and so for the last little while, I’ve turned my attention elsewhere.
Well, it IS always there… I’m just really engaging all of my energies into it.
It’s a scary place to be. Putting yourself out there, exposing your passions and insecurities right there on paper/word doc/social media…
Allowing people into your mind, your heart, your soul. But it’s what I love, and so a part of me must be masochistic, because I keep doing what terrifies me most, inching forward increment by increment, hoping to God that everything stays smooth.
Everything keeps sailing.
I took a bit of a leap recently. I joined a local writer’s group. It’s no basement-budget style catch up either – it’s a proper, paid, yearly membership, where you immerse yourself with other like-minded, passionate writerly types as yourself.
Today I joined the closed facebook group for the club… and you know, it felt SO GOOD. I was kinda terrified of putting myself out there, as is normal since writing is uber-important to me, but I did what I’ve been doing all this year it seems… and pushed past the fear.
“What’s the big deal?”
“Why are you so scared?”
“Stop over dramatising!”
All very valid thoughts you might be thinking, I get it.
But imposter syndrome is a real thing, and trying to push past the self-doubts, the questions as to why you’re there, the fear of rejection or denial, of discovering you’re actually shit… all of those things are genuine fears that keep people from doing what they should be doing.
From pursuing their dreams.
But the thing to understand is, these self-doubts we all experience are completely normal, to some degree. We all have them, we all feel them at some point or another, and as long as they’re not physically or mentally debilitating to our psyche, if we learn to accept them and push past them anyway…
Guess what we’ve just done?
I actually came across a lovely quote today, quite indicative of the step I took:
“Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them.” – Brendan Francis Behan.
And how convenient, that we are talking about all of this courage, at this particular month…
During this particular season.
Try to channel the lion in you, and take a step closer to what you most love to do.