#1557 Day 59 of getting there: a day for my book

I go from one hat, to another hat, to another hat.

ALL DAY LONG.

Work hat. Mum hat. Teacher hat. Cleaner hat. Chef hat. Pet owner hat. Wife hat. Washing hat. (Did I say cleaner hat?)

Emotional hat. Maintenance hat. Finance hat.

Where is my ‘me’ hat?

Sure we are in lockdown, but all it means for me is I’m doing everything from home now, instead of leaving the house for things that I used to.

It’s now the work and the home schooling, as well as trying to do all of the normal everyday tasks that keep the house running,

I jump from one thing to another thing to another thing, all without taking a breath.

Overwhelmed is an emotion I am all too familiar with.

I asked myself the other night “where is my ‘me time'”?

Sure, I do this at night. Everyone goes to sleep. I blog, I journal.

Other times I am so spent I watch my guilty pleasure Bold and the Beautiful on repeat, or just scroll aimlessly through social media.

But then, that other big question… the question that I’m sure A LOT of us has thought at one point or another during this lockdown…

What is it for?

What is the point? Where am I placing my valuable time, and is it leading me in the direction I want to go?

Or have I fallen into routine, and need to be reminded of that which makes my heart sing?

What about my book?

Yeah, MY BOOK. That thing I was working on ’til early this year, which I then left because ‘feedback overload!’ All well and good, but with so long a break, it was time to ask the question again.

‘What about my book?’

A new plan. A new decision. A new routine.

A new hat. A writing hat. πŸ™‚

Wednesdays was now going to be my BOOK day.

It doesn’t matter how much (or how little) I spend working on my novel… but from now on, I’m going to be announcing to the house my intentions, and ordering them all to leave me alone for as long as they can muster!

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Today it was about 80 minutes… not bad. It was baby steps. I first had to remind myself of where I was at, re-reading feedback from writing pals, and taking notes to ‘up the ante’ of my story.

Even if I do one line, each Wednesday…

I am doing something. I need to be easy on myself. I know how I work.

Life can get away from us. But if I can try stick to this new routine, all my Wednesdays will surely amount to something.

They will amount to much more, than doing nothing.

#1528 Day 30 of getting there: 90 minutes

Since all this CV started, my life has been about a few things, and these things SOLELY.

Work.

Homeschool.

Play with dolls in baby girl’s my free time.

That’s it.

Oh no, I lie. There is the cooking, the cleaning, the never-ending washing…

Yeah. Plenty of time for me in those chores. Sigh.

Sure there are benefits to working at home. No traffic. Save money on travel. Eat and drink at home.

Roll out of your bed and wear your trakkies to the desk in the morning.

But just as I am working from home, so too is baby girl schooling from home.

That means that any normal free time I might have had for my writing and personal development during non-work time when she would usually be at school, well it’s now GONE.

Any time I’ve had free… wash the dishes.

“Mum, can you play with my dolls?”

Washing.

What to cook.

“Did you finish that task?”

It’s never-ending.

So today, after finishing work, and then doing the homeschooling thing, a few more odd jobs, and YES, playing with the bloody barbie dolls…

I said to baby girl “now it’s Mummy’s time.”

Now this doesn’t always work. But I try anyway. So many times I’ve proclaimed it’s me time, only to be whinged at, nagged, prodded and pushed, and that’s not even from baby girl. πŸ˜‰

So to be able to sit on the couch with laptop in the fading sunlight, and write, write and write away… for 90 minutes.

90 MINUTES!

Yep.

Well, it felt incredible.

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I was working on a future post… stay tuned for that.

But I felt so light, so free afterwards. So amazing. And I realised, this is the feeling.

This is how you feel, when you know you are doing what you are meant to do.

When you know you are doing your soul’s work.

β™₯

#1520 Day 22 of getting there: Saluting the Sun

I felt so much better today. Part of it was due to the pressure of the BIG day being gone.

Knowing it wasn’t a day like Easter day, where I would usually see my family, well it made it easier. There was no pressure on what the day should have been, no expectations.

And also, the SUN was out.

We took a walk, because being at home is something we are all growing so tiresome of.

We had to.

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It was so gorgeous. The walk along the Esplanade showed us dozens upon dozens of other walkers alongside bicyclists, and we were all getting out for some much-needed vitamin D.

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I am so aware of the impact on mental health this isolation is causing us. So, so aware. And after the day that was yesterday, I know I need to look after myself more, give myself more time outside, taking walks, spending time in the sun, because the days ahead are only gonna get shorter, darker, and colder.

So once home, MORE sun. I took a book my cousin leant to me, and read it out on the balcony.

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The Light Between Oceans. I’m still at an early part of the novel, but it’s getting to that addictive point where the characters are infiltrating my thoughts. I love them already and am already future crying for what’s to happen next.

Baby girl, and then Hubbie soon joined me. All we needed was the cat, and the bird. πŸ˜‰

And then I snapped this up on the balcony. Clear, blue, crisp views.

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As a contrast, this later tonight.

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I felt it quite telling, metaphoric even. The clouds crossing the sky. Half clear, half murky.

And it made me think…

I think we might be half way there. Through hardship comes clarity.

Or just, the sky was part-cloudy?

You be the judge.

#1489 Friday movie night

When you work away from home, you really start to appreciate your days off… at home.

Friday night’s have become my little saviour.

They are mine, and mine alone. I sit on the couch after everyone has fallen asleep, and find something on TV to watch.

Tonight’s supercalifraglisticexpialidocious viewing?

Can you guess?

Well it’s not the original. Rather it’s Saving Mr. Banks, the story of how Walt Disney courted the writer of the original Mary Poppins book, P.L. Travers, into allowing him to make her original tale into a Disney classic.

The story behind the story… how could it beat the one we have grown up with and come to love?

Well it is a completely different story. One that is heart-wrenching, as it is uplifting. (Actually, that oddly has similar elements to the story it’s based on if you look hard enough).

And though Mary Poppins brings the word unique to a whole new level, the character of P.L. Travers played by Emma Thompson, is a whole other hilariously difficult character on her own.

Watching stories unfold in the comfort of my home, from my couch, at my will, has to be the greatest ‘me time’ and restorer of creativity wells there is. β™₯

  • Did you know that P.L. Travers is not the real name of the Mary Poppins writer? She was indeed, Helen Goff,Β  and part Aussie, no less. πŸ™‚

#1474 A date with the parentals

In light of things about to get a whole lot busier, it was lovely to have this pre-planned day, to head across town and meet my parents in a shopping centre, near my old ‘hood.

Memories.

First I was just wandering without a care. Look here, look there… go wherever I damn like.

When I met up with them, it was BUT FIRST, COFFEE.

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And then the pinnacle of the day, being also the least active… when Mum and I lay down to have massages.

Ahhh.

The lady who did my back, was kneading a point in my left shoulder blade so much that I nearly cried out. But I gritted through the pain, to get to the glory.

Huh. Much like life I guess.

It was MAGIC.

Then for lunch I introduced my parents to Roll’d… and if you haven’t tried their food, you are missing out. They are delicious.

And now my parents think so too. πŸ˜‰πŸ‘Œ

Best of all, was the bonding and quality time spent with them… because I just know at the end of it all, we all walk away, feeling happier and lighter.

❀

#1456 Pieces of straw

It crossed my mind today that maybe I should give this whole gratitude blog thing a rest.

It was just one of those days, where everything bothered me.

But somewhere in the afternoon I found some things to grasp onto, and keep me going.

A great cappuccino made by Hubbie.

Chocolate. Many pieces.

And then one of my fave movies. I put on –

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God bless art. ALL FORMS. Within minutes I was laughing as Meryl Streep’s character Julia Child was going ga-ga over buttered fish in a French restaurant.

It is an amazing movie, and Streep’s performance is phenomenal.

I think I gravitated towards this movie, and it’s the kind that always picks me up, because it shows the two stories of women who were in a slump in their life, struggling to find a place to belong, went through much difficulty and hardships to get what they wanted, but in the end…

THEY GOT THERE. THEY GOT IT.

I really needed this movie today. I cried with happiness just as much as I did with emotion.

It was the needle that helped me get out of the stack. β™₯

#1447 Me Time no. 1

I can just as easily have named this a ‘reasons why I love living by the beach’ post with the water being a theme and all once again, but the true intentions of my writing and where I am coming from are so different this time.

Sure, it was hot.

Sure, I wanted to make the most of Summer.

Sure, I wasn’t passing up a hot day offer from Melbourne even if it meant I was alone.

Especially because I was alone. πŸ˜‰

But I’ve been in a funny space lately. Neither here nor there. Thinking about life, wondering what to do, in this odd middle-ground of nothingness, where nothing is the only thing that actually happens…

Just a whole lot of thinking instead.

I’ve been coming to grips with this weird phase, reminding myself that we all go through it at certain times of life and it’s part of the whole cocoon process in becoming a new person.

To become a butterfly we must shed our shell. But we must hide out and hibernate first to do so.

Part of my quest this year, the year of balance as I’m calling it, the ‘2020’ year, is to find more time to make me happy.

You might think that is SO easy given I don’t have a job. I have plenty of time, right?

Time doesn’t necessarily equate to heart and purpose though. And it’s awfully hard to find motivation when the car that is your life stalls and has to change new tyres, and you suddenly don’t know where the tyres are coming from. And then someone tells you to not stress, and relax.

You try relax while waiting for a tyre change.

So in the meantime, I really have to do things for me.

Things that fill my soul with purpose.

Things that make me smile.

Things that I miss doing.

Things that I always put on the backburner because I need to cook/clean/make phone calls/do washing/a billion other things on my to-do list.

Going to the beach on my lonesome is just one of those wonderful ‘me’ things.

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(the seagull had to photobomb my solitary beach photo!)

Firstly, when alone at the beach, I have no one in tow, and no one to answer to. I decide when I come and go. I sit on the sand for as long as I like, and I sit in the water for as long as I like.

And today, while sitting in the water and having waves crash over me… well it truly reset my car battery. πŸ˜‰

I’ve written a little story about it on Instagram, about waves and life and letting go, so I do hope you check it out… you can find me under smikgwriter so give me a yell if you’re on there too. β™₯

 

 

#1367 Bathing it away

I’m actually kinda surprised. After getting rained on after school drop off, and having to witness my cat totally drugged out with pupils like saucers due to his new meds… I was almost laughing today.

You know when thing after thing goes wrong, and you literally look up to the sky and say “what now?”

But I amazed myself in my strength. I thought all this crap would have worn me down… but instead, like the main character in my book says “BRING IT ON.”

Maybe I’m somehow channeling her. Maybe I’m gaining inspiration through her fictional self. Either way, I moved on from the crap, and set myself up for…

A blissful bath.

There is always a reason why I shouldn’t have a bath. There are always 58 things I should be doing instead of lying in water, alone, breathing in to my thoughts.

But I’ve learnt by now that time like this isn’t a luxury… it’s a necessity.

So. Candle light. A steaming bath. The meditative sound of a slowly dripping tap, against the backdrop of howling winds outside the window.

Steam rises above me. The air is damp. I sink into the watery cocoon and let it swallow me whole, my body submerged by all that is peaceful, all that is good.

And with it my mind and soul slide into a place where my equilibrium is restored, and everything makes sense.

 

#1345 A cloudy walk to clarity

My head matched my surroundings when I woke this morning: cloudy, dreary, flat.

It was so grey. And today, I couldn’t just do what I’ve been doing every other day… I just couldn’t. Every other day I come back home from school drop off, sit down in front of the computer, and I BLEED FROM MY FINGERTIPS.

Okay, clearly I am making that up. Rather, I pour all of my head out onto the screen before me, consequently judging it, questioning it, and believing after all that it is ALL CRAP.

So, same same.

I do this rain, hail, or shine. All three things we’ve had in the last week, so I’m not even being melodramatic over that one either.

But, I was spent. Done. After sending off my second submission for my online course last night, I needed a break.

I needed to walk.

But first… (what else but? – )

Coffee.

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I walked down the street to a great local cafe. I grabbed the paper and a mag as I waited for my coffee fix, surprised that everyone was sitting inside and not outside like me!

Sure it wasn’t the brightest of days… but I needed the air. The freshness. The stillness and the birds landing on the nearby chair to see if I had left them any crumbs.

I sat there for a while without a care in the world, sipping my cap which was well past lukewarm, and turning page after page.

Ahh. I really needed this.

But I wasn’t done. Not by a long shot. I kept walking straight and hit another vision… the water.

I paused at one lookout before randomly deciding to walk down a bushy path amongst the trees, with a lookout of the water to the left of me.

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I walked down that path… and then I decided to head down a narrower, bushier, steeper path.

THE WHOLE TIME I was making sure I wasn’t going to walk into a massive spider web, or there wasn’t a snake about to slither by my feet. Alongside those two very natural, very Aussie fears was the realisation I was truly off the beaten track, and there was no one else around.

NO ONE.

It was both terrifying, and thrilling. Anything could happen, and no one would know…

I ended up at one lookout.

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Then another.

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And another.

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I kept winding and switching paths, trying to keep my orientation clear in case I got lost and had to go back… but I managed to make it back out onto the main street, ALIVE.

And that walk through the wilderness had made me feel alive. My head was no longer heavy, or cloudy, or messed up.

I soon got back home, changed into my trakkies… and sat at my computer.

Ready to bleed again. πŸ™‚

 

#1338 Hearing the Novel name

I don’t know how I am going to say this. It’s a bit hard to talk about something when you don’t want to use real names.

So I will use pseudonyms. It comes natural for me, being SmikG and all πŸ˜‰

Let’s say the over-riding name for my novel, the series as it were, since I have written the first, and have started the second (albeit very s-l-o-w-l-y) with my intention for it to be part of a very long series…

Is ‘Mountain Peak.’ Yeah that’s about right. Let’s call it that.

But that’s the title of the series, so it comes to reason that each novel would need an individual name, right?

So for this current novel that I am working and re-working and re-working ’til FOREVER it seems, it is called…

‘Experimentation.’

YES! Perfect. No that is not the name, but for purposes of this experimental exercise and real-life scenario, let’s go with that.

Mountain Peak: Experimentation.

That makes sense! You experiment while climbing a mountain’s peak, right?

Tee hee hee.

I was at swimming with baby girl today. She was doing her thing in the pools, while I was doing my Mum thing… having a quiet moment. In the peak of swimming centre traffic, with kids entering pools excited, then exiting the same waters drenched and exhausted, with parents amidst it all watching the clock and holding out towels, and ordering that wet clothes go into plastic bags, I sat with my head lowered, looking at all of social media and trying to remember if there was anything I needed to look up during this temporary moment of non-interruption.

I was getting bored while scroll scroll scrolling, as a Mum sat beside me with her older primary school aged daughter. They were doing something, I didn’t really look up to see, and I just figured they were waiting for a child/sibling to get out of the pool.

Then all of a sudden…

“Experimentation.”

Huh? Had my ears deceived me?

I looked to the side where the Mum and daughter were. They were doing a crossword puzzle. Not wanting to stare and be obvious I quickly looked away, wondering to myself…

‘Did I just imagine that? Did I just hear the name of my novel? I must be kidding myself.’

I went about getting out baby girl’s towel as the end of her session drew near, and the curious cat that I am, I just couldn’t help myself…

The mother-daughter duo were positioned to my right and baby girl’s class was also in that direction, so it made perfect sense to linger my gaze a little longer to watch her retrieve dive sticks from the pool…

(Meanwhile my eyes were insanely scanning their crossword from a distance, looking at all the long words to see, if really…)

BINGO!

There it was. Experimentation.

They had it crossed off.

They had found it.

OMG.

I found it the oddest, funniest, yet also spookiest thing to have someone whisper to themselves, loud enough for me to hear sitting beside them, the name of my novel!

And this name, it isn’t even as common as ‘experimentation.’ Sure, for one particular group of people it might be a daily utterance … but most folks would usually say testing, instead of experimentation, you know?

Yeah, I know, you don’t know… ha ha ha.

And I was just like… woah.

Before I had time to smile or ponder any further, baby girl came over to me soaking and wet, with raindrops of water cascading off her hair and swimsuit, as if it were falling out of the sky… πŸ˜‰