Future Me! (Weekly photo prompt)

This is a picture of my youngest daughter.

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I’m often told that she looks just like me, well I suppose one out of 4 kids isn’t bad! She’s a
happy little soul. This picture was taken in the holidays and she’s goofing around with a cushion on her head. This photo shows her character completely, sweet and loveable. With reference to this week’s photo prompt when I look at her I really do see my future. I would say excuse the dirty mark on the cushion but that’s just real life…..

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/future/

Pedalling straight and true.

Sometimes I want to stop the world and get off. Time hurtles by so fast it seems the days are done before I’ve had a chance to put my big girl boots on and deal with things.
I don’t want to waste time. I want to make good smart choices, wise choices but I don’t know what they are.

People think because you’re a mother and a wife that you’ve got your life sorted, that you know where you’re going next. How can I explain that so much of my day is spent just coping with the minutiae that I don’t have time to make big decisions?

I sometimes wish I was back in the days of my youth. The school clock would count down incessantly slow until home time. The hot Summers felt as if they lasted half a year. My biggest decision was what nail polish or music I was going to buy.

Now it is different. Other people depend on me. I can’t just do what I want. Or go where I want to go. And that’s ok. It’s part of being an adult. I know that.

The hard part is we enter adulthood but we’re still children inside. We’re not properly trained and equipped to cope with some of what comes our way. But we have to. The  stabilisers have been taken off. Now we must pedal straight and true.

It’s just a pity that life doesn’t come with a road map and a clear set of directions.

Seeking Aslan (Weekly photo prompt – State of mind)

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I took this photo last year. We were enjoying a family day out at a nearby stately home with its own park and woods. This table which is so reminiscent of Aslan’s stone table from the Narnia books is secluded in the woods.  I remember we stumbled across it and were pretty blown away by it. The bleakness of the photo and the dreary weather were certainly indicative of my mood at the time. We were having a tough time but trying to be enthusiastic for the children.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/state-of-mind/

When we leave – timed writing piece.

“When we leave we have no knowledge of repeating history. The harsh words and recriminations we fling around have been voiced before, albeit not by us.
Is it our destiny to make the same mistakes over and over?
What is this weakness in our dna that belies our good intentions? Some vestige of parental nurture? A result of one sided parenting?

All I know is it makes life hard. This urge to flee that rises unbidden to our lips and makes monsters of us.

And when we leave we think we will feel relief and we do. Initially,  for about 5 seconds until we succumb to guilt. We have so much to feel guilty for. Even as we carry on walking away we are aching to retrace our steps, to hang up our coats and shake out our anxieties like a newly ironed sheet.

We stay away because we convince ourselves it’s better for everyone but the honest truth is we are too scared to stay. Too afraid of letting you down and the last awful motive we never admit to anyone is purely this. We are selfish.”.

This post is a five minute timed piece not designed in any way to portray current circumstances. It was inspired in part by family history and a desire to see if something decent could be written in 5 minutes.

Finding a new normal.

A few months ago a troublesome family situation I’ve alluded to previously came to an end. It didn’t end to my satisfaction. It didn’t even end in a way I could have anticipated when I’d lain awake at night worrying.

I don’t think I realised how worn down and bent out of shape I have felt the last 2 years. Like the hamster on its wheel or treading water whilst trying to stay afloat I have been intent. Intent on keeping it together. Intent on letting nothing slide. Intent on keeping things normal for the children. Intent on not crying. Intent on supporting my family and husband.

Someone once told us as a family “You’re always struggling with something”.  It was true but it stung. Are there any other families that don’t struggle or are they merely better at hiding it?

I thought once all this was over I would feel relieved, as if that huge weight had been taken from our shoulders, but I don’t.

What I do feel is caught in limbo, trapped in the detritus of decisions made when we were not thinking straight.  I feel trapped, unable to go backwards but scared to go forwards. Scared of making wrong choices and mired by indecision so instead I do nothing, caught in old ways and bad habits.

Before Christmas our car gave up the ghost and it will be a few months more before it can be fixed. Sunday morning lay ins that were attractive initially, have palled. We miss going to church. We miss our friends. The sensible thing to do it seems would be to find an interim church in the meantime but even that feels fraught with difficulty.

I feel hugely resentful. I feel mournful. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do next.

I would just like a rest. Rest from the worry of unpaid bills, rest from worrying about jobs and work, rest from trying to make the right decisions all the time, rest from constantly second guessing myself.

This has been a largely self indulgent rant. I have always said that I write my blog for myself, to make sense of my feelings, although of course I appreciate other people reading it.

What I do know is I am tired and unwell and not firing on all cylinders at the moment so excuse my indulgence and I hope tomorrow is a better day for all.

Till next time.

S.

Channeling your inner writer.

A recent Daily Prompt got me thinking. It asked what advice I would give to new bloggers.

The biggest piece of advice I could give is don’t compare yourself to other writers. It’s intimidating when you start writing. It’s tempting to look at other people’s freshly pressed posts which seem to have hundreds of likes and want to give up.

Will I ever have that many followers? Will my posts ever get freshly pressed on WordPress? Will people like my writing? Will my posts ever go viral?

All of these things are natural to wonder. However they are not beneficial. Readers are not looking for a carbon copy of an already established writer. Rather they are looking for something that piques their interest.

When we take our eyes off our own works and compare ourselves to others we will always lose to a certain extent. It’s an indisputable fact that there will always be someone who writes better than you do (in your opinion anyway) but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try.

Ask yourself why you are writing? Are you writing for your own pleasure? To be published? To be the next bestseller?

Whilst it is good to be ambitious that alone will not be enough to sustain you.

You should write simply because you can’t not.

Yes you need a certain amount of talent but mostly you need endurance and perseverance and for want of a better word, stickability!

Make your own writing rules and stick to them. Whether that is writing so many words or pages each day or writing in the morning or evening,  whether it’s writing a daily or weekly blog post whatever it is make sure it is sustainable. I say this because the days you don’t manage to write will invariably leave you disappointed.

I’m probably going to be disagreed with here but I don’t think it’s necessarily bad to not complete a piece of writing. Yes we need to aim to finish but if we become bored and unexcited with a piece of work chances are our readers will also.

Lastly, if at all possible, try and find people who believe in you and your writing gift. It makes so much difference to be encouraged and nurtured. There will always be people who tell you to dream on, that your dreams are too big, that you’ll never amount to anything but rise above it. Often these people had their own dreams quashed and have become embittered by it.

Writing is a hugely competitive field and you may struggle to have your hand seen waving above the parapet but if you really love the art of writing then write.

It really is as simple and as difficult as that!

At night.

At night I lay awake,
A thousand thoughts cross my mind,
Unfiltered, unattractive, fear inducing.

Who am I now? Am I still me? Or is this a new me? Emerging from a chrysalis of sadness.

I want to go back to how things were. I liked my life. It was comfortable. It was mine.

Now the rules are different , now the goal posts have changed.

I don’t like it. It is like a too small garment bought in anticipation of weight loss, it is like a jumper with a scratchy label that irritates you all day.

It is not me. It is not my life. It is not cosy and warm and comfortable. It is not me.

If I wish really hard can I have my old life back?

Suzanne Rollinson (2015)