K, how is this? Its rough.

Since 2am I have watched 1.5 hours of How I Met Your Mother episodes. All of which I have seen already. Plus, I have stuffed myself so full of food that I feel very ill right now. Here is my attempt at writing. Nervous …

I grab my shake and bags and get out of the car. I walk to the back door and pull it open. As I step inside Marina comes out of the coffee-room with a coffee and a warm smile. 

“Hey, How are you?” I ask.

“Awesome” she replies with a smile. I knew that was going to be her response. I ask just to hear her say it cause it makes me glow a bit inside. “We have an issue with the welding program.” she says. And so my day begins. I have not even finished my breakfast or taken off my coat and I am at work. 

Despite an hours drive to work, straight highway, I could not finish my breakfast because I was too afraid of wildlife while I drove in the dark. It is February. The only light I can count on is from the full moon. 

Marina and I walk to my office and continue our chat. We chat as I hang up my coat and turn on my computer. We have a possible solution and then just as we are finishing up someone else is at my door with an issue. And so goes my day. Putting out fires. 

I use my lunch hour to catch up on emails. Fires there too. Someone comes to my door and I say that if it is not due in the next 30 minutes I can’t deal with it right now. My mid afternoon I start my lunch and sneak off to the Co-op down the alley for a chocolate bar mid afternoon.  

By the time I drive home it is 5:30. I walk in the door and holler for Sherese to come up so I can take her to guitar lessons. We pile in the car and off we go. As I wait for her lesson I am on my phone responding to work emails. Then back home. 

Three hours on the road today. Exhausted. Finally we can start eating supper at 8pm. Forget it. Teela needs me. I sit and nurse her and then try to prep something for supper for tomorrow as well as clean up a bit. My family sits and watches TV. I have two laptops going and one TV on the main floor. Teela is running in circles around our bungalow. It is noisy and I am annoyed I am alone in getting everything done. I am annoyed that I have to ask for help. I am annoyed that everyone is oblivious. It took me 6 hours to eat my breakfast and 4 hours to eat my lunch. Supper wasn’t until 8pm and I didn’t even get to eat it while it was hot cause I had to nurse. Now I am the only one cleaning and cooking for tomorrow while everyone gets to relax. Oh, lets not forget that I just spent three hours driving today. 

I can’t keep this up.

K, this is rough. I don’t like it but I do feel I broke the seal. It makes me think of how I have already written this scene three years ago and which approach is better. I will regret posting this but I am going to anyway. Don’t judge me. I know I can do better.

Being An Artist

“To be an artist is not compatible with being a woman by definition.  The whole point of creative work is to let yourself go enough to pick up whatever falls out of your right brain before it disappears.  If you’re always paying attention to everybody else, that’s hard to do.”

– Too Good for Her Own Good by Claudia Bepko and Jo-Ann Krestan

In the book Bepko and Krestan talk about how being good is instinctive.  The things a good woman does are so small and simple no one notices them, not even ones self.  This is my dilemma.  I get going and by the end of the day or late afternoon I become aware that not much has been done.  I have been dilly dallying all over the place.  I don’t feel satisfied with the day.

I have a writing prompt emailed to me each day and today’s prompt was to write about a time when I felt capable.  Sadly I struggled recalling a time I felt capable.  After writing for a few minutes I reminisced on feeling capable when I took care of myself and then my family.  During this time I had a routine of meditating, yoga cooking/eating right and writing.  When I had these things in my daily routine I felt I could take on the world.

Why don’t I do these things everyday if it is so wonderful?  Laziness and I get sidetracked.  I get pulled in other directions because I want to be helpful.  Like this morning, I have been up since 2am because my puppy Chances was barking outside and I was worried my husband wasn’t getting any sleep.  So I got up to handle the situation and have been up ever since.  Then I get pulled into my sixteen year old’s work preparations.  She is asking me where work gloves are and if this sandwich meat is still good to eat and who’s car is she taking.

Why didn’t I just let my husband worry about his own sleep?  I bet when he wakes up he will tell me that he never even heard the dog barking.  I am such a worry wart and a pleaser.  I asked Sherese, my teenager heading to work, to prep last night but she was out hobnobbing with her friends until after I went to bed.  Now I am pulled into her drama.

I am up and feel I have so much writing and research to get done that I have made myself believe I do not deserve to sleep.  Stopping for yoga and meditation isn’t worth it.  I keep myself awake to work.  Cause I miss it so.  I have not done all that I have wanted to for at least a week.

My new strategy to mend this belief that I need to serve others in my day and not myself is to experiment with drawing a line in my life with the question “Does this act serve my goal, my gifts, my life purpose?”  I don’t think every situation I apply it to will be cut and dry, black and white but I am going to give a go, experiment.  I also think it is going to take practice in even recognizing when I am being pulled into that goodness code I live by.  I need to create a new code of goodness.

Right Here. Right Now.

Whenever I post a  blog WordPress gives me a writing quote.  I am not sure if this happens to everyone or if it is just my template.  Regardless, the quote I received when I last posted has been ringing in my ears.  It went something like this “Blogging isn’t about writing, it is about reading blogs.”  I am not sure who the author is.  The words stuck into my mind not the name.

The quote was a jab at me.  It seemed to know my soft spot.  It seem to know that I worry I could be doing more.  Reading more blogs, writing more and, well, just doing more in my life professionally and personally.

Yesterday I went for a walk with my three-year old daughter.  She woke up at 6 o’clock in the morning so I had to put off writing for another day.  She kicked off her sandles and went running down a path on our back five acres.  I walked behind her and Chances, my dog, running around chasing birds of every kind.

All of a sudden I hear the wind brushing against my ear, the blades of grass rustling blade against blade and the sound of a young girl’s giggle in the distance.  I look to see how far away she is from me.  I catch the sun beaming off her blond hair as she runs down the path holding up her long red plaid night-dress so it won’t get wet in the dew.  I have a flash back of me as a young girl running to get clothes off the clothes-line in the back yard on an early summers morning and loving the feeling of the cool wet grass under my feet.  This moment is perfect.  Who cares about what I am not getting done.  I am right here, where I need to be, right now.

A Bit of Sunlight – The Living Dead

I am heading to my in-laws cabin today.  It is in the middle of no-where so I will not be able to post my regular Sunlight post on Sunday so I thought I would do it now.  Plus, it seems a little depressing for a Sunday post.  

Here I am at the age of thirty-four and I am the living dead. I am in the bathroom. I am not sure how long I have been on the toilet or how many times I have wiped myself. I seem to keep slowly coming to the realization that I am done peeing and I reach for the toilet paper only to feel like I have done this already, and then I drift off again. How many times have I done this? I don’t search for an answer. I get up, flush and move on with my day; to lay on the floor in the living room.

I followed the path laid out to me. The path that others were on. The path that society told me to follow: I went to school; I got an education; I found a job; I got married; I bought a house; I had a baby; Then why did all of these perfect steps lead me to the carpet, struggling for each breath and feeling lost and without purpose?

I have been telling my husband when we go to bed at night that I am not sure why I am alive. I am so sad that I can not move during the day. I feel guilt for laying here but I can not get up and do anything meaningful.

“I don’t like you talking that way,” he would reply. It sounds like he is scolding me for feeling this way. His tone is sharp. He mentions to me that I should see someone, a counsellor or therapist. His work will cover the cost.

He comes home one day and tells me quietly, when Teela and I are in the sunporch finishing supper, “There are a lot of people here that need you and love you.”

I know he is talking about him and the girls but all I can think is that living for them is not enough. I have been living for them for so long and I don’t want to anymore. It is exhausting and draining me to my core.

It isn’t that I don’t love them. I do. I really do. But I have nothing more to give them. I can not cook supper for them. I can not pay attention to the words they say to me and the questions they ask of me. All I am is a shadow. If I give them much more of myself I will disappear. I don’t care about anything except for an answer as to why I am forced to get up and live this hell every day.

My Writing Life

Where do I even begin.  It is so hard to return to writing after I have been pulled away for a few days.  Or have I been pulled away?  Maybe I just let myself go because it can be hard some days to sit down and have nothing come out of my pen.  I must persevere.  I need a routine.

I have been thinking about blogging and one of its purposes for me in my writing life.  I think it is to hold me accountable.  When I am gone away for a spell from my blog its floating existance in space is a reminder that I have something important I need to do – write.

Not writing has made me sick in the past.  Which is where Sunlight came from I guess.  Now, I think something else is going on with my health as I try to balance home life and a writing life.  I am getting a lot of abdominal cramping.  I do fear it is stress related as I think about writing all day.  It is the first thought on my mind as I shift from my sleeping state to this world.  I go for an ultrasound on Monday.  See what they say.  I have a feeling they are going to find absolutely nothing.

I think about asking my family to take over some things at home so I can write.  Yet, I find it hard to ask for help.  The whole concept of assistance is my nemesis.  More times than I can count I think trying to write while I have kids at home is setting myself up for failure.  I wonder if I should wait until I do not have family under foot.   Yet, do I want my life to start when they are all gone?!  No.

Establishing a routine as a writer/researcher, stay at home mother plus, I suppose, a homeschooling mom, does not seem to be an easy challenge for me.  Yet I know mom’s who do it.  It can be done.  I really need to find that more determined voice inside of me.  Once, maybe 15 years ago, I took a kick boxing class.  The instructor kept saying to me that I needed to find my power.  He knew I had a stronger kick in me and for me to bring it out.  Every class he said that to me, “Find your strength.”  It still haunts me. Damn.  When am I going to learn this lesson.  I feel my writing life is in competition with my parenting expectations.  This should not be the case.  They can live harmoniously together.  I know they can. Somehow.  Balancing work and family isn’t impossible is it?

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