My to-do list doesn’t yet seem to be shrinking, despite the back to school breathing space of the past week. As fast as I cross things off, more gets added. So I have decided to write instead. The prerogative of a mother with children out of the house.
I spent my summer putting off writing, not because of a lack of ideas. They were quite free flowing actually, (although I have yet to perfect the art of capturing them suitably to prevent their irretrievable loss in the depths of my brain). I managed a couple of blog posts and probably around 3000 words of potential novel as well as several plotline adjustments. Most of that was on holiday.
I spent my summer ignoring the blogging world, linkies and social media quite well. Not that I didn’t manage a few Instagram pictures, or a lot of Facebook browsing. Apologies to anyone who commented on any of my posts towards the end of July. I still haven’t got around to replying to them. Somehow I gained a couple of followers here and there.
I missed the writing, blogging, interactions; and I didn’t.
What on earth did I fill my time with? I’m not quite sure to be honest, but I spent a lot of time with my girls. And 3 of the 6 weeks were on holiday and then I was sick for another one. Leaving only two weeks of being at home.
The summer flew by, and whilst I have nothing particularly concrete to show for it, I can’t help but feel lighter and rested and renewed. I needed that holiday. I wouldn’t say that I am raring to go now; in the last week I feel a little like I have been dragged backwards into old ways, albeit with a little more insight.
So, what have I learned from NOT doing?
• Being a parent is tough (well, I did know that already really). There is no ‘having it all’. You either pay attention to your children and reap the rewards; or you decide to do your thing and deal with the parenting consequences. That is not to judge either way. I have and will continue to do both.
But in truth, as a stay at home mum, the holidays are for paying attention to the children. Or finding childcare. There is no middle ground for wriggle room. So as I don’t have money for childcare, school holidays have to be for them. No writing, unless it appears effortlessly.
• I need more sleep. In term-time I have to get up at 6am, because otherwise there is just no way I can get everyone ready to leave the house on time. Earlier in the year I was even getting up at 5.30am to write morning pages on top of that, which was quite frankly crazy and a BAD idea.
But in the holidays without the school run looming I had the pleasure of lying in until 7am (I can feel the thrill run through me now!). And I felt so much better for it. Less dead when I woke up. Unlike this morning… So I have readjusted my perspective on what NEEDS to be done before school (No writing then!). Although somehow I do want to squeeze my run back in…
• Lastly and rather blasphemously for the online world, I realised how little I enjoy ‘interacting’ on social media. I simply cannot relate to all the people out there, and I have to think about my responses and measure out my energy. I have terrible focus, memory and attention span, which is slightly at odds with social media.
I have been tempted at times over the holidays to get rid of this part of my life completely. But. I have grown to love some corners and genuine relationships, it’s not all bad. I have ambitions beyond writing solely though. So I only need to do what I want not what I think I ought to. No social media at the expense of writing or positivity.
Phew, and now I’m really looking forward to having time to get back to doing what I love to do, the writing.
P.S. I love making up ‘rules’ for myself, is that weird? It just helps me…