Figuring out this blog — part 2

A month ago I wrote how I was inspired to stop making excuses and to write for 10 minutes a day. This all happened because of something I heard Shonda Rhimes say. Four weeks in and this is my review.

Hitting publish (nearly) everyday after just 10 minutes has been a useful challenge to get me to stop worrying about what people think and to stamp on perfectionism which has been a serious limiting factor.

On the flip side, hitting publish so quickly has made me worry that I'm just churning out quantity over quality. I mean who has time to read a daily post anyway? But then I remind myself that my main reason for writing at this stage is to strengthen my writing muscles and not about developing a readership (yet).

I figured a middle ground would be that I don't have to hit publish everyday. So long as I spend at least 10 minutes a day writing, I can write longer posts, series posts and more carefully thought out posts. I could allow myself the time to include imagery that the 10 minute limit has simply not allowed. Publish less often but better quality.

The danger is I will overthink things and end up back in the land of perfectionism that results in never hitting publish at all. 

Building on part 1 of figuring out this blog I need to spend more time clarifying what I will focus my writing on. I need a content plan but the danger of this is that I will overthink it and stop writing in favour of too much planning! 

Clearly, I have a lot of jumbled thoughts and ideas to wade through before I am happy with what I am doing. Maybe I will never be happy. Creative people are after all their own worst critics. I'm proud of myself for getting this far, but between now and happy, I must continue hitting publish.

The silver lining of a rubbish weekend

In my last blog, I had a bit of a moan about how rubbish our bank holiday had ended up because hubby crashed and burnt with a migraine. 

After feeling somewhat angry with hubby for working himself into the ground when I really need the weekend time with him like never before, I pulled myself together. This weekend I was reminded that there is a silver lining to many a rubbish situation.

As hubby began to feel better yesterday afternoon we had long interesting talks about priorities, and staying healthy. We're exploring what could possibly change in our lives to achieve more balance.

It reminded me that we are so on the same page, just that life, particularly work, pulls us in different and often very tiring directions that can leave us both quite depleted. But we've realigned ourselves. Onwards we go...

Do not judge the Mother's meeting

I used to judge groups of Mother's and their offspring. Sipping coffee, delving into sweet treats and using up all the space with their buggies. I would think to myself, "That will not be me. I will not have time for that. Surely, there is more talk about that baby talk anyway."

The tables have turned. I am now a Mother. I take back all the judgy things I thought and said because I need these Mother’s meetings like I need air to breathe.

Here's why:

  • Mother's know what I am going through physically and emotionally
  • Mother's know about the changing dynamics of relationships (with husbands, partners, friends, family and colleagues) as a result of getting used to life with a tiny human that can't help but demand all your attention
  • Mother's have the same dilemmas and challenges about balancing careers with motherhood 
  • Mother's are going through similar challenges - sleep deprivation, growth spurts, brain leaps, development phases like teething, weaning and napping and the to buy or not to buy debates about the million and one things you could get for your little one
  • Mother's understand if I'm totally late, if I arrive with my top inside out (or worse, stained with some kind of unwanted liquid) or if I forget to brush my hair. 

I met a wonderful group of Mother's to be, through NCT. Now, we meet once a week to sip coffee, delve into sweet treats and use up all the space with out buggies. We go for walks, meet at each other's houses and in time, I'm sure we'll hang around in playgrounds.

We laugh and cry together. We have a very busy Whatsapp group. We share worries, wins and whines. It's an essential support group for Mother's going through an almighty life change.

Maybe there is no solution

In March I wrote about the things that are important to me. I wrote about how some things are going to have to take a back seat for a season. My challenge was to work out what can take a back seat out of this list?

  1. Take care of Marley
  2. Cultivate my relationship with hubby
  3. Get back into shape post pregnancy— eat well and exercise
  4. Two hours a day minimum on my work
  5. Maintaining and tidy and organised home
  6. Finish the house project
  7. Quiet spiritual time
  8. Time to just live, be and have fun
After much thought, the difficult truth is there is no solution. I’m not prepared to let any of these slip. So what now? The realisation that I’m going to have to spread myself rather thinly across the board.

Some will take more of a priority but life will be a little too empty and incomplete without any one of these things in it.

Appreciating when you can't do something you want to do

Yesterday the sun was out and we had a lovely day as a family. Hubby and I want to start taking turns doing Park Run on a Saturday morning (until Marley can scoot round then we can all do it together :-). We went to Ferry Meadows to do a recce and had a lovely long walk round the lakes with Marley and Rocki. We had a coffee in the sunshine and then looked round the gift shop which surprised me because it was filled with lots of nice pieces.

The rest of the day involved sitting in the garden and a tasty family BBQ before we raced back home to get Marley in bed on time. 

We decided to chill out in bed and take in the evening sunset (this is a dawn view). But when I got my laptop out to do my 10 minutes of writing, hubby wasn't very keen. "Talk to me instead," he said. 

Sometimes you have to choose between two good things. Celebrate and appreciate this.

Thinking about it for a split second, I figured that kind of invitation wasn't worth getting frustrated about. Appreciating that I had two good things to do at the same time, I decided to write twice today and enjoy the conversation.

Absolute mind blanks — is this sleep deprivation?

Yesterday I completely forgot to write! Since I started this 10 minutes of writing a day, I've been conscious of my commitment and the need to write each day. I knew when I slipped up and didn't write. But yesterday, this blog was something I just didn't think about.

It wasn’t a hideously overwhelming or terrible day. I’ve had a lot of them in the last four and a half months but I can’t say Marley was difficult.

I just blanked. And the slightly concerning this is that these mind blanks have been happening quite a bit, enough for me to notice. The biggest worry has been when I can't remember a word I should absolutely know, like a term I use all the time for work, or one I have literally just used. 

I’m putting it down to my four and a half months of not a single full night’s sleep (otherwise known as torture).

I can blame sleep deprivation right? But as Marley gets better and better at sleeping I should see an improvement write?

The issue with our ageing selves

Someone I know is turning 30. And so we turned to the conversation about how much it bothered her. I too am guilty of this negative age talk. It's never been an issue before. Probably because I was on the right side of the years.

But I'm turning 36 this year so I am helter skeltering towards my 40th. The thought unnerves me! Why? Mainly because I don't feel like I have achieved everything I should have by now and I have so much left to do. I really don't feel that 'old' and I certainly don't want to give in to an aging body.

I want to stay slim, unfrumpy and energetic. I want to stay relevant. I want more time to explore, learn and grow.

Equally important to me is the ability to age with grace. And so I need to bury the issue and come to terms with my ageing self.