Gus has recently decided that he is an outdoor dog.
After a decade of lounging on various cushions, beds or rugs, he has suddenly regained his youth and spiritedly races around the yard issuing stern warnings to all who could possibly hold any ill intent as they pass peaceably by his vantage point in the fence. It could possibly be an escape attempt from the levels of craziness that regularly escalate within these walls, but we’ll go with the rejuvenation story.
I’m beginning to admit to myself that I would like to be a writer.
After a decade of dulling down the creative elements to my character, resigning myself to the fact that law, motherhood or teaching would be the only realistic outlets to pursue as an adult, I’m now growing more and more unsettled with restlessness.
For Dave and I, our interactions this week could more aptly be described as ‘handovers’. Blessed with cognitive ability first thing in the morning, Dave rises with the kids and throws together his daily salad while I blearily attempt to adjust to the haze outside of dreamland. As I stagger unsteadily into the kitchen, he blows farewell kisses to us all, leaving me to gather my wits and struggle to parent.
The days have admittedly reached a better rhythm since Eli’s foray into Kinder. We have regular reasons to venture beyond the walls which results in better mental health opportunities for us all, and Eli is relishing his newfound discovery that making friends is not as hard as he had thought. He comes home daily exclaiming with wonder at the conversations had and connections made.
Following the whirlwind of dinner being served to ‘suddenly full’ tummies, the commotion of bathing three wriggly bodies, and the mountains of books unravelled to spellbound listeners; we begin the process again- one heading out to various social engagements or planned meetings, one manning the fort at home.
Dave channels his energy like one possessed as soon as I close the front door- thrusting his mind into ideas of virtue ethics, narrative identity and mimesis. He is consumed by the heady nature of ideas coming together, forming intriguing new angles in the field. He follows the White Rabbit wherever it leads. Sometimes, my arrival home barely registers as he has waded inextricably far into the rabbit hole to return with ease.
I wish for that kind of inspiration. It has not visited me lately.
I’ve practiced avoidance with expert skill, in the pages hurriedly skimmed over, the shows devoured, the short fuses exploded and the glasses poured. The conversations glossed over and the weak offerings of ‘I’m just tired’.
My personal YouTube Yoga master, Adriene, exhorted the affirmation for today as ‘presence’. It was the very last thing I wanted to acknowledge… ‘I am present…in my frustration….in my dissatisfaction….in my lack of inspiration…in my wallowing’. The act of accepting these squirm-inducing feelings surprisingly releasing some of the angst.
I haven’t been ‘fixed’ necessarily, or caught up in the throes of inspiration, but I’m learning to accept the discomfort of being in this realm. I’m a stay at home mother of three pre-school children, each of whom have very distinct ideas of how they think our day should proceed. The majority of my waking hours are spent in diplomacy, yelling, maintenance, huffing, catering, exhorting free spirits to put clothes and shoes on, swearing, cuddling, dealing with human excretions, medicine administration, sorting, teaching, explaining, chauffeuring, encouraging and applauding little steps of progress. It is an incredibly rewarding (and frustrating) vocation, but one that has little to ‘show’ for it right now.
Writing helps me make sense of life and my own convoluted mind. My fingers etch characters onto the screen and revelation hits mid sentence, almost in spite of me. I hope that one day I will be able to craft something of significance, even if it is unrealistic to think that such a project could be endeavoured now… in between drop offs, pick ups and PhDs. And in the meantime, I’m so thankful for this blog, for the opportunity to sift through chaotic thoughts and hone my skills, connecting with others who resonate with ideas of authenticity and vulnerability.
I guess I’m choosing to be present in my restless gratitude.