I Love You, But We Need A Break

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(A letter to my protagonist)

In the words of every reality tv contestant and judge, what a journey. Two years ago was when your words went onto paper. Of course I realise you were with me much longer than that. You’ve been lingering around in my head for more years than I would like to acknowledge. It’s seems so silly now why I spent time with others before you. Stories and characters who never made it past a first draft. Most only had half first drafts. 

I don’t know what it was that called me that day. Another attempt. I didn’t have much of an expectation. Unsure where to even begin. I was feeling nostalgic for another time. A time before social media, when to speak to your friends as a teenager you had to dial the home phone and risk speaking to a parent. No wonder we were all so paralysed to call boys. And in that thought, you appeared.

I had no idea what your story was, I only knew you and I liked you, a lot. So I trusted you and strapped myself in to see where you would take me. I fell fast. I couldn’t get enough, I was bouncing out of bed to sneak in that precious time before the rest of my life began. Those moments when the world was still, yet you and I were on the computer creating a frenzy of activity. It was hard to stop. Someone asked me the other day, when I revealed the number of drafts we had taken, aren’t you over it? No, I responded like a love struck teenager and I’m sure my eyes glossed over with that response. 

There was something about you. Because you were the first character I took beyond the first draft. Oh, the apprenticeship began. You made me laugh and scream and filled me with so much creativity I felt I would explode. Then there were times I would stomp around the house shaking my hands to the ceiling wondering what was going on and what happens next. Because often you would stop, in dramatic fashion, to allow my subconscious to process and drip feed into my conscious. Then there was the time you made me cry. Physical tears ran down my cheeks and my heart ached for an event that didn’t happen in real life to people that don’t actually exist. 

I know your story now and I have done the best I possibly can with it. I have planted some seeds and we need to step back and see if they will grow. Of course if not, we can plant a few more. But germination takes time and there is nothing we can do to speed that up. It is out of our hands. But I hope. My dream is that I may have the joy of sharing you and your story with the world. 

For now I want to say thank you. For what you have given me. A belief in my abilities. I thought I knew writing, but I knew nothing. You taught me how to write, and how to edit and how to revise and how to cut out beautiful prose that has nothing at all to do with the story. Thank you for anointing me with the title of author. For reigniting a childhood passion that will not be extinguished. And that is really why we must take a break. Because there is so much more in the world of writing I want to explore. Perhaps I’ll get back into writing poems, with enough of them I could curate a couple of tomes. Of maybe I’ll try my hand at a children’s book, I’ve read enough of them lately it’s worth a look. Of course there are many more stories to tell and I feel I’ve cheated on you already with starting that process again. So thank you, for helping me find the joy in writing. For now it’s time to go and play with words and meet new characters. As they say on tv, it’s goodbye for now.

Having A Baby During A Global Pandemic

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The nappy bag sits in the car, untouched from when I put it together in the late stages of pregnancy. I remember sitting in the nursery surrounded by baby paraphernalia and envisioning what essential items had to be in the bag. What would I need for the numerous play dates, mothers group and other baby related activities? I had to be prepared for anything that could happen while away from the house. That time seems like a different life where I dreamt about introducing my new baby to family and friends. Where I assumed I would have leisurely coffee dates on preschool days, acquainting myself with another mum of a newborn and we would discuss all things feeding, sleeping and everything in between. Time spent away from the home was a freedom I took for granted.

There was an indication my grand social plans were not going to go as I assumed, when a few days from giving birth the hospital rang to inform me no visitors were allowed outside my husband. I understood, yet I was upset and grieved when I realised I was about to be forced apart from my first born for the longest period of our lives together. As it turns out, aside from my two boys not meeting each other shortly after giving birth, having no visitors while in maternity was lovely. I slept when baby slept and there were no distractions outside the needs of my baby and frankly I’d recommend it to all new mothers.

When we came home the world was quickly changing. Toilet paper had turned into gold and I sent Hubby on a mercy trip to the shops to purchase the raw ingredients needed for hand sanitiser. Suddenly there was no touching and we were instructed to keep our distance. I had a newborn that everyone wanted to meet and to cuddle and to brush their nostrils across the top of his head and inhale the intoxicating smell of youth. A gathering of friends at my baby sprinkle only a month before and now no one was allowed to visit. 

Staying home was frustrating at first, cabin fever quickly set in and I was mourning for what I was missing; mothers group, music, story time, getting out and about. But then a strange thing happened, a metaphorical corner was turned and it wasn’t so bad. The grieving was over and acceptance stepped in. I discovered a new freedom, the freedom that comes from not rushing out the door and having somewhere to go, the freedom to just be. My boys and I are operating at a pace of life I have never experienced before, and I like it. 

Sometimes you don’t realise what you need until it is handed to you. There are so many things outside my control and all I can control is my outlook to the world as it stands right now and my situation within in. I know I will never have time like this again. Time with my boys, where every moment is spent in the present. Where we take each day as it comes and simply see how the day naturally unfolds. Many are lamenting on what they are missing, yet I am appreciating all I am gaining. This situation is a gift, I can see that now. Of course it will not last, like everything it is temporary. The plans I had will come to fruition and when they do I will blow the layer of dust off the nappy bag, hop out of the car, pull out the pram and surround myself with people. And until then, I’m putting my feet back up on the lounge and holding my boys in my lap, we have nowhere else to be.

Sunday Meditation – Obstacles

Obstacles cause us to fall into two groups. Those who will from those who wish. Those of us that only wish will abort our pursuit at the first obstacle. Those of us that will know before the first step that we will come across many hurdles on the way. We expect them so when they appear it is not a surprise. Some of these obstacles require us to climb over them. Others require us to find a way around them. Then occasionally, some challenges command us to stop right where we are and force us to wait. These calls for inaction are the hardest to overcome. All we can do is wait, rest, take stock, applause the terrain we have covered so far and remind ourselves of why we are doing this. With reflection and the strength of patience, these obstacles end up removing themselves, clearing the path before us and ensuring we are ready to go again.

Sunday Meditation – Thank You

It is disheartening to bear witness to the current destruction that is happening across our beautiful country. Yet the power of humanity we are seeing provides that glimmer of hope. While it is difficult to watch we can help and there are many initiatives we can get involved in. There is also gratitude. We can give thanks, to those on the front line who are battling for us day in and day out. To those who are assisting in the affected communities. To those who are reaching out to our wildlife. We see you and we acknowledge everything you have done and are continuing to do. Thank you for being the heros in this tragedy. Thank you for your unending efforts and your ability to keep going. And thank you for reminding us all how fortunate we are to live in the best place in the world.