Tag Archives: words

Musings of a (slightly crazy) mum

8 Oct

I must have started writing this blog post one hundred times.

I’ve stood in the shower, snatching a few child-free moments, ignored the banging on the door and briefly contemplated life outside of mum duties. Those child-free moments do not last long. Life is, it seems, one long interruption.

(I’m now writing this slowly with one hand, whilst feeding my four month old daughter. Anyway. I digress. As do the thoughts of this sleep-challenged mum.)

My recent shower thoughts (and never-written blog posts) have comprised:

  • Donald Trump vs. Jacob Zuma: who’s worse?
  • Donald Trump vs. Theresa May: who’s worse?
  • Fees-must-fall protests across universities in South Africa
  • Our upcoming holiday
  • Being a rich white in South Africa
  • Guilt about being a rich white in South Africa
  • Self-justification linked to being a rich white in South Africa
  • Bringing up children in a vastly unequal South Africa
  • Marie Kondo and the joy of less
  • Where have I put my hairdryer? (Haven’t seen it for months)
  • Can you die of sleep deprivation?
  •  Oh no. Is that a crying baby/toddler?

It may be apparent that my capacity for deep thinking is not what it used to be. In fact, I am finding it really, really difficult to write this (not-very-complex) blog post.

I used to think that motherhood doesn’t have to change you much.

I guess that the essence of who-I-am remains. But it’s all the other stuff that has changed:

  • Priorities (keeping two little girls alive, trying not to mess them up, remembering to talk to my husband, sleep)
  • Capacity for conversation about important-and-grown-up-things (like natural disasters and the state of the economy) has been superseded by a different conversation about grown-up-and-important-things (nappies, schools, paw patrol)
  • Social skills (talking to a friend whilst opening a pot of yoghurt/changing a nappy/pushing a swing/talking to a toddler at the same time)
  • Marriage (it’s no longer “just us”, in fact it’s mostly “hardly-us-at-all-right-now”)
  • Spending (nappies, swimming lessons, nappies, baby chinos, nappies)
  • Shower thoughts (I’m no longer trying to save the world)

It’s hard to “take stock” during this baby/toddler phase. I don’t feel like I have much to say, much blog-post wisdom. I don’t have time to sit and think about what I want to write about next. I don’t have the luxury of being a “world changer” (just a nappy changer).

So I am not really sure why I am reviving the blog. Except I know that, in some small way, it helps me. Helps me to reach out beyond the daily (and sometimes mind-numbing) tasks of motherhood-with-a-small-baby-and-a-toddler-too.

I don’t know how often I will post. Or if I’ll ever say anything meaningful again. I still like writing though. That’s one thing that  [I’m going now – my little girl has woken up…]

 

 

Quote

“If there’s a b…

21 Apr

“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” Toni Morrison

I’ve been thinking about writing this weekend. And this on-hold blog. 

I am not really sure why I stopped writing here. But I did. And I’ve realised that I miss it.

I love writing. I love words. I love thinking and wrestling and find the right words. Editing and re-writing. And posting little thoughts when they come.

I love talking about failure. The things that others find it hard to talk about. Life-when-it-is-not-perfect. I love finding community through this blog – fellow travellers who choose not to hide their lack of perfection.

So, I think, it’s time to resurrect a story of failure. To write again. 

For, sometimes, “you must write it”.

Words that change everything

2 Nov

Today has been a “grateful-for-all-I-have” day. A “don’t-take-anything-for-granted” day. And a sad day.

Today some good friends heard, from a doctor, words that none of us ever want to hear. A few words, just a sentence, but it changes everything.

Today I am reminded that none of us are immortal, invincible or insulated from pain. Not even little children.

I feel sad but deeply grateful too – for health and life and family and friends.

It might not last forever but I am thankful today.

The savagery of schizophrenia

22 Oct

I recently wrote a blog post on Elyn Saks’ TED talk about living with schizophrenia.

Here are some truly beautiful, sad-making and true words about the same condition. This is a must-read article by Caitlin Moran (and – if you are in a rush, read anyway for it won’t take you long).

I love how words can be a force of life: a rampage against darkness or an acceptance of this darkness, an articulation of truth or its denial.

Words can heal. And hurt. Encourage. Or destroy.

Words can create. And they can shut down.

I love reading the words of true wordsmiths. These ones made me want to cry. And that is good – for they reveal truth, love and life in all its messiness and ambiguity.

Thank you Caitlin.

Be yourself (or how do you find your words?)

3 Mar

I have just come across this fantastic TED talk by Susan Cain. She extols the virtues of an introverted life in a world that seems to favour extroverts – those outgoing, confident, “I-know-where-I-am-going” people. I fall far more firmly in the “haven’t-a-clue-but-I-like-thinking-about-it” bracket.

I am an introvert. It took me quite a few years to realise this, for I am also pretty sociable and love being around people. I am certain, however, of my introvert tendencies as I crave and cherish time on my own. Time to think, to read, to write, to process. Time to be. Without this time, I feel out of sorts and get a bid moody (as my husband will tell you!).

I am not writing today to claim that “introverts are better”. No, of course not. Rather this talk has made me reflect on the importance of being yourself – wherever you fall on the introvert-extrovert scale. And if being yourself means being on your own – that is ok. In fact, it is more than ok, it is good.

For the world needs you to be yourself – to bring all that you are and have, to live in your “element”, to create and lead in the ways only you can do – in order to make our world a richer and better place.

I sometimes find myself wishing I’d been created a bit differently – a bit less introverted and reflective, a bit less “angsty”, a bit more “normal!”. I look at others and wish I was more like them – a bit thinner, a bit more thoughtful/productive/capable/confident, a bit less “me” and a bit more “you”. I imagine life as “someone else” and think it would surely be better than today. When I feel “up”, these thoughts rarely bother me, and, if they do, I find it easy to brush them aside. When I am down, they can haunt me, follow me round for days, lodging themselves in my sometimes-fragile mind and refusing to go away. Maybe this is the curse of the reflective introvert.

Like Susan Cain, I love words. I have always loved books, always adored reading and getting lost in a book. Like her, I hadn’t seriously considered that I could become a writer until more recently (and my various career attempts until this point have been far less successful than her years as a Wall Street lawyer!). I still have days where I feel it could never happen – who would ever pay me to write? Why would they want to? How can I ever make money out of the randomness of thoughts in my oft-slightly-screwy brain?!! But I know that this is when I feel most alive, most “me”.

I absolutely love writing this blog. I love the people it has brought me into contact with. I love the ways it has challenged me to be more open, vulnerable and transparent (even when it hurts). I love it – this blog might not pay the bills, but it helps me stay connected, creative and much more sane than I would otherwise be! I love the power of words – and spending time on my own helps me to find my words. In the words of Susan Cain – “solitude is often a crucial ingredient for creativity”.

How do you find your words? Make sure you don’t deprive yourself of these experiences – whether you require solitude or crowds, whether on your own or with others. Don’t try to be someone you are not – it doesn’t work (I can tell you that one from experience!). Be yourself. And find your words – for the world needs to hear them.

%d bloggers like this: