Friday, July 25, 2014

#meltdown

One night last week I went to sleep and woke up some hours later freefalling into an absolute freak out. You see while it had occurred to me that my Writing Course was nearing the final date, I hadn’t really considered the logistics of managing three assignments in about 6 weeks. I was behind because of the School holidays – I had told myself I’d study at night – but I didn’t. The first week back I went for a coffee with the girls. FIVE HOURS LATER… I looked at my watch and realised I didn’t have enough time to get home before turning back for School Pick up. No study that day either. Add in end of financial year and all the deadlines that come with that for work & I was beginning to STRESS!

So with wasted days weighing down my guilty conscience, my mind began whirling in the dark hours in the middle of the night and I started panicking.

The pressure was building this week until I received a message from the College stating that although my Course ends in August – I have until September for the results to be issued. *phew* I was worried I’d have to have everything in 4 weeks BEFORE the end date to allow for marking.

So this week I submitted a screenplay. It probably wasn’t my best work and I’m not expecting great results on it as I realise that screenplay is an area that doesn’t interest me.

Yesterday I worked on my 2nd last assessment – structurally editing a chapter of my novel. It took me hours to go through and assess. I have 5 edited pages and a further 5 pages of notes waiting for me to weave them into a rewrite that is worthy.

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What I am most excited about though? After putting a cap on my inner-editor to write the initial words and spending the last two years thinking they were ordinary and that I was just wasting time because this story just isn’t worthy – I was really pleased to pull that editor out of hiding and be absolutely ruthless with my words.

I can’t explain it – but it feels that my bare bones of the story just needed me to “be aware” of the rules of writing and to look at it with fresh eyes, I feel this exercise has just allowed me to add the flesh and blood that was lacking in my original draft. Its a bit exciting, but I mustn’t get too far ahead of myself these five pages were only 1000 words. There’s another 60,000 waiting to be edited AND I am hoping to double the word count on the first draft. Guess whose gearing up to crack NaNoWriMo this November?

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Changing Times

The past few weeks I have been feeling the need for a change; perhaps it is because I can finally see the end of this long study journey I have been on. I have but a few assignments to finish and submit in as many weeks. For the next three – four weeks it will be head down, bum up – writing like a crazy woman and crossing my fingers that I can achieve half decent results in my final few assessments.

With the forecast easing this mad pressure that is weighing me down these past several months; I have spent the past few weeks musing on life and of all the things I have been neglecting of late.

In particular I can feel a huge shift in ME. For so long now I feel I have been going through the motions of life; searching for a balance that I’ve not yet allowed for myself. In my younger years all my focus was work. Then I was living and longing for baby number one. After she arrived, I focused on achieving the next baby. That focus shifted into studies. All I have managed to do is throw myself from one thing headfirst into another without stopping to think, to heal, to consider, to be ME. While each of these decisions were for me - there was still something missing. I’ve always crammed in MORE and MORE and MORE.

While there hasn’t been a single moment that has changed my outlook; there were a few things that were the catalyst for this new yearning. A recent death of a “Social Media Friend” managed to shock me to the core. The saddest part is we weren’t close, I knew nothing of her battles and I daresay she knew nothing of mine – we knew each other in another time & it is only thanks to Facebook that I am even aware of her life in recent years and now of her death. This has only added to my conflict over Facebook and has made me more determined then ever to use it constructively. And to interact with my “friends” in more meaningful ways.

I’ve been doing a lot more personal writing recently and am finding I am better equipped with getting my thoughts onto paper than I have been in recent years – again the interwebs took over with my blogs, twitter, forums, Facebook. I’m definitely NOT leaving these – rather putting each into perspective. I am using each constructively and managing my time more effectively so I can spread myself around.

And I’ve finally started reading the Spiritual book that I had earmarked for last years 13 in 13 Genre Challenge.

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For the record – I am NOT turning Buddhist. NOR does this book really go into the Buddhist religion all that much (yet!)

This is the first book that has prompted me to get up, grab a pencil and start underlining words and passages. And writing notes in the margins. It is already making me see clearer the possibility of living a more purposeful life for ME and of making ME a better person. Ironically I first purchased this book way back in 2011 when I had hit (my) rock bottom. I had thought at the time that reading about happiness was exactly what I needed. Except I couldn’t face the words inscribed on each page. It is only now when I feel most content in life that I am reaching for these same words and using them as a way of growing myself.

Perhaps all this chatter about change is just an age thing. A mid life crisis if you will… without the fancy sports car! Lets face it I’m not getting any younger, and maybe these musings and ponderings are just the beginning of the next phase in my life. It entirely possible that these will become my next big focus but for once I am not scared of the what ifs. All I’m feeling is pure excitement.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

AF - where the Eff are you???

You know that dreaded moment. The one where AF (aka Aunty Flo) just decides to disappear?

With MY history in trying to fall pregnant, you would THINK that a late start is a sign of hope. It would have been… back then. Not so much nowadays.

Most months I barely have time to draw breath before I start getting symptoms for the following month. Symptoms that see me screaming banshee style at all and sundry, among other fun things.

Last month though it went AWOL.

I was starting to fear the un-thinkable – the possibility of having another baby. Doing the calculations it would be nearly EIGHT years after our first. I would be EIGHT years older than I was with the first and TWO years closer to that magical age where I see the baby factory officially closed for good. I won’t lie to you – the mere thought terrified me. 

While to the outside the past three years have seen me cursing at the powers that be and alternatively crying why us; inside I have been working through everything. From my emotions to my mental health and my physical state. I have been rationally weighing up the pros and cons of our decision. I have been recovering from the heartbreak of giving up unfulfilled dreams. I have been stitching closed a wound that has threatened to bulge open on numerous occasions.

Sometime recently, almost unnoticed to even myself, I found that that need is no longer there. On the odd occasion the wanting still oozes, but the dire need that felt it would never end has dissipated.

When AF was late last month (& when I say “late” I actually mean spot on a normal 28 day cycle… such is the erratic nature of mine.) I had a million thoughts run through my head, without saying anything to hubby – who I could see had another million thoughts running through his brain – I waited not so patiently and finally she arrived and I sighed with relief.

The following night as I was gripped in pains vicious circle, huddled into my heat pack I finally found the words I’d been needing to say to hubby.

“I’ve never been so happy to see AF arrive”

Admitting it to myself was a long time coming, even longer to mention it to hubby. Admitting it here, almost feels like the end of a really long book that has frustrated the heck out of you.

I think I can freely admit that our baby making days are officially over. I am shutting up shop – so to speak. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Procrastination and Procreation on my mind

When I went to the library a few weeks back, I found a book that looked interesting and I decided to borrow it and see if it could help me in finding the motivation I need to get me through the final two months of study.

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Can I tell you a secret? Ordinarily I borrow these books from the library and then return them after 3 (or even 6!) weeks without reading a single line. It’s almost like I am addicted to borrowing any and ALL writing help books but none of them give me the help I need.

Except this one.

It is a basic format, minimal pages and broken down into chapters. The author is coaching you to write and offers several insights into achieving that dream. After reading through it I found so many areas that I could incorporate into my own writing that I pulled out some A4 sheets and jotted down cliff notes on each.

If you are looking for a “how to” this book is not for you. Instead the author offers a toolbox of writing tips.

The first chapter had a paragraph on Procrastination. I am the QUEEN of PROCRASTINATION. Ironic really that I neglected the housework yesterday in order to read about & take notes on procrastination!

The next paragraph was a brief excerpt about Procreation. The actual meaning “to have offspring or create something” in this case the latter.

Both terms got me thinking…

I procrastinate terribly well. I work best to a deadline, but I tend to fall to pieces somewhere in the middle. Take the housework for example. Parents are coming to visit & I just KNOW they will lob on the doorstep at 8am. I will race around and clean the house at 7am and be closing doors to the laundry as they pull into the drive. It matters not that I have known about this visit for the last 2 weeks – I am a last minute cleaning fanatic.

As for Procreation, in some areas I suck at this (we all know how well the epic trying for baby number 2 ended) but in terms of creative endeavours I have created a lot of beautiful words on pages. They may not be beautifully pieced together, but they are recorded and in that alone it is beautiful.

Yet still I know I can do better than I do.

I have spent the better part of the past 3 years searching for something. Trying to fill a gaping hole with something gigantic. The search has been relentless and while all this has gone down, somewhere between my procrastinating and procreating – the hole has slowly filled. Actually its completely stuffed full, like a Thanksgiving turkey, and it is only now after spending a day in contemplation that I have been able to see the bigger picture.

My search is nearing an end.