Archive for the tag 'happy'

The pain of art, the joy of living

NS June 14th, 2010

You know how some artists (whatever their medium; painting, music, writing, what have you) depend on being miserable, sad, angry, depressed, lonely, frustrated, misunderstood, tired, undervalued or oppressed (or all of the above) to create their art? And how when they’re happy, busy, valued, surrounded by people, encouraged and clear-headed, with a joyful, fulfilling and healthy personal, professional and social life, they sort of lose their edge?

That feels like me right now. I’m flailing. I’m losing my ‘art’. I’m losing my blogging mojo. I’m losing interest in fighting the fights I’ve been fighting for so long. I feel less and less inclined to come up with topics to write about, things to get incensed about, news to devour and dissect. I haven’t read the papers but one time since the British elections on the 6th of May. I have read articles that would normally have me writing lengthy screeds in opposition or approval and felt nothing but the briefest glimmers of interest. I log in then I log out. I stay up late trying to figure out why I’m drawing such blanks and get less and less sleep. I become more irritable.

But then one day I just stopped for awhile. I had other things going on and didn’t have time. Normally I’m itching to get back to my ‘online life’ after a brief spell away; this time I had to force myself to log in. I felt bored. I felt restless.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve recently taken up running. I’m doing a 5k at the end of next month and have been going three times a week fairly faithfully. Yesterday my regimen notched itself up from 8 minutes at a time to 20. I looked at what the running app on my iPhone screen was commanding me to do  and gaped. Go from an 8-minute run to 20 with nothing in between? No gentle breaking-in, no gradual increase over a long period of time? Who the hell did this running app think it was, bloody Richard Simmons?! I gave it a wary eye and told myself that if I couldn’t make it, so be it. It was too much to ask, anyway! It would be a miracle if I didn’t need to stop due to bursting lungs or cramping calves or some other such affliction.

But it turns out, I did it. I did it and it wasn’t even that difficult. I could do that run all along but I was holding myself back. I didn’t think I could do it so I didn’t even try.

For the last few years, ever since I had my daughter, I’ve been waiting for my life to find its niche, its groove, its upward trajectory towards success and happiness. But it turns out that you can’t wait for this shit to happen; you have to make it happen. You have to pour your heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears into it and then wade head-first, eyes open, into the mix instead of standing on the sidelines feebly throwing cups of water at those racing past you.

Right now I am going through some intense transformations; from couch potato into runner, from a frustrated writer and stay-at-home mum to an independent businesswoman and running-three-websites mum, from distant, grumpy wife to more engaged partner and from a mother unhappy with her parenting practices and interactions with her children to one taking control and doing things to rectify those negative practices, ones that stem mainly from that discontent I spoke of earlier.

Needless to say, something has got to give.

So while I love my art and I love my little corner of cyberspace and the friends, opportunities, emotional and intellectual growth it has provided me, I am beginning to feel that I may be done with Noble Savage. I’ve been going for over five years and I’m not sure what else I can say, really. I’ve poured my heart out, written my fingers to the bone, researched, read, reported, raged, ranted, laughed, cried and gone a little bit loopy in the process.

Maybe I’m not going to get that book deal or journalism job or freelance gig after all. Maybe all I was ever destined to do was write this blog to meet the people and read the things that grew my mind and fed my soul enough to get me on my life’s true path, one that will make me happier, more fulfilled, more at ease and successful than my years-long dream of being a published author or  respected hack ever would have afforded me.

Maybe I just need a break, with no defined return. Maybe  a complete release from the pressure of a blank screen and a full RSS reader will do the trick and when things have settled down with the doula business and the running and getting my marriage back on track, I will have more to say, and better. Hell, maybe tomorrow I will wake up having completely changed my mind and be ready to tear the shit out of some article in the Times or wax lyrical about the highs and lows of parenthood.

But for now, the joy of living is overriding the gut-wrenching pain and time involved in creating my art. And this time, I’m going to let it.

To infinity…and beyond!

NS April 22nd, 2010

Further to my recent post in which I told you about signing up for doula training, a 5K race and a long-pined-for trip by myself, I have continued in the same locomotive manner and have been charging full steam ahead with other ideas and plans, many of which have me waking up in the middle of the night to tap urgent notes into my iPhone.

Just last night, I was contemplating going to law school. The night before that, I was looking up information on starting an advocacy or non-profit group. I’m still tossing around the idea of writing a (non-fiction) book and have recently submitted essays to three magazines (one rejection, two still pending) and keep scribbling down ideas for more. I’m feverishly devouring books on the politicalisation of motherhood and the one I finished last night, this one, absolutely blew me away. I can’t stop thinking about it and it’s got me wanting (even more so than usual) to shout from the rooftops about changing the world [a review is forthcoming but suffice to say it will undoubtedly end with 'Go read it. Now!']

I’m even changing or wanting to change things about my appearance, which is very unlike me. People who know me well or have been reading this blog for any length of time will know that I’m not fashion’s biggest fan, that I’m pretty comfortable in my body and don’t believe that I need to soften my skin, cover my greys, whiten my teeth or enlarge my breasts to feel like A Woman. What I’m wanting to change isn’t down to some lack of confidence or desire to transform my body or my image but simply to express my true self, finally. I haven’t had the time, money or motivation to retain or evolve my sense of style and have devolved into wearing whatever is the cheapest, easiest to find, most practical and covers up all my ‘wobbly bits.’ I’m not going to be going on a shopping spree any time soon but I’d like to add some more interesting and ‘me’ pieces to my wardrobe over the coming months (via the vast array of charity shops on my high street) and get a more modern haircut; the ‘shoulder-length with layers usually pulled back in a ponytail’ look is getting old. I’ve also been meaning to get a second tattoo for awhile now and am looking into designs and artists.

So what does all of this mean? Is this my 1/3 life crisis? Am I taking on too much, spreading myself too thin? Do I have adult ADHD? Or, most likely, am I just feeling like myself again, like anything is possible and that I can do or be anything I want? Because right now it feels very much like I am at a crossroads but instead of not knowing which way to go and hesitating, I am putting a foot on each path and taking a few test steps in each direction before coming back to the middle to weigh up my choices and make decisions.

This, coupled with the good weather and my much-improved mood have me buzzing and singing and just generally bouncing around like the inside of a pinball machine. I feel excited, charged up and…happy. Such a welcome change from the darkness that often pervaded last year.

Everyone kept telling me my 30s would be good. It hasn’t disappointed so far. With 31 just around the corner, I can barely wait to see what the rest of the decade brings.

These things, they make me happy

NS February 23rd, 2010

One of my favourite new bloggers, Gappy at Single Parenthood. Tales From The Front Line has tagged me for the Shiny Happy Things meme, in which I am meant to tell you at least one thing that never fails to put a smile on my face.

  • First, two songs that always always always make me smile and do a little dance: ‘Hey Ya’ by Outkast and ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ by Joni Mitchell. They’re both just so infectious! Definitely a sure-fire way to perk myself up
  • Making my husband adopt a very deep voice and say, “I’m gonna butter your bread.” Don’t ask about its origins, just know that it never fails to make me giggle helplessly
  • This is such a cliché but peeking in at my sleeping children. So beautiful, so peaceful and so blessedly, blessedly quiet. What’s not to smile about?

I’m not sure who has already done this but I’m going to tag a few people. If you don’t want to do it or have already done so, feel free to ignore! I tag:

Notes From Lapland

Capital Mom

Geekymummy

This is Worthwhile

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