Saturday, January 18, 2014

Stimulants



In many ways, I was catapulted out of my comfort zone this year.

I set myself a goal (i.e. writing a novel) and went pretty public with it (i.e. taking leave from my day job and telling everyone why). I then spent five months doing what I'd said I would do, and wrestling with my demons every step of the way. The process made me feel... alive. Real.

Going on holiday was also a tremendous experience. Going overseas always is, in one way or another. In Saint Paul, Minnesota and in New York City, I was fully awake to the possibilities of new ways of being. I also came grating right up against my stuff. All things considered, it was transformative.

The first few months of pregnancy was also an interesting ride, as there was no predicting how I would feel at any given moment. I could make no assumptions about how much I'd manage to achieve each day. I had no choice but ride it out, and the only way I felt I could do this was to pare right back to the minimum of expectations and commitments. In some ways, this kept me awake to each moment of wellness (or otherwise). But in other ways, I felt like I was just surviving; hanging out for the day when I'd feel well again.

The return to my day job was also felt like more of a burden than a blessing. I still feel like an ungrateful wretch for saying that, as I know I actually have a great job and lovely colleagues in an organisation that I genuinely care about. But the truth was that I was counting down the days until I could opt out of the drudgery that was schlepping my unwell and uninspired self to kindergarten and work then back again.

This year, on the surface, is going to be pretty different. It's unlikely we'll be going anywhere. Building a routine will be the main focus of the first part of the year, all going well. There'll be feeding and settling and appointments and family obligations. And there'll be the school run and swimming lessons and birthday parties and play dates and everything else.

There'll be fatigue and frustration and overwhelm, in perfect combination with awe and wonder and delight.

But there may also be moments for reflection, for creativity, for trying new things, maybe even for decadence.

And it's these moments that will be my stimulants when the auto-pilot threatens to kick in.

I am responding here to the tenth prompt from #reverb13. You are warmly invited to share your own response below, if you did not have the opportunity to do so in December. Thank you for sharing the journey with me. x


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