Monday, September 10, 2018

Fast Forward and the cost of not writing

Here I land, I blip.  My voice on the internet is too closely resembling a teenager's diary.  "Been a long time since I wrote.  Catch up catch up, sketchy details.... Going to do better...... Next entry is 1-2 years later."

Not good.

And I don't just mean "not good" because all the details and nuance and sensory detail gets chucked when time runs scarce, but also "not good" because not writing has a crazy-making effect on one's brain.  When you don't write you stop processing your own life in ways that make sense.  Your own capacity for constructive self-reflection atrophies and your perspective on your own life is like looking at a Serrat painting from 2 inches away.  If it doesn't lead to suffering then at least it aggravates it.

But the attempt to write always meets friction from my perfectionist project brain.  I've functioned as a slave to the most urgent mess or need that I've neglected for most of my life, always thinking "I'll get to that when I can find time to do it properly."   This has never served me well, but has utterly laid waste to my life with 5 and then 6 kids.  It's so deeply engrained that it's a real beast to expunge.  Daily effort, work of a lifetime level stuff.

I thought this first year of my last postpartum experience (fingers crossed) was going to be all about getting my ducks in a row.  My house was going to to be tamed and all of my primary relationships smoothed over.  The ducks are still on strike though, and I'm perpetually proving incompetent at all the most basic management skills needed to herd cats.  Every single one of my six children require a tremendous load of emotional labor and flexibility from me.  Not a single one of them qualifies as "easy going" in any capacity.  Training their two dozen or so collective quirks and psychoses into a functional relationship with reality is the lion's share of my work right now, and never was there anything less rewarding than forcing an anxious isolationist out of the house or trying to unearth an idea to motivate a child who hates writing like he hates sticking his hand in hot coals yet has a week-long intensive learning disability tutoring session coming up.

So much fun, friends.  Fun to the nth degree.

But underneath it all I've been determinedly plodding along trying to clear paths and space for personal development and ambition.  It might look like imperceptibly slow progress, but it's stubbornly constant as I carve out moments in all the odd corners for it.

I live streamed erratically over here over the summer. Everything I do is erratic, but all I can do is refuse to give up.  I tried to share my effort and my process in mapping out my next steps toward doing something intentional with my own work.  Which work is what?  Writing, scholarship, teaching, learning.  Still exploring options.  Mostly it's just figuring out how to say "my work" without using air quotes.  That's the bar right now.

Language is not kind to women like me.  I shall have to take it by the horns and wrestle it into submission.  No more air quotes language, you're going to find adequate ways to depict my reality, OR ELSE.

Anyway, back in the saddle-ish.  If I continue to allow for imperfect offerings, perhaps I can write more often.  It would be a good move, methinks.

1 comment:

Cindy G. said...

Even if you post only once a year, you are well worth the wait. I look forward to buying the book you will write when you write it, because I am confident you will. I hope the book will be on your everyday reality as you are able to articulate what the rest of us feel so well. And, with such a diverse and rambunctious family, you will have most likely experienced the full plethora of it all. You are amazing so don't ever forget that in the craziness of life. P.s. I enjoyed listening to your live stream and your on air interview. Sorry I am so delayed in saying. I now have a device that supports reading your blog.😊

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