Thursday, 7 June 2012

Mid Point

After a very soggy and disappointing Spring its hard to believe that in a couple of weeks it will be the longest day of the year. In a flash we're half way through 2012. I'm metaphorically clutching an empty hour glass bewilderedly wandering where the time has disappeared. At the beginning of the year I laid out my best intentions. Now I feel its time for a retrospective of the last five months; to look back, take stock and realign my muddled mind .....


Auf Wiedersehen Black Cloud

Finally, finally, finally I can see a ray of bright, hopeful light at the end of a dark alien tunnel. The first two years of Little A's life were challenging to say the least. I suffered from a punishing cocktail of post traumatic stress and depression. But something is afoot. I'm feeling buoyed. More confident. A little more of the old me escapes into the everyday tasks and familiar routine. I still have crotchety days. Days where I feel hopeless and diffident about the future. But these are becoming fewer and far between. The intrusive thoughts have diminished. The anxiety has lessened. I'm shaking off the heavy shackles that kept me in a fearful, and at times terrified place. I have more energy and enthusiasm. More resilience. I'm breathing again. Ending the hormonal roller coaster of breastfeeding certainly helped as did taking a course of St Johns Wort. Additionally the longer Spring days always imbue me with a greater zest and positivity.




My Body

Back in February Little A and I finished our two year breastfeeding relationship. Not only do I feel proud about breastfeeding for this length of time but also in the gentle way I weaned my little girl. Reclaiming my body has heralded a physically new me. Over the last month or so I've bought new bras, pants, t-shirts, tops, trousers and a fetching pair of Converse trainers. Hell, I've even had a haircut. The Pendulati, my bothersome boobs, haven't returned to their manageable pre pregnancy size. This is very unfortunate. I am not happy possessing a spine bending GG cup. Thank God for under wired bras. Little A still harbours fond memories of 'baby milk' judging by the way she wraps her arms around the Pendulati and burrows her head in their fleshy mass when we bathe together. The other evening she caught me off guard by asking whether she could have some "booby milk". I thought she would've forgotten by now. It has been three months after all.  I gently reminded her that my milkshakes no longer bring the babies to the yard.


Empire Building

At the beginning of the year I decided it would be sensible to only see a few clients in my therapy practise.  This was the right decision given where I was emotionally. Now that I am in a much stronger, grounded place I would like to build my practise. But life seems to conspire against this goal. Firstly we are preparing the flat for sale and unsure of the location for our next home. We are also undecided as to whether we rent or buy our next property. Secondly Little A's childminder is leaving London the beginning of August. As of yet I have no backup childcare plan although I am considering a few local nurseries. Finally, aside from Little A, most of, if not all my creative energy, is subsumed by writing. So until we are resettled and I have a committed childcare plan I think it wise to stick with seeing just a couple of clients. Best to keep my therapist skills ticking over for now and build my practise at a later point when I'm on more solid footing.


Writing

Writing has gifted me such a creative outlet. I have two blogs, this one, and Older Mum. I haven't had the time to invest as much as I would have wished on Older Mum. My current thinking is that this project can grow by degrees over the coming years. Still its led me down some interesting alleyways of late. Older Mum In a Muddle though is my real passion. I am very happy with what I've written over the last six months. And I truly think I'm starting to discover my blogging voice, if there is such a thing. I think my writing has improved too. Incidentally, the on line thesaurus has become my new best friend. Best of all I'm really enjoying 'penning' my Once Upon a Time stories. In fact the back story of my DJ alter ego, Tantra, has inspired an idea for a novel. Yes, I'm seriously considering writing a lengthy piece of fiction. Best to write what you know about right? So given my love of music and psychology I'm thinking something along the lines of a psychological thriller set in the 90's house music scene. The protagonist and heroine is surprise, surprise a DJ.  I'm currently reading a great book by David Baboulene, 'The Story Book'. I also need to read some books on character development. Can you recommend any good books on writing fiction? I don't know when I'm actually going to sit down and write this. I'm hoping I might have an opening when Little A turns three and starts nursery.

So as it goes, this year is bumbling along quite nicely. I could do with exercising more and not helping myself to seconds of cheerios, cheesecake and custard, not altogether of course.

And ... Its my first bloggerversary soon and to celebrate I'm treating myself to a make over of this blog. So keep your eyes pealed!



20 comments:

  1. I am very new to your blog but really love the way you write. Your idea for a novel sounds great - I'd read it for sure!
    Happy 1-year bloggerversary :)

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    1. Hello! Lovely to know you are reading my posts! Thank you!

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  2. Great uplifting post! Glad that you're feeling some (metaphorical) sunshine in your life right now. I think your writing is superb, I love the Once Upon a Time stories, and as a fellow aspiring novelist look forward to hearing more about the chronicles of DJ Tantra in fiction form. I have got a couple of books on writing fiction - I'll dig them out and pop back later and let you have some recommendations.
    Well done on reaching the bloggerversary,I don't remember the stats but I read somewhere that a surprisingly high number of blogs don't make it past their first birthday. A new design is exciting - I'm planning one for mine too. It's a great reward for making it past a year! x

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    1. Ah thank you my dear! Yes, my blog is one year old this July! Please do let me know your recommendations for books on writing fiction. I think its quite an achievement making it to the first year. Looking forward to seeing your new design too.

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    2. Of all the things I've wasted money on in the hope of pursing the dream, the single best book I've bought so far is this one:

      Plot and Structure - Techniques and exercises for crafting a plot that grips readers from start to finish. James Scott Bell. I bought this because I find that I come up with one thread but then struggle to fill out the rest of the plot/ develop other intriguing sub plots, but this book has offered lots of helpful suggestions not just for plots but how to write successful beginnings, middles, endings. You can buy it on Amazon and there are some other books in the series.

      Another book I bought from a cheap shop which has been quite useful is Inspired Creative Writing by Alexander Gordon Smith. Not as good as the above, more a dip in and out book, but still useful.

      I tried Louise Doughty's Novel in a Year, but I found it too structured for me. The book contains lots of exercises that you do first and then hopefully at the end of the year, you piece them all together to try and carve out your novel. (As I had an idea, or half an idea in mind that I wanted to get on with, I just was too impatient to do this.)

      Hope that helps. The first book is the one I'd recommend the most. Good luck with getting started. I do hope as and when the words start flowing you post some progress on the blog, hopefully you might inspire me to stop daydreaming and start writing. xx

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    3. Hey Mummy Plum! Thank you very, very much for these suggestions - I'm very grateful. The first one sounds very good ... will follow on your advise. Its going to take me months probably to get the whole plot etc together. X

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  3. happy almost one!

    and any help on weaning from breastfeeding greatfully recieved!

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    1. Thank you ... and if you need any tips on weaning - please get in touch! I wrote a post about it in March called Bon Voyage Baby Milk - Toddler Weaned.

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  4. Fabulous six month round up OM! It sounds like 2012 is proving to be a positive one for you. Taking steps on reclaiming your body and striving with your writing are amazing leaps forward. I love the Once Upon a Time posts and there is CERTAINLY a whole series of novels in DJ Tantra! I can't wait to press that 'buy' button on my Kindle for your book!xx

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    1. Yes, 2012 is a much improved improvement on the last two years! Thank you for having confidence in me .... it might be a while before its written!

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  5. What a fantastic hopeful post. Your book idea sounds brilliant. First of many let's hope. I really relate to parts of this post especially about reclaiming your body and self inch by inch after having a baby. For me it felt like 'drawing myself back in' (physically and emotionally) and I can't quite pin point when I started to feel more myself, but it was a happy realisation.

    Love reading your blog. Here's to the next 6 months. BM x

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    1. Hey Bibsey! That was a lovely comment. And I loved your words 'drawing myself back in' - couldn't have put that better -you really nailed that ... and I think that's what has happened - I've had a 'happy realisation' about how I've come through these last two years. I raise a glass of champagne!

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  6. After reading your "once upon a time" stories I had seriously planned to send you an email this weekend suggesting you write a novel. I kid you not! I have always said you have a knack for creative writing that sets your blog apart from the others. Go for it!

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    1. Thank you so much Misha for your very kind comment. I'm only just in the stages of dreaming the story and characters ... writing a novel is going to be quite a task! Thank you for giving me a burst of confidence.

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  7. Great post and lovely to look back over what seems to have turned into half a year. I'm not sure where all that time went, either. Really looking forward to the Tantra DJ novel - I would definitely read that (and interview the author!!) I'm sure you've heard about, possibly even read, Stephen King's book On Writing. I found it extremely useful and inspiring. It's about his writing life, including when he started out, when he was almost killed by that driver a few years ago and how he sets about writing. Worth a look even if you haven't liked any of his other work. Congratulations on your first anniversary too. Looking forward to seeing the makeover. Polly x

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    1. Thank you and thank you ... it might be quite a wait ... who knows when I'll get it finished. I won't be using the Tantra moniker though - my protagonist will have a different name. I've heard very good things about the Stephen King book - great tip - thank you!

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  8. I can't believe it's mid June already! It's my first blog-anniversary in a couple of weeks, I do feel like I should be marking it somehow but I don't have a clue what to do as of yet!

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    1. Wear that wedding dress! I think its the first anniversary coming up for alot of us - all of us that got involved in Love All Blogs a Year Ago!

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  9. Aw, what a lovely round-up. Time is moving increasingly fast all round I think. I was chatting about it with a lady in the queue at the post office earlier today! On a post breastfeeding tip, mine pair didn't return to their pre-baby size either. There was me worrying whilst pregnant that they'd completely be eaten away by breastfeeding and here I am now, exactly the same shape as pre-baby, but in DD bras. I really don't know what to make of it all!!!

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    1. Thank you!I would dearly love to have my pre pregnancy bra size back but alas I don't think its going to happen. And yes, where has the time flown!

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