Seems like I do this every couple of years, or perhaps it is more often, but it seems like a long-scale cycle.
My mind is always awhirl, thinking, thinking about writing, thinking about ideas to share. Thinking about a way to make money from my writing about things I want to write about. I know that I could freelance. This isn’t about that. This is about identity, changing technology, and fear of success.
I put all my writings on this site, well most of the blog writings, a few years back. I was happy with this. Reason Creek is where the my personal logic flowed. Then while working a temp job to evade the demons that pecked at my brain constantly as my brother Roger was dying and for a while after his death, I listened to hundreds of audio books as I proofed digital versions of old theses for the local university library. During that time I found there was a spot in my brain where Interesting Things which could be filed under the heading of Women’s Legacy Project were found. I purchased the domain and began pulling things out of my brain with which to organize the site. Let’s see… this would have been in March 2015. A year later, this past March, the site was doing well enough to attract a diverse group of women to tell stories on WLP about women who had changed their own lives.
Then… somewhere along the path in the last six months… I’ve stumbled off my productive path and into a patch of rumination brambles. It is now September and I am looking at all these things/aspects over which I’ve stumbled:
So I came over here to Reason Creek to vent and create an image of what is going on in my scattered brain. (I created the Mind-map image with Scapple.) I now think I see the problem I am having, in addition to the shading non shading of certain items; the items in red at the bottom of the mind map exist in two different roles and at two different levels in my way of seeing the world. I either need to become comfortable with the status overlap in two areas of my life or rearrange something.
Nothing is solved. But I feel better. My world is both expanding as a business person, and this requires shifting my identity as a writer out of a very comfortable spot into a place that is risk-based, and this is happening as my daughter prepares to officially change her primary status from daughter to wife. Her status change does not change my mother role and how I will see her, but it will change how I behave towards a woman with her own household in her own right.
Word of advice: don’t change your business model when rearranging your personal life. Needless to say, I do not take my own advice.
Today, while I was updating a woefully out-of-date profile on WordPress/Gravatar I re-affirmed a most basic part of myself. I am in awe of life.
Old enough to know better. I wander in awe amid the complexity, order, and nuance of life. The ripples of small acts amplify my belief in goodness. I try to let those ripples carry me along as I observe, write, share, and curate.
A while back I made this shareable graphic. It is along the same lines. There is some consistency in my nature and actions.
I spent half the night, this past night, awake and ruminating in a way that I rarely do. Once I woke every night with concerns, what-ifs, and relived painful and confusing times. I rarely do that these days, or should I say nights?
I do wonder about what ifs, branching realities, and alternate universes. As a mature woman I do not spend a lot of time in wonderment over those things though. Concerns still plague me, financial for the most part. I so wish I could help my husband by bringing money into our lives.
My creative worth brings great enrichment to mine, but I know I am a needy weight financially to him. It would not have been all that different had I had myself declared disabled due to depression and PTSD. But I simply have not been able to do that. I do not believe I am mentally ill. I do have some challenges, however. I wanted to write an article for SheKnows.com in May about my struggle with mental illness but there is nothing wrong with my “mentals,” and they seemed to want people to come out about mental illness. I am not sure that is necessary.
Oversimplification does not help anyone. Fables, analogies, metaphors and allegorical tales are lost on the overly literal members of society.
I was abused as a child, or perhaps it was neglect. It was both. It is still difficult to define because I bought into my mother’s off kilter view of life. So there is still a part, a very small part, of myself that tells me, “You had a hand in it.” And she was at times a good mother. In this all or nothing society, a bit, both, or somewhere in between is not well received. We want things clean and simple.
Nothing is simple. Everything is a woven intricate mesh of interrelationships.
I need to finish something. I need some alone time, some time to focus. I need to find a way to have my husband understand that the more he hovers around the house, the more tense and unproductive I am. His office is quite close at a nearby University and unless he is meeting with an other professor or research group or has an appointment with a student, he is working at home more and more often writing reports, writing grants, and doing the administrative work that goes with being a successful research professor. I am not a person who can get anything done when anyone is nearby. Whether it is cleaning or writing, I need huge chunks of time and space to myself to accomplish anything.
To me it seems like my husband is always here at home. It isn’t true that he is always here, but his coming and going several times during the day distracts and disrupts me and makes me feel like he is here or due to come back any second. He doesn’t keep a regular schedule and that unpredictability promotes insecurity in me. I like to know what is happening when.
That is my summer challenge. If I don’t finish one of my projects soon I am just going to dissolve into a puddle of jello-ish (line) indecisive incompetence.
I’ll feel better tomorrow. I will figure out how to frame this as best I can, but re-framing alone will not give me more alone time or space. I am consistent and I know my needs.
Eddy, maelstrom, vortex. Call it whatever you will, but life sometimes moves too many things a bit faster than what I can juggle.
I do not know exactly what I dropped in the last three months, but I will find out. Maybe everything or anything that dropped bounced. Women’s History Month, The A to Z challenge, more planning for my daughter’s wedding, a conference, and a surgery for my husband sort of filled up the last many weeks. I feel accomplished but tired. I also had my 59th birthday, which means that I’m now living my 60th year.
Living with depression means that I try to find balance, as I have said many times before, between planning and doing not so much that I will fail in difficult times, but not so little that I will become bored or unwisely, perhaps overconfidently, sign up to do more when I am totally on top of my game. I think I was right at the edge of doing all I can possibly do because I have not been on top of all our finances ahead of time as is really required. And I realized that I have not been able to knock out any more on my memoir. So I had to consciously let go of co-working at the YW on Mondays, and because I coordinate it, I had to let a couple people who participated in it down. I am keeping most of the Tucson Women Bloggers meetup running for the moment. We will see whether I can add the third function back to it again in the fall.
I hear the call to become politically active again, but I am trying to ignore it. I feel like I put in enough time serving democracy and trying to steer public awareness toward information and action – years. I am so beyond party affiliation. We need people and ideas not party adherence. I am extremely concerned about the future of the United States. A hawk and a fascist go into an election and one comes out President. Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. A minority of U.S. Citizens vote. Few of those do any research into what exists behind the banal narcissistic puffery that comprises campaign rhetoric. It breaks my heart.
So I keep putting ideas and information together and hoping it will help give voice or inspiration to people who have wonderful ideas but do not voice them. If I can keep going, then others can too. We all get pulled offtrack from achieving full potential, by distinct attractive nuisances, dreams, and obstacles that beckon or snatch up from just off the path.
So it is on to the Summer months.
No matter how I answer the question that is the title of this post, I am dizzy.
I knew this month, March, would be busy due to my decision to feature other women’s writings about women all month long on the Women’s Legacy Project. This took a bit of planning, procedure development, and a whole lotta learning on my part. It was so worth it. I will write more about the nuts and bolts of it, and about the wonderful aspects of curation of this type… but now I need to bitch… about how I overextended myself.
I have developed a mantra of sorts, “Enough for the good, not too much for the bad… om mani padme hum…”
Most of the time I do try to be gracious and compassionate, even towards myself. But occasionally I have to do a palm plant on my forehead and just beat myself up for a second or two. I know it is not healthy, but I do it anyway. I file it under laughing at myself, and that is a good thing, right?
If you have read my blog before you know that I live, fairly successfully, with depression. Managing the chemical beast that is my internal imbalance is actually fairly easy when I am not stressed and am accomplishing things. (My poor husband has never figured out that, for me, housework is not an accomplishment… just drudgery.) Maintaining a pace that is accomplished but not stressful rival the feats of the best juggling acts on 60s variety TV shows.
My WLP Women’s History Month, Her Story project was not too much for my ever so delicate limbic and endocrine disposition. Neither were any of the other things that transpired this month! I’m fine. I’m doing great. I just didn’t have quite enough stamina to get through the monthly Tucson Women Blogger organizing, my writing, and being an occasionally sociable life partner.
No, I had to spend one weekend at the Tucson Festival of Books, #TFOB16, I had to! It is the best book fare anywhere. Period. Finé. But it is so filled with talks, publisher booths, authors, books, and kindred spirits that two full days of sitting, walking/running to the next event, and talking, talking, talking flies by in a whirl.
And I wanted to support my Hubster who was nervous about a lay presentation. It was endearing to see how this neuro – pharma – brainiac was concerned about how a lay talk would go. He did great.
My graduate advisor/mentor was in town for a few days. Wonderful. Delightful. Reconnecting and connecting at new levels.
Old friend from college days was also in town for a few days. So much happening. A blur of goodness.