I was compiling slow cooker recipes and shopping lists at Wild Love Bakehouse this morning, and a friend came over and asked if I was writing. Yes, I’ve known I needed to start writing again ever since I talked to a counselor in the midst of PPD/PPA last year. I’ve known it since Mary started sleeping better, and we started sleeping better, and my head started to come back to me. I’ve known it since I stopped writing. Cause I’m a writer, and want to move the world in some small way, and this has always felt like my only lever.

But I filled up my old journal, and what with moving and boxes and babies and lack of furniture and time and inspiration I haven’t made a new one. And whoa, I would never buy a journal when I could make one. Well what about Ye Olde Blogge, then?

I feel like such a different person than the one who used to blog here. Motherhood, and all my weird mental health issues, and the Marriage undergoing seismic shifts, and my spiritual vision clouding up—I feel so different that I wanted to make a new blog, tied to a new gmail account, everything new and different. I can’t connect the dots between here and there, yet. But this is what writing has always done for me: help me connect the dots. Or at least draw them in closer together, all kinds of metaphors come to mind like spider webs and constellations.

But ain’t nobody got time to do all the stuff I’m trying to do *AND* go through all the hassle of making a new blog. Lord. Help. Actually, to be honest, I wasted an hour and a half, a month or two ago, trying to make a new blog while I was out by myself on a weeknight. I have so little time by myself (though I’m getting much more now that I’m off for the winter from farm work) that even 30 minutes wasted is a horrible crime. That I can really beat myself up about. I watch the clock like a hawk. Right now, for instance, I have three hours before I pick up Mary, and you better believe every one of those hours is overstuffed with things I want/have to do.

I remember, in the first year and half of Mary’s life, that I used to say, “I’m doing better! I’m feeling better! I think I’m turning a corner!” all the time. I finally was able to admit to my friend KG a few months ago that I never was, but I wanted to so bad that I misidentified random good days as “things are getting better” days. Yeah, it actually doesn’t get much worse than having a non-sleeping three-week old baby. It gets better from there. And three months is even better than eight weeks. But I wanted to be well, healthy, whole, happy, and some optimistic/delusional part of me kept telling myself that it was just around the corner. It wasn’t.

Things are still rough. The husband and I have had some pretty horrible fights, and the limits that active Meniere’s Disease and an active two year old impose on us can still feel asphyxiating at times. But—when I think to myself “I feel better, life isn’t so overwhelming,” it rings true in a way it didn’t used to. I’m starting to believe rather than hope. If there’s a difference there.

I’m able to look at my life in a fairly clear-eyed way (to borrow a phrase from Hillary Clinton’s book, which I’ve been reading). I feel like a knight in chess—there’s no streaking in straight lines across the board, only four steps at a time, and the last is a step off the path. Most mothers feel this way, I think, and tell me it’s “normal,” which I can accept, but I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to embrace. Anne Lamott will be my patron saint in this regard. Is she yours, too?

 

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