These are the ways people keep describing me. At Kentwell, complete strangers in Tudor costume would stop me to smile and say how impressed they were that I was doing it with so many children. And this was usually when I didn’t have *all* the children with me. And as I collapsed into a seat on the train on Monday the poor chap whose table we had invaded looked at the tribe with me and said “you’re very brave”.
I don’t feel brave. I don’t feel calm. I feel like I’m constantly drowning, never quite good enough, too fat, unfit, unlovely. I’m doing thinking slimmer, listening to my slimpod every evening but I still think about food all the time. I bought mutusystem, determined to do something to reclaim my body enough to fit into that dress, and so far haven’t actually made it through a single full day’s worth of exercises on any one day. And as to the idea that I’ll print out a diary and fill it in…
I’m grabbing ten minutes right now to write this post. It’s the follow up to the tightrope post. It’s everything that’s exploding from my heart, brain and soul. And I’m writing it in a room of absolute chaos, with four children piled around me, each wanting attention and input as I go, constantly disrupting what passes for a train of thought. I’m also aware that there’s wet washing in the machine that needs hanging out and dry washing on the table that needs sorting to be put away and that I can’t actually get to the drawers to put my clothes away and haven’t been able to for months.
And any minute now the front gate will clang with the sound of Dp back from his quick constitutional, and I’ll need to go fetch fish and chips. I’ve achieved nothing with the time I had, can’t find the login for the review blog I’m trying to set up, haven’t finished responding to emails, didn’t get chosen to be the British Gas ambassador sidekick and win an iPad and I just WANT.
I want all the time. I want to be better. I want to be best. I want to be *the* blogger that people think of, talk about, look up to. I want to own all the things. I want to live in a decluttered, gorgeous, minimalist house lined with bookcases and running on green energy. (I want another baby.) I see other people writing things I wrote years ago, doing things I’ve moved on from, evangelising about activities I’m almost bored of and it’s driving me batty.
Calm? Brave? Nope. It’s just a mask. That isn’t a smile, it’s a grimace. “This is me smiling.” That was an intake of breath so that I could control my tone before I speak to a child. That catch in my voice was me swallowing back tears, in the hope that I can give me children a happy childhood. (aargh, remembered yet another blogpost that’s due. Panic, panic.)
I need to be earning a living, and John Lewis and Sainsbury’s (yes, I’m naming names) have withdrawn their ads in favour of sponsored posts that require follow links. Which is against google guidelines. I’m not saying I follow google guidelines slavishly, but it seems to me having posts labelled as sponsored with follow links in is just asking for trouble and sooner or later someone will be smacked. I don’t want it to be me. But I don’t know how else I’m going to go about earning any money from this blog.
I didn’t actually want to monetise this blog. I’ve got a review blog that I got as far as installing but no further. A technology blog that I’ve got posts coming out of my ears about but never the time, energy and quiet environment to actually write. A plan for a technology related business that I *really* want to be doing, but not the several hours of quite space and time a day that it would take to get set up to do it.
I’m so not calm. I’m so near the end of my tether.
And yet, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. Today I had a check in call with Sandra from Thinking Slimmer. She pointed out that since I started the process, I’ve actually lost the best part of a stone. I am active. I might be thinking about food, but I no longer want bread, I’m actively searching for an alternative. I’ve started experimenting with food, cooking new things I’ve never cooked before, taking my whole family on a journey into the unknown.
I read Dawn‘s book, Nothing needs to be the way it’s always been, yesterday and today while breastfeeding. (Obviously I was multi tasking. I’m not sure I’d know what to do with myself if I was only doing one thing at a time.) And it occurred to me that if she could change her life in the way she describes in just a year, surely I can make much smaller changes to be the person I think I’m supposed to be? The person I am in that quiet moment in the morning before I open my eyes and see the chaos, the person I reach for in the moments of calm between the children’s demands?
The calm and brave and efficient and achieving and proud of herself person that other people seem to think I already am.