Winning At Life & Blogging, A Celebration

Over the weekend I zoomed past 4000 followers on Facebook which along with a further unique 2000 follower's approx (email subscribers and other social media platforms) brings me to a cool 6000 unique followers of the blog. I'm amazed Read more

Editing A Novel While Mothering - It's Not for Sissies But It Is For Me

As you know I'm editing my first novel. This is my fourth draft...or fifth draft? I've lost count, all I know is this is the most detailed painstaking one yet. It's difficult to say exactly how long I can Read more

We Planted Our Garden With Trees

The dream is for the house to disappear, more overgrown with every passing year.  On a foggy St Patrick's morning we planted 50, mostly native Irish trees. Oak, Rowan, Silver Birch, Wild Cherry, Willow & Hornbeam. Lawn, begone... Even before our house Read more

Dublin (Part 1)

I have returned from my trip. Darling Dublin, it was wonderful, for I am bored with life here now, there is no colour, no nourishment in it. And it's not the few people who are very good and worth staying Read more

A New Painting

Good morning friends, Friday again, thank goodness. I was just saying on fb last night how even though I'm a stay at home mother I still look forward to weekends. I get so tired of routine and the sameness of Read more

How to Live on One Modest Income or Less

Do you dream of quitting your job or of working part-time? Do you wonder if you could cope mentally, financially? Or maybe you are unemployed, job hunting and feeling the strain. Work is so tied up with our feelings Read more

Easter Holidays

Please forgive my blogging absence I have been staycationing, recharging at home. As discussed in my last post Easter Holidays came, are still going on, editing is at a standstill, life goes on.

It has not been bad, it has not been bad at all.

For one thing I love the lack of routine, I love it…italics love

For another, there’s not much I can do about it. I don’t have help, it is lambing season, end of, I accept.

It’s better by far than days when I think I’m going to have a few hours and then don’t. That is so frustrating, but this past, almost two weeks have been, almost serene.

home sweet

A few weeks ago I had a traumatic experience, not sure if I mentioned that here but since then I hadn’t been sleeping so good. I was dealing with that plus routine and forging ahead with painstaking editing. I was fighting.

So for the holidays I adopted a go with the flow approach. I also gave the freshly edited chapters to some of my pre-readers.

buns collage

The first week was dark and twisted, a bit like myself. We battened the hatches, we planned a dinner and I read a lot, like Doris Lessing’s ‘The Grass is Singing’ which I finished in less than 24 hours. I can’t even remember the last time I did that but it was so good I couldn’t put it down.

After that I read her Nobel Prize acceptance speech, also excellent. She was the oldest person and the 11th woman to get the prize, 88 I think. Her speech is wonderful, you can read it HERE.

With de-cluttering in mind I tackled the girls room and pulled a ham string, ouch! It was worth it though, they love it. I had a moment of nostalgia because this was Shaylyn’s room when we moved in here and of course she’s in college now and…well you know the rest.

eclipse 2eclipse

To have the weekend clear and free we did our grocery shop on Easter Thursday. It was a struggle, I was still in that place where everything feels like an effort, you know the days I mean? I tend to try and work myself out of these days by doing more, not less, when I should probably just go with the feeling and take it easy, until I am myself.

Though with shopping it is more than that. I think I’m just not that into materialism or consumerism anymore. I would much prefer walk out the back door and pull spuds in the garden, SOON, I will do that again, plus shops drain me. They always have done, the heat, the lights, the dead air. I’ve been re-wilding for years and I like it.

Unfortunately, though we grow some food, we’re far from self sufficient and with Shaylyn coming from college for the weekend I wanted to have lots of yummy things for her to eat. I fear she eats very little all week, plus we’d decided to to have friends over for dinner Good Friday. The shopping just had to be done, sigh. But the eating, the company, the chat, all weekend, that was all fun.

For dinner on Friday we made a Sweetcorn Veloute with Prawns and Crispy Parma Ham, Roasted Cod with Aubergine Caponata and Parma Ham and an Asparagus Risotto followed by a Blueberry Cheescake and Cosmopolitans to drink. This signalled the start of week two of the break.

Still in de-clutter/clear/change mode, we moved our bed, a massive undertaking as it weighs a ton but I’m so happy with the result. We are under the eaves in a nook and best of all I’m right by a window, that is always open. This move was cathartic in a way completely disproportionate to the act. I decided the move would be a new start, an end to poor sleep and nightmares, and so far that has worked.

bed nook collage

On top of this we woke to summer this second week. Proper leave the doors open and stay out from morning to night weather. We’ve been keeping busy in the garden getting ready for the season, plus the 50 trees we planted are budding and leafing, hurrah!

Last night I got word from my pre-readers and it’s good, it’s really good, relief, relax, content.

Next week the children will be back to school, I’ll be back editing but what a difference the break has made! A change in season, I really struggled with winter this year, plus a clear out, an earthing and recharge, a spring clean, I am myself again.

April

I woke in a sunbeam, the red squirrel is back, I watched him run up the ash tree.

Did you hear the foxes? You asked

Yes

And did you see the stars?

Yes, they were not very far.

And did you hear the birds?

Yes

So you had a good night?

It feels like a brand new life.

Posted on by Jane in Creative Living, FAMILY 4 Comments

Editing A Novel While Mothering – It’s Not for Sissies But It Is For Me

As you know I’m editing my first novel. This is my fourth draft…or fifth draft? I’ve lost count, all I know is this is the most detailed painstaking one yet. It’s difficult to say exactly how long I can spend on just one paragraph or one sentence but;

hours,

hours,

hours.

Projections for finishing this draft at my current pace of, glacial, are approximately sometime next year. I’m not ok with that.

lib collage

Take this week for example, but first consider that not only do I want to get on with editing, I also feel motivated, able and driven to get on with editing.

Last weekend was great, we stayed home, worked in the garden, painted and I got some work done. I was in flow again, bliss. I wanted to keep it going and with Easter holidays looming I had only one week to do it.

fairy 2

My middle girl, beautiful, sensitive, witty and wise : )

Still I set myself a target of two more chapters by the weekend. At least then I could hit the holidays with a calm sense of all being right with the world because virtues of process aside I have to feel that I’m moving. I don’t count glacial as moving.

The plan was so simple, not ambitious at all, just a mix of two dawn starts and three playschool mornings on top of which I was starting on two new chapters, not touched since my last draft, so not completely sick of them, yet.

It would be enough, only it didn’t happen. A combination of events, chief of which, Sadhbh developed a really bad cold and had to stay home all week, and, being firmly in lambing season meant no Adrian for those early mornings.

fairy

An absolute joy of a child, my little boo Sadhbh

Any of you who can relate to this feeling, of another week, it’s not the first, and, there always seems to be something, another week of feeling I’m getting nothing done, will know how torturous it is and the mental gymnastics you have to deploy to stay sane.  The rest of you who don’t relate, will think me mad and that’s ok. I think the same.

I’m ok with that.

In order to deal, my mind is in overdrive, mindfulness, gratitude, acceptance, a great savouring of things, practiced, with fiery intensity.This is where I need to be now, being the chief thought holding the fire, this moment, here, now.

Then a feeling of camaraderie, of understanding and sometimes horror, that this is the story of creative mothers since the beginning of time. That while our part of the world has evolved to the point where the needs of wives and husbands are equal, and my husband is uber supportive and loving, it is still a problem that is yet to be solved, the problem of self and motherhood.

Next, I remind myself that I can use this time to do things that will support the work whenever I finally do get to it. Like the problem of clutter, too much clutter weighs on my mind, so no writing time is time to make that better. Then with reading, painting, blogging, journal writing, searching material for my fb page, taking photographs, daydreaming is important, being out in the garden, enjoying the children, their imaginations.

shay

My eldest girl Shaylyn, our house in morning fog and from inside, in the gloaming…

All these things support and at the same time, scorch my mind, they support the book, one way or another so that it is never not being worked on. The paradox being, I do all of these better whenever I’ve written. And so it goes on, I want in, I get in, I have to leave, I need to get back again.

Talking with my mum she felt not many would have done it with small children, they would have waited.

My dad said I should start the next book.

My friend Madeleine Kennedy, an Australian artist said;

It’s difficult to manage  your time with small children but if you wait until they are older there’s the very real danger of never getting started at all.’

Madeleine’s words filled me with terror and my book is written so I think that’s my answer.I couldn’t have waited. And I can’t start another book, yet. I have to finish.

Recently I was reminded of Maslow and his Hierarchy of Needs through some inspiring and stirring I felt, quotes from him. I remember studying and enjoying his work as part of a Social Psychology module for my PR Dip many years ago.

Based on his theory, I’m pretty much fulfilled, I’m doing what I’m capable of, or, considering this post, I’m damn CLOSE as I can get at the moment. But I am in the process of realising my potential and that is not only huge, but rare, even though, according to Maslow, everyone is capable of it. I’m lucky any way that you look at it, my activities are in line with my deepest self, so I can console myself and say, I’m not just in a state, well I am a lot of the time, but I’m also in a state of perpetual becoming, of self-actualization.

cloud sky

A recent painting plus the sky on that evening

That’s the latest from me. Actually I could talk all day but I have to go, still, I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences in comments if you have an opinion on this area.

I hope you have a brilliant weekend. Chat to you soon fellow traveller’s.

Read more about Maslow’s theory by clicking HERE

sky a

 

 

 

Posted on by Jane in Creative Living 8 Comments
    • Spilling on to a Page May 2, 2015
      I woke to rain. Gusts of wind lifted the curtain to show slices of grey sky dripping. I shivered, turned my pillow to the cold side, heaven. I reached for my glasses and phone before remembering, I’m on a phone/social media break-ish for the long weekend, though someone please explain how to do that when […]
      Jane
    • Practicing Self Care April 24, 2015
      This week I took a break from editing my book to take care of myself. I felt the need for a brain break. Because I’m not a great sleeper, or one for relaxing, I’ve had to find other ways to trick myself into rest, meditation and good health, namely food, art, conversation, nature and grooming. […]
      Jane
    • Winning At Life & Blogging, A Celebration April 21, 2015
      Over the weekend I zoomed past 4000 followers on Facebook which along with a further unique 2000 follower’s approx (email subscribers and other social media platforms) brings me to a cool 6000 unique followers of the blog. I’m amazed and delighted and feel sure that I couldn’t deserve it. I want to say a massive […]
      Jane
    • New Adventures April 16, 2015
      It gives me great pleasure to say that I drove to Carrick on Shannon for the first time today since learning to drive in the autumn. Carrick is a beautiful town, you guys would absolutely love it, it’s about 30 minutes from here with a farmers market every Thursday from 10 to 2. I’ve never […]
      Jane
    • Easter Holidays April 9, 2015
      Please forgive my blogging absence I have been staycationing, recharging at home. As discussed in my last post Easter Holidays came, are still going on, editing is at a standstill, life goes on. It has not been bad, it has not been bad at all. For one thing I love the lack of routine, I […]
      Jane
    • Editing A Novel While Mothering – It’s Not for Sissies But It Is For Me March 27, 2015
      As you know I’m editing my first novel. This is my fourth draft…or fifth draft? I’ve lost count, all I know is this is the most detailed painstaking one yet. It’s difficult to say exactly how long I can spend on just one paragraph or one sentence but; hours, hours, hours. Projections for finishing this […]
      Jane
    • We Planted Our Garden With Trees March 24, 2015
      The dream is for the house to disappear, more overgrown with every passing year.  On a foggy St Patrick’s morning we planted 50, mostly native Irish trees. Oak, Rowan, Silver Birch, Wild Cherry, Willow & Hornbeam. Lawn, begone… Even before our house was built we knew we didn’t want a standard garden with ordered beds […]
      Jane
    • Vincent Browne March 12, 2015
      Watching Vincent Browne from Sligo last night would do little to inspire. The first thing that struck me was how the ‘creep’ of deprivation in this region could go almost unnoticed and I mean by we who live here. Hard to expect others to notice, that we don’t notice ourselves. Erosion of services, interesting word […]
      Jane
    • Writing (Inching Forward) March 5, 2015
      Hello from my kitchen to wherever you are… I had such a good day of editing yesterday, I felt limitless after it. I thought, I have to keep this going but it’s been a struggle this morning. Even with my smallest girl taking a nap, it just seemed impossibly hard, as it does sometimes, as it […]
      Jane
    • Next Day Delivery Launch March 3, 2015
      Morning all. You may remember last year I attended the summer season launch for NEXT at the gorgeous Cliff Townhouse in Dublin. You can read about that and see all the beautiful photographs HERE. Well a few weeks ago I was invited to attend the launch of NEXT’s next day delivery service in Ireland. Unfortunately […]
      Jane