The Land of Hearts Desire

What is your land of hearts desire? Mine is a blend of freedom and hiding. Driving's going well but I'm not there yet. I'm still tied to my house, I have cabin fever but then I don't want to go Read more

First Chapter of my Novel - Reader Feedback

As you know I'm editing my first novel at the moment, a contemporary mythic fantasy. Even though it's daunting I have to say I'm enjoying it. I've switched my head from writer, not allowed edit, to editor and of Read more

How We Spend our Days is How We Spend Our Lives

I tripped over these words by Annie Dillard on the ever brilliant 'Brain Pickings' site, immediately struck I often say them to myself... 'How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.' I've always appreciated little things and nothing's Read more

Body & Soul Festival - One Family's Experience

Chanel and I agree... 'The best things in life are free; the second best things are very expensive.'  We're just back from the Body & Soul Festival at Ballinlough Castle, Co Westmeath. Three days camping. Some people were surprised to hear Read more

Lest we Forget

Me: Let's surprise Daddy and have the weeds and stones gathered before he gets home. Sadhbh: Ok, ok Mammy, he'll be so happy won't he? Note: The beautiful art work in this post is by illustrator Katie Daisy, click HERE for more Read more

Giving Facebook the Boot

Hello out there I hope your’re well this rainy Monday? I’m having one of those days when you want to just curl up somewhere and think. I’m not sure about what but give me a notebook and pen and a corner by an open window just to listen to the wind and rain.

In fact that’s what I’m doing right now, just add a blog post.

Yesterday I decided to give my personal page on facebook the boot. I want to keep the blog facebook page but to do that I can’t shut my personal one, so the rules say. As way of compromise I’m cutting it down to just my other half and siblings.

I’m not sure if I’m doing the right thing or how long it will last but I just felt I had to do something. I could keep extended family and friends but you know what would happen, who to keep, who to cut and before long the whole thing would build back up.

Before starting the blog I worried a little about trolls but to be honest I haven’t had any trouble with trolls, until this week. I won’t go into it because as you know the rule with trolls is don’t feed them but suffice to say a nasty message was the icing on my overwhelm cake. I know everyone gets facebook fatigue at times and for different reasons but for me the problem is how it sucks time, energy and honestly at times, the life out of me.

If I had one page things would be different but with all my social media platforms it just all felt too much. I know energy vampires and trolls will still find me but I thought I would just remove one of the channels so it’s not coming at me from several angles if that makes sense?

If you’re a fan of my blog fb page don’t despair, I mostly LOVE that page, it’s not going anywhere and I’m not forgetting I’ve a book to sell :)

Even with changes in fb that limit the number of people that see posts, even with likes and comments down and the work involved in running it, sourcing quotes and articles and images I decided long ago I would run it if no one ever saw it only me.

I enjoy making it beautiful and use it to inspire my own life. It’s a popular page with a fast growing audience, the biggest driver, so far, of people to the blog, a promotional platform for the book and a source of like minded people.

So that’s the story. I need to concentrate on the book while also maintaining and growing an online presence. The two don’t always mix but they have to. So it’s goodbye to my personal page as an active space for a little while at least.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a new post so chat to you then. Have a lovely evening :)

To follow That Curious Love of Green on FB click HERE

 

 

Posted on by Jane in I WAS JUST THINKING 7 Comments

How We Spend our Days is How We Spend Our Lives

I tripped over these words by Annie Dillard on the ever brilliant ‘Brain Pickings‘ site, immediately struck I often say them to myself…

‘How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.’

I’ve always appreciated little things and nothing’s ever lost on me but I had way to much of a future focus.

I’ve always believed in,

Sunday best on Monday

Good china for a picnic

Not waiting for occasions to celebrate, but I still wasn’t present only forever looking to some future date.

For example, before I had my first child as a single parent I thought about the future all the time, years later, before our house was built that was all I could think about, before we had the girls that was all I could think about. Now I know the times before were as good as these times are, just as precious, I was happy but I should have been more present.

I could appreciate, savour, delight in the smallest of things but I had yet to learn to trust the process. Yes, I am very into that word at the moment.

“My destination is no longer a place, rather a new way of seeing.” 
― Marcel Proust

I’ve said it before, I finally, fully learned the value of process on finishing my book. Of course I wanted to finish it, I was intense, more than usual, OBSESSED, terrified something might happen, would stop me. That’s natural, I think, BUT, once I was finished I realised I missed the process. It opened my eyes to feel that so clearly.

“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.” 
― Andy Rooney

Suddenly I knew the process had been great, even at the hard parts, even in the dark days.

I realised too that I could trust process, that all parts of it conspire to get you there, wherever your ‘there’ is, but you have to trust it, don’t give up too soon.

Fear may stop or hold you back but if you keep going you will get past that.

This was why I was able to take on the June Art Challenge I knew that no matter what happened the process would be worthwhile. At the end of it all, now I can paint. I couldn’t do that a month ago.

art collage

Here’s Saoirse and I going through our months worth of art and planning for how to display it. She did the challenge with me and really enjoyed it. I think it was really good for her, she even hosted her own exhibition one evening complete with a talk and background music. Now she asks me if it’s possible to be an artist and a scientist and I say of course it is, why not.

photo 3 (77)

So where does all of this leave me right now?

Well I’m still trying to cut down on housework, that’s one never ending process I could happily live without. Like with everything else I try to get it done early.

My bad days, not too many but when they strike I know it’s temporary. I try to go with and be kind to myself, confident in the knowledge that the next day will be different.

They’re usually about not getting to do all the things I wanted to do that day, that or the laundry pile…the dishes…or cabin fever or the girls arguing or a combination of all of these. I tend to be hard on myself and sometimes I want to break loose and I say to the girls longingly,

‘I just want to run up that hill’ (big overgrown hill in front of our house) I’ve said it so often they sometimes suggest it.

Me: ‘I don’t know WHAT I’m going to DO!’ 

Sadhbh: (Helpfully) ‘Run up the hill mammy? Would you like to?’ 

I’ve started the editing process on the book though at the moment it’s harder than ever to get to it. Adrian starts work at the crack of dawn so I’ve no early morning option, the best time for me plus we have school holidays to contend with. Some days I have my eldest girl here to help but mostly I just have to sit down in the middle of everything and just do it, write, edit, blog, all of it.

table

With Adrian home earlier I go driving with him most evenings, I’m learning to drive and it’s good now, I feel I’ve turned a corner, no pun intended. What I mean is it started out this big mill stone round my neck, something I just HAD to do but dreaded, you know.

I got through it by focusing on one thing and one thing only, the school run. I told myself I just had to be ready for that by September. So everyday I follow the same route, the school run route and now this week I’m ENJOYING it!

I feel I won’t stay on the school route for long.

guys

The days at home with the children, no school, no  naps and no way to go anywhere should be long but they’re scarily short.

I move between writer, blogger, social media…not sure what to call that, mother, entertainer, cook and chief bottle washer while all the time this burning desire to be working on the second draft makes itself felt ALL the time.

Every morning I set up the kitchen table with different ‘stations’, paint, play-doh, lego, little houses and so on plus one for me. The girls love going from one station to another not to mention having all this stuff easily to hand. I try to think of everything they might need to cut down on running and racing.

Added to that I make huts, I put mattresses down for tumbling or playing ‘boats’. I collect egg cartons and loo roll inserts, an assortment of things for painting and making stuff. I race around getting that housework out of the way and put on some laundry so I feel the washing machine’s helping me and then I plonk myself in the middle of it and just do what I can within all the variables of how everyone’s feeling in the moment.

Sometimes it works great and sometimes it doesn’t and that’s ok because again nothing stays the same, every day they’re older and it’s changing. Whatever we do do is enough…

photo 4 (64)

tumble

art table a

We go for walks and I try to get out on my own at some point, even if just to daydream and walk around the house or work in the garden or greenhouse for ten minutes here and there. I love being outside in all weather, I have a thing about weather.

My favourite evenings then are when we’re all together for dinner, the five of us around the table and we stay on chatting for ages. I love to cook and try new things, I find cooking like walking is good meditation for me. If I sit down after bedtime bedlam, it’s with a notebook. I’m usually tired but always get a second wind when I should be winding down, it’s a curse! I go to bed happy every night unless I’m feeling anxious about some awful news story or other and start to worry about everyone I love. I don’t like going to bed and usually try to keep Adrian talking before falling asleep with something I was meaning to read and a page full of notes. I love looking in on my girls every night and then seeing how cheerful they are every morning, it’s all heartbreaking really. I’m so lucky, I have a wonderful life.

I don’t look back much these days and rarely stare and I don’t like things that take me there. I don’t think much about the future though I feel it’s bright, the present’s where I live my life.

Annie Dillard

(Image courtesy of Brain Pickings, click image for link)

Posted on by Jane in Cosiness & TLC, FAMILY, I WAS JUST THINKING, In My Kitchen, We Can Do It - Tips for Creative Living 9 Comments
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