Time to draw breath

wipI’m starting back at work next week, after about ten months break to look after my bub. This week, I went back for a three hour workshop, and a few things really struck me.

First, was the introversion of most of the people I work with. Two asked how the baby was. No-one asked how I was! One person greeted me with simply the words: “Heathmont is a nightmare. I hate it.” Heathmont being a project I was working on before I left. No doubt they think that they’ll hear my news in time, and are perhaps too shy to ask. Either that, or they are too wrapped up in their ‘nightmares’ to give a damn. Never mind. I’ll enjoy hearing what they have all been up to.

The second thing was the situation with projects. Many of the same projects are still going on, after all this time – but people have become more cynical and depressed about them. It’s like I’ve just been away for the weekend, not most of a year, but everyone else had a shocker of a weekend.

I don’t feel particularly worried about going back to work, despite this. It will be a nice change to work a couple of days a week in an office, and I’ll do my level best to resist the negativity.

It did lead me to reflect though on what I’ve been doing while my work mates have been in their hamster wheel. It’s a chance to draw breath before I dive headlong back into the corporate world. And I find that breath is rather sweet.

I’ve done such a lot this year. Brought new life into the world, and nurtured it. He’s learning and growing all the time, and changing all the time, and so am I. I’ve learnt an awful lot about him, but also about me, and my partner, who is an awesome Dad. I’ve learnt that I have an angry flash now and then which I need to learn to contain. I’ve learnt to live in the moment. I’ve learnt an awful lot about patience, and sharing, and giving myself freely, and without reservation. I’ve learnt that I can still do a lot, but squashed into a much shorter and more intense period of time. I’ve learnt to do a lot of stuff with one hand!

I’ve also managed to continue to write, which is of course an activity which takes a certain degree of concentration and a quiet mind. Not only has there been a lot of progress on my Anthology of Honest Motherhood, but also on my short story collection. It’s actually cemented in my mind that because I’m finding the time to still write, then it must be really important to me, as the need to prioritize has become more urgent.

So – will I still find time when I’m working? You bet. I’ll have all that lovely commuting time to fill in, when I can let my mind free without replying to raspberries and playing peek-a-boo.

How about you? Did something in your life change the way you see it? Did something crystallise your need to write, if you do? Love to hear your thoughts.

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9 thoughts on “Time to draw breath

    • You’re quite right there! I’ve been thinking that I don’t have much time, but of course that’s not true at all. I’m just choosing to spend most of it on my most important project. πŸ˜‰

  1. I’m fascinated especially by your paragraph about you reflecting, drawing breath before diving back to work, and finding that breath sweet; i can relate to that a lot. Very recently i’ve been drawn to themes of staying afloat vs drowning (especially when performing on stage (which can sometimes feel like a sky, an island, quicksand, and/or also harsh waters(?) in front of audiences),

    Based on your strong high level of energy and breath-drawing and diving, i’m wonderiing if the cynical depressed people are (or already have spiritually or emotionally drowned?/) drowning in sinking/sunken-ship-like(?) projects within the corporate world (or based on that nightmarish description of Heathmont, corpse pirate world?) I’m probably (ridiculously?)stretching overdramatizing the underwater-adventure-theme, but still the imagery of your writing is vivid, and something i at least sometimes continue to experience and identify with.

    • You know, I think you’re absolutely on the money about them drowning in their own worlds of work, and that’s perhaps why they seem a little self-obsessed. (Being a blogger isn’t self obsessed at all, of course ;)) It’s hard to think about anything else when you’re desparate for breath.
      Two things spring to mind – one in your reference to performing, was that on the couple of occasions when I did solo performances (bellydancing), there was excatly the same feeling before I went on stage as when you’re about to dive into freezing water. That sort of slightly shivery stiffening of the sinews as you brace yourself and dive before the spotlights. I don’t know about you, but when I found when I was on stage, it was almost a little other-worldly, just like being underwater. You can’t sustan it for long, but it’s a magical time. Then when I finsihed and came off stage, it was a huge relief, just like that big breath after a dive. Seems like your analogy fits really well!
      The other is that when I go on holiday – well a long overseas holiday anyway – I feel a very palpable sense of a lifting of weight, like all the burdens of responsibility are literally coming off my shoulders. Could this be the opposite sensation?

  2. Yup, i’m agreeing with and have also experienced your observations of relief. Your feeling of that weight/burdens lifting off and away from your shoulders is what i have totally felt (and i think maybe probably for a majority of the following times) right when i turn in my finally finished last final exams and term papers/thesis at the very end of school semesters. It’s like those finals and papers and works were congesting my lungs brain and soul and completing and submitting them are like breathing/sweet release.

    I’m intrigued by your experiences in solo performance bellydancing. This is the first time i’ve ever heard about what and/or how a bellydancer feels before going on stage, while being on stage, and after being on stage. I never considered those shivery bracing underwater pressurey feelings from a bellydancer since (at least from the few times that i’ve noticed while they perform, and from random pictures of them online or how they are portrayed by the media) bellydancers seem to project a consistent reliable confidence and magical flowing ease or effortlessness especially through their moves. Pleased and enlightened by what you’ve revealed πŸ™‚

  3. I have terrible stagefright but also used to bellydance onstage. I used to remember thinking I just didn’t want to embarrass myself or my family when I was out there. And then when my kids were old enough to enjoy the show, I just danced for them, and it made everything simpler.

    One of the most important things I learned when I became a mother was that one’s capacity for love has the ability to increase exponentially. I had some strange fear that my husband and I would have to divide our love when we had more than one child, but that was so insane. Our love didn’t divide, it multiplied. There was a larger space to fill, so it expanded. Does that mean life became instantaneously perfect? Of course not. It just got nicer.

  4. Has it been ten months already? I remember you posting about going on maternity leave. Time does fly. I hope your return goes okay. Some things never change and I’m sure after the end of your first week it’ll feel like you’ve never been away.

    Happy writing in the margins πŸ™‚

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