Thursday 15 March 2012

Showing up

I hadn't realized it has been so long since my last post.  Though I haven't been blogging, I have doubled the word count on a short story, written and submitted a story for children, and revised three poems in the last two months.

I took a long walk in the springlike-sun with a great friend on Monday and we talked about this feeling of inertia I've had all winter:  I want to make changes to the yard, but don't know where to start; I need to find more work, but don't know where to look; I need to move more, but stay indoors instead.  I told her how in my late twenties I stopped trying to be perfect, and avoiding activities that I feared I wouldn't excel at.  And for a year I did just that.  I showed up at bike races I knew I might finish last in.  I went skiing and was the person who had to stop and apply wax while the others waited impatiently.  My goal that summer was simply to show up and do my best.  I feel like maybe I need to repeat this lesson.

My friend, bless her heart, suggested that maybe after a woman has children, she needs to relearn how to follow her inclinations while balancing feelings of obligation and responsibility to her family. Of course!  It isn't that I am repeating a  lesson already learned, but that now the context is different.  Now there are not just my reactions and feelings to navigate, but also my husband and son's.  So I've decided to forge ahead with the yard, one doable project at a time, and be all right with the mistakes I make, as we are not here to get everything right the first time, but to keep learning, and taking away new ways of doing and thinking as we go along.  And I will take my rolls and widening hips out to the trails, or to a 5 km run to get some exercise, even though I will be the one at the back with the red face and the sore feet. Sometimes, winning is just about showing up.

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