I lie in bed, in that wonderfully comfortable world between sleeping and waking, the world where I seem to have access to ideas and knowledge that I don’t have access to once I get out of bed and start doing things. I love my time in that world and I dedicate at least 20 minutes each morning to exploring that world and finding out answers to questions and conundrums that I have, it’s like all the answers that I need are right there, waiting for me to access them.
Except the answers to one thing. One thing is eternally elusive in my omniscient morning world. One topic never appears in there, the answers just don’t come, no matter how hard I try. Actually, getting the answers is very much NOT about trying, it’s about letting go and ALLOWING, if that makes sense. A couple of days ago, I woke in the middle of the night with the solution to a dress-making problem that had been bugging me, bugging me to the point of redoing the bloody thing three times. All that stitch unpicking… [groans and cradles head in hands]…
But regardless of how much time I spend in my magical morning world, this is what happens when I think about what I’m going to write about today:
‘Okay, what am I going to write about today?’ I pause for a few seconds, waiting for a celestial answer to hit me between the eyebrows like it usually does when I ask a question in my half-awake world, although sometimes it does kind of just seep into my brain with no grand fanfare. But when I ask THIS question – what shall I write about today – the silence is deafening. There are no crickets chirruping in the background, no stirring music, just a heavy, dull, leaden, nothing.
I lie there for a while, in anticipatory purgatory, tensed and coiled ready for the blast of inspiration from heaven, but it doesn’t happen. Aware that I’ve tensed up, I force myself to relax, and gently ease myself back into my half-awake world, letting everything flow, allowing thoughts and ideas to drift effortlessly into my consciousness. At least, that’s the plan. But there’s no drifting of anything, and definitely no dazzling brainwaves about awe-inspiring subject matters.
Maybe it’s time for another tack: let’s try panicking. I allow my hyperactive brain to take over the task: Oh god, what am I going to do? What do I say? I actually have nothing to say? Okay, okay, don’t panic, things have happened for sure. Think, think… the girls, what’s happened? Well, nothing really. Okay, what about opinions? What about self-discovery? No, I don’t want to talk about that; I start lecturing. I mean, I’m an INTROVERT for god’s sake, I don’t start conversations with people, I don’t like SHARING what’s going on in my life. On top of that, this is HARD WORK. Maybe I shouldn’t be doing this if this is hard work, maybe it’s just not for me, maybe I just shouldn’t be writing. And all I seem to do is moan and whinge about how hard this is. Oh my god, maybe I should just stop.
Every day, every single day, this is what happens in my head. Every single day, I have to come up with a new bloody Purpose, a new reason for writing, a new WAY of writing. Do I write about personal development stuff? Do I give an opinion? Do I talk about a memory? Do I tell a story? Do I write a journal-type piece? What about an observational thing? At some point, my morning mind will cotton on to the fact that I write for me. For my family, for my friends. I’m not writing for any purpose other than to talk and chit chat and make connections with people which, introvert or not, I do quite well.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to make myself a dress. We’re going on holiday, it’s summer and I like dresses. I also find it exceedingly difficult to find dresses to fit me. It’s all that swimming that I did in my youth, I have the classic swimmers body shape: broad shoulders and narrow hips. I’m lucky that childbirth and age hasn’t really changed that. It’s very nice but it means that while a size 10 dress might be a little big on the hips, I can’t zip it up past the bottom of my rib cage. I used to make a lot of clothes for myself when I was at Uni, on an old Singer hand-powered sewing machine. I would love another one, but you can’t get them over here in Australia. Every now and then, I’ll drag out my modern machine and set to on the summer dresses. Like the other week. But, as in most things in my life, I get carried away with things: I’m now on my FIFTH dress with the fabric for two more in the cupboard. And one of the unmade dresses is for Kira so I’m feeling a bit guilty about not making hers yet, which means that I’ll keep going until it’s done. And then I may as well just get the last one done because it would be a shame not to, etc., etc. When I get like this, everything else goes out of the window and I launch myself into whatever it is I’m doing until I’m heartily sick of it. That’s just how I do life: it’s all or nothing.
…I actually have no idea where I was going with that last paragraph. There was a point to me talking about all that, I just don’t know what it was. 😂 Maybe I’ll finish it off another day.
Hi! I’m Karen O’Connor, hormonally-challenged, menopausal writer, blogger, self-confessed sarcasm enthusiast, mother of 4, wife of 30 years, destroyer of souls... no, wait, that's just in the mornings...