To put in plainly I have been grafting, earning my crust, busting my gut...We had no money so I had to get a job or two. And I have been learning a lot about myself and the world through this experience. For one thing, I totally get why poor people take out loans; because having no money is depressing, it really sucks, so you cheer yourself up by buying and doing things you can't really afford, taking a holiday to France for example, buying lottery tickets, getting a takeaway every Friday night, thinking "blow it, let's try for another baby" (and by the way since when did having children become a privilege of the rich?) I have a new-found sympathy for those on low-income.
But in putting my nose to the grindstone I have realised how severely neglected my creative inner world has been, and it's been suffering (I've been suffering) big time. I didn't really realise quite how much I needed it until this morning when I took a gander through an old sketchbook. I was immediately taken back to a time before I had children when I had the
Some of my old sketchbook pages.
And then BAM...Children, and suddenly you think that nurturing your creative spirit isn't a priority any more, or useful, or important.
It's not like I sat down one day and though "oh well, you know what? I don't really need all that arting around, it was all just a bit of a lark really, now I have to get on with the serious business of raising children." It happened slowly, over time, almost without me noticing; my ability to be able to sit down and really reflect, search, discover, create, has been chipped away at, though tiredness, lack of free time, distractions (curse you Facebook) I have neglected to make a priority of these essential explorations. And equally as imperceptibly a whole part of my spirit, my personality in a sense, has been degrading and has left me with strange empty gap which I have rather unhelpfully filled with feelings of anger, resentment and frustration. I can't blame my children, it's not their fault and they fill up another part of my soul even more measurably than that lack of creativity empties another. I also can't blame myself in any useful way because it was just something that happened, maybe it was something that had to happen, I don't know. But what I know now is that no one else is going to drag me out of this rut, there is no lottery win over the horizon, no long lost relative who is going to die and leave me their fortune, if I want things to change then I need to pick myself up off the floor and make it happen myself.
And I am starting, not with some great money making venture but with small gestures, notes, journal reflections. I intend to simply pay attention again, like I used to, because not only an I not a whole person without nurturing my creative spirit, but I am a far less effective parent to boot. Hopefully I'll be seeing lots more of you all over the coming weeks and months, be with me, wish me well, I need this.