Hello 2021! I have to admit, I’m a little disappointed that the year didn’t bring with it surprises like the baby sleeping through the night, or miraculously having more time on my hands. I know, I know, a couple of days can’t really make a difference, but considering 2020, I would have taken anything really.
Still, it’s a new year, and a good time to let go of some things, and set intentions for the next few months. The biggest theme for me this year is… learning to take more space.
I sent my Mom a bunch of photos of the kids this year, and she asked “But where are you?” I’ve looked at the photos over the past year, and I’ve been the one documenting everything, but I barely appear. Surviving motherhood has squeezed me into the smallest version of myself, and I need to start reclaiming the bits and pieces that make me, me.
Maybe this means more unapologetic selfies. Maybe it means not censoring myself as much and speaking up more for what I believe in. Maybe it means allowing myself to make more mistakes. Maybe this means taking the time to do a face cleaning routine. Maybe it means doing things for fun instead of just because I have to, like getting back to sewing. It definitely means protecting my writing time better, enforcing boundaries, and giving myself a little more grace/runway to get things done. The main obstacle is (always) time.
It’s a new year. Maybe the world hasn’t changed, but I can make a fresh start, and try for better.
I’m still here! Still alive, but very very busy. I’ve cried lots this year. The kids have cried more. Some days are good, but some days are just hard. I’m full time mom right now, and it’s exhausting. I haven’t watched any TV or movies since last year. If I’m quiet on social it’s because I don’t have the mental bandwidth to keep up with conversations and it’s very likely that someone is screaming in this house while you read this.
But it’s not all bad. I’m very lucky that I’ve been able to extend my leave from the day job into next year. Things are settling into a new schedule since Kid 1 started school. I no longer have to play roulette when choosing between “Write, eat, or shower?” The nights are getting less broken and the kids are so damn cute. I’ve read more than 120 books and counting thanks to library e-books. I <3 you librarians.
I didn’t think I’d get any writing done with a new baby, but I’ve chipped at my projects a handful of stolen minutes at a time to finish revisions on the monster book, and I’m halfway through the first draft of a new WIP. Those few minutes a day are a little bit of normalcy in my life, when nothing, even my post-baby body, feels like it’s quite right anymore.
I have no idea what’s going to happen over the next few months. I’m anxious about the future and about what will or won’t come to pass. I know I’m not the only one that feels like they’re living with a breath held in and that they’re waiting for the other shoe to drop (I really need to stop doom scrolling).
Maybe I really shouldn’t be querying in this trashfire of a year, but every query I send out feels like a message in a bottle. If I can’t go out, then at least I’m giving my dreamings a chance. Whether or not anything actually comes out of this; it’s the doing that matters to me. Hope is the only way I can keep going.
I hope you’re doing well. Honestly, if all you do this year is survive, that’s enough.