A few things you might like to know as a newbie:
1. I’m writing my first book at the moment (details below) and thus uncharacteristically quiet around these parts. I’ll be back in full swing just as soon as it’s finished. (Oh wait, THEN I’m moving the family back to the states while launching my book. Ok, so you found me at a crazy time. Still, stick around and I’ll do my best to make it worth your while.)
2. In the meantime, there’s plenty to explore and discover in past posts. Here are a few favorites to get you started:
3. This is a kick-ass community of big minds and even bigger hearts. If you’re a change maker, rule breaker or risk taker who follows your passions and sees beauty all around you, you’ll fit right in. If you’re none of those things but kinda want to be, by all means, make yourself at home. We’re a friendly bunch, with hardly a hater among us.
Second, a huge hug (look out) to those who’ve contributed to, read and gained from the past three community-wide conversations.
It’s taken a good deal of will power on my part not to comment to your comments (which would defeat the point of a blogging break) because WOW, what a beautiful glimpse into your lovely selves!
Here are the first three conversations for those who missed them:
- What are your greatest frustrations as a mother?
- What do you wish someone had told you?
- What gifts do you hold back from yourself and why?
Feel free to chime in with your unique perspective, and definitely have a look if you’re ever in need of a little inspiration and/or empathy.
And third…about this book!
The first draft of Motherwhelmed is finished!
Lest this proclamation conjure up any far-fetched notions of actual completion or finality, allow me to explain what this means:
1. It means I have yet another beautiful mess on my hands.
As if my children, marriage, home, body and mind weren’t enough, there are now approximately 25,000 words crammed into 12 (or 14?) chapters, a ton of subchapters and a shit ton of chicken scratches that I will now attempt to sort, make sense of, organize, do away with, beautify and bring sensibility to. (Yes, actually, it IS a lot like motherhood!)
Here’s what this point in the process feels like:
Imagine you’ve been living abroad for four years and are now moving back to the states, only to a different location than the one you first fled from. You show up to your hometown, find all the stuff you’d stashed in people’s barns and garages, load it into a moving van amidst tearful goodbyes and hit the road. You drive for what feels like forever while the kids fight and beg, requiring that you pull over about every half an hour. Though the scenery is beautiful and you love road trips, you find yourself battling a growing desire to jump out of the car and run for the woods when half your kids start singing Wrecking Ball loudly enough to be heard over the other half who are apparently marking the midline of the backseat with each other’s blood. Arriving at long last, you pull into the driveway of your new rental, announce yourselves HOME!!! and hope to God that the mattresses are easily accessible. The difference between stepping into your empty house (the point I’m at in this book) and actually feeling at home is the equivalent of what lies ahead of me, writing-wise. Unpacking, hoping for no major surprises, tossing whatever the rats ate, meeting the neighbors, settling the kids into new schools, finding the DMV office and thrifting my way back to a functioning household? THESE are the metaphorical tasks at hand.
Good thing I’m getting a trial run first, ’cause we’ll be doing all of that FOR REAL in about three months. (All prayers and peaceful projections welcomed.)
2. It means I am eating my words.
This book looks almost nothing like it did two months ago. Different subtitle, different focus and ehem, it’s no longer going to be part of a series. (Go ahead, unsubscribe. I’ll understand.)
What happened? Well, I got 14,000 words in and found myself totally uninspired. I didn’t want to write about Why Modern-Day Motherhood Feels So Frustrating (the old subtitle). I wanted to write about creative solutions and shifting personal perspectives and why today’s mothers are so totally badass and important. As soon as I rethought the whole thing and gave myself permission to change gears completely, writing it became way more fun and I no longer needed three books to cover what I wanted to say. I am now quite fond of what it’s becoming, and assuming you still want to read it (even though I’m admittedly kinda crazy), I think you’re going to dig it, too. (And no, I’m not telling you the new subtitle yet. I’ve done my share of word eating for the time being.)
3. It means that our family Way is undergoing complete metamorphosis.
Because I’ve always been available and the first to drop my plans to meet the kids’ needs, this recent shift into MOM IS WORKING FOR REAL has taken some getting used to. I’m learning that it’s OKAY to say things like, “No, I can’t help you find your i-thingy/favorite pencil/earring back right now. Just keep looking. You’re a good finder!” and “I’d be happy to do that for you…this weekend,” and “Who’s making dinner tonight? Awesome. Here are the car keys and 200 pesos for groceries.”
It’s not been easy, but everyone’s slowly adjusting, and I am quite enjoying the fruits of concentrated and less-frequently interrupted effort.
4. It means that SLEEP is my new best friend.
Getting enough sleep is BY FAR the most important factor in my ability to write feeling clear and creative vs. foggy-headed and frustrated. Marie Forleo (from Marie TV, which is pretty great) just did an interview with Arianna Huffington (founder of and editor in chief at Huffington Post) in which they talk about this very thing. I encourage you to check it out, AND TO SLEEP MORE, for your sake and everyone else’s. I, personally, am becoming a big fan of the thirty-minute mid-day nap. Works wonders for the ol’ writer’s block.
So, in keeping with the spirit of this (rather insane) season of my life, let’s talk boundaries!
Community-Wide Conversation #4
Q: Do you struggle with creating and maintaining personal boundaries? Have you improved in this area of your life and if so, how? Have your needs for boundary setting changed over the years? Any words of wisdom for the rest of us?
Nice checking in with you all, I look forward to hearing from you again, and wish me luck on this second half of the journey!
Love and sweat band,