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A blank screen and some free time

I keep wanting to write. I have occasional thoughts of “Oh, I should write about that!” only to get busy, or forget about it, or waste the thought on FB instead. My writing has fallen very low on the priority list. I remember when I just HAD to write or I would go crazy. And now? Time flees my grasp, my kids are growing, and I’m not capturing life as I would like to.

It all goes by so fast and my memory is so horrible that if I don’t write it down, I eventually won’t remember it. And I so want to remember this time in my kids’ lives. In our lives. Even as it’s hard and crazy and messy and loud, it’s ours. And I have such a tenuous grasp on it all anyway. It floats through my fingers only to dissipate with barely a sound, a soft whisper of “You’re going to miss this when it’s gone,” before it really IS gone.

I’ve always been an observer. A recorder. Whether it was on paper or via camera, I had a compulsion to document things. If I don’t, then I’m afraid it didn’t happen. Why am I so desperate to leave a record, an “I was here!” for future generations to see? I guess maybe I always wished that I had found an old diary of a distant relative from years past where I could have a glimpse into what her life was like. Her hopes, dreams, loves.

I guess I want my kids to know that there was so much more to their mom than changing diapers, driving them to school, kissing scraped knees, or being their jungle gym. Don’t get me wrong – I love being that to them. But I am SO much more than that. I’m not quite sure what that is, because it’s tough to define yourself as more when you’re down in the trenches of mothering.

It starts by doing a better job of taking time for myself. I’ve been working a lot of hours recently and I haven’t taken enough time to care for myself, my relationship with my husband, or my friendships. I’m working on changing that. And it actually starts this weekend, by going out with a girlfriend yesterday and spending some time writing today.

I still have a lot of work to catch up on. That hasn’t changed. But I just have to know my limits. Wearing myself out isn’t going to help me work better, nor is it going to help the quality of my work. And with recent health developments, it has become even more important that I take care of myself. So it starts now. Wish me luck.

Gettin’ scrappy

So here’s what I’ve been doing with a lot of my time recently. I haven’t used my sewing machine in YEARS, but I finally dug it out, got it serviced, and am USING it. Of course, not for what you’d think. But still. Creating. Learning. Enjoying.

I’ve never made a scrappy journal like this before and I absolutely love it. I don’t think it’ll replace the art journals, but I can see how great this type of journal will be for vacations – collecting little tidbits and memories.

I so enjoyed making it. I hope you enjoy taking a peek. BTW, the video is kinda long. I couldn’t figure out how to make it shorter without skipping pages. And we couldn’t do that now, could we?

My Scrappy Journal from Becky S. on Vimeo.

Still artsy

Swirls

Surprisingly, there’s one “project” that I haven’t lost momentum on. Art journaling. Yes, I am still at it. In fact, I’m learning even more techniques, reading, and trying to grow. I got a few art journal/ mixed media art books for Christmas (I was saving for a Nook, but decided that some of these books would be more fun) and I’m gobbling them up.

I tend to flit from thing to thing. Sometimes I have great powers of concentration. I can focus on details or the big picture. Or both. But hobbies? I jump around a lot. I get really enthusiastic in the beginning, but it tapers off.

But I’ve written in journals since elementary school. Adding pictures, doodles, paint, collage … it has opened up a new arena of inspiration for me. There are times when I just write because I need a lot of blank paper to get my thoughts out. But other times, I enjoy adding a design element to it.

I really, REALLY enjoy it. I’ve had such a hard time finding things that I like over the last year. I’m still having some trouble finding direction, especially in my career. But at least there’s one little thing that is providing some enjoyment right now.

The invisible woman

penpaper I’ve been a writer for almost as long as I can remember. If you were to look in the back of my closet, you’d see stacks of notebooks and journals that I’ve filled over the years – and many more waiting for my pen. Since having my son 22 months ago, I haven’t written as much. Mostly I’m too tired. And too busy writing other things that help us make a living. By the end of the night, I’m spent. The words swirl around in my head, but my hands are too tired to record. And my journal sits there, quietly accusing me of neglect.

Will my son wonder why I didn’t write as much after he was born? Will he wonder if I had nothing to say about him? As you can see from many posts on this site, that’s not really true. But who knows if this record will even be around by the time he finds my papers?

I’m not even sure, most of the time, why I write. I feel compelled. It is not something I can ignore. I am me, therefore I must write. I process the things in my head by writing. I quiet the tortures, the demons that swirl around and tell me to worry about the things which I cannot control. I quiet the voices that tell me I’m not good enough, not pretty enough, and too lazy to really accomplish anything of worth.

Lately some of those voices have been louder than my pen.

And I wonder what my future family members will think of the gaps in my journals. Will they be able to put together a picture of my life? Will they find me interesting? Sad? Pathetic? I mostly hope they’ll see me as a complete person. Not just mom. Or grandma (someday, hopefully).

I guess I really want to be known as more than just mom because I’ve been feeling like that is really inadequate lately. After my son was born, I became invisible. I’m no longer an interesting person in my own right. I feel fat. Dumpy. Uninteresting. People look right through me.

So I hope that writing pulls that veil back a little bit. Even if it doesn’t make me visible right now, maybe it will later. Maybe not. I write to leave a record. I was here! I may not leave a big impression on the world, and few people may remember me, but I was HERE dammit. I mattered.

Here I am. The invisible woman. I may not change the world, but I hope I can change my world with my pen. Letter by letter, word by word. (Or should that be Bird by Bird?)

image: cohdra from morguefile.com