As a writer, a mom, a busy woman juggling a family, a full time job and a couple of side gigs, how can you keep creating when life throws you a big pile of crazy hard stuff?
This past week and a half, my pile of crazy hard stuff has included some seriously intense situations that started as urgent, and progressed rapidly into “Holy effing moly~ this is way worse than I imagined!”
While navigating an emergency surgery for a loved one and dealing with the intensive care units, countless medical people, follow up care and a Pandora's box / can of worms of unknown issues that immediately needed attention, the answer to how I kept creating was this...
I really didn’t.
The whole ordeal was overwhelming and terrifying and I pretty much panicked because I knew that there was so much that needed to happen, and no matter how much I did, it might not be enough.
The stakes were (and still are) high, it’s close to my heart, and in all honesty, it scared the freaking heck out of me.
As of now, things are being taken care of as best as they can, but still….it took a toll.
As a result of all of it, I was nauseous and shaky for over a week. Every muscle in the upper third of my body was tensed to near maximum capacity and all of the nerve endings within ½” of the skin covering those parts were tingling most of the time.
I was even forgetting to eat, which is waaaaaaaay out of the realm of normal and healthy for me.
It was a highly unpleasant 12 or so days to say the least.
I wasn’t taking vitamins or sleeping or going to yoga or really remembering to do any of the things I normally do to take care of myself.
I was stressing about work.
And I wasn’t creating much either.
My journal was blank, my trashion show project had not progressed one bit, my art supplies were untouched and my blog was sitting and patiently waiting.
In hindsight, I wasn't doing any of the things that help me most.
Writing is part of the way that I process life, especially the big stuff, and I started to form and string together the words for this experience...
But, then I realized I might need to pause.
Pausing is not my specialty.
My Partner says that I tend to go in with guns blazing. Despite the fact that I don’t have any actual guns, the statement is pretty valid in the metaphorical sense.
But I’m learning that sometimes, you need to stop and take a breath before you fly off.
And I keep getting these cards from the universe reiterating that.
I once read some wise words on the process of writing about hard times~ something along the lines of
“Write from the scar, not the wound,”
or something like that.
I think they came from a woman who has done a whole lotta writing about all kinds of crazy hard things in life~ Glennon Doyle.
(I’m not 100% sure that she is the correct source, but this is a personal essay, not journalism, and to be honest, I’m too tired to research it, so I’m going with my best recollection.)
Anyhoo, whoever said it, there’s merit in that idea~ at least when it comes to work that you’re going to share with the public.
Getting out the raw emotions of the moment may be very healing, but it also might be best left in the privacy of my journal.
Not everything needs to be out there in the open for everyone to see.
I think it’s kind of like childbirth.
Sharing birth stories and even videos is a valid, healing and empowering tool, but too many graphic details can be shocking, and not everyone is comfortable sharing or witnessing the crowning glory head shots.
I once had a friend who, who had a beautiful waterbirth experience, and in an immediate postpartum high rush of hormones, she sent birth pictures to her entire family back home in South America.
She went on with the tired life of a postpartum mama, and some weeks later, she realized that was not only boobs out, but buck naked in these pictures.
They were beautiful, no doubt, but they were raw and in yo face.
And she didn’t come from a culture or a family that's used to public nudity.
And she had sent them to her dad.
And her brothers.
While she laughed about the story years later, she was mortified for quite a while.
I have no idea how her dad felt about it, but I’m guessing he was more than a little surprised to open up that email and see that view of his daughter.
Which he can never un~see.
My guess is that it was pretty awkward around the holiday dinner table that year...
So, the moral of the story was to just pause. Let some time pass and then decide what you’re ready to share.
And that’s what I’m trying to do~ to pause.
I got an email the other day with the headline that “Fear is a call to trust.”
So, I’m trying to do that too~
~ in the Universe,
~ in God,
~ in that I’m doing what I can and so are the other people involved.
~ in that it's working out the best way for everyone.
I don’t know if I’ll actually end up waiting for the scar to form before I share more writing about the last week~
but I at least want to let it scab over, rather than throwing out the raw, open wound for all to see.
And now that I'm realizing how I was slacking on taking care of myself, I’m doing what I can to get back to the things that are good for me~
~ eating and taking vitamins,
~ going outside in the fresh air even if it's raining,
~ walking the dogs,
~ sleeping when I can
~ and when sleep is elusive, I’m using the time to create.
(which is how I wound up writing this on the couch at 4 AM... I actually considered sewing for a brief minute, but that would probably be annoyingly noisy to the 4 other people who live here, so here I am, clickety clacking on my laptop...)
The next few weeks will likely have some recycled work featured here on Zesty Mom~ retakes on blasts from the past.
It’s a project I wanted to take take on this year anyway, and I guess I’ve gotten the reminder from life to do it.
If you’re a person of prayer, or who likes to send good mojo, I’d be grateful to have it coming this way.
And if you have any tips on how to keep the creativity flowing when life gets nuts, please, please, please share in the comments below.
I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Until next time, hug your people and eat your fiber.
Writer, Artist, Empowered Living Advocate, Wanna-be Organic Gardening Foodie, Travel Loving Life Explorer, FunSchooling Facilitator / Former Goat-Herding HeadMistress for our Mostly Happy Homeschool, Semi-Crazy Chicken Lady and Mamacita Extraordinaire to a couple of Cage Free Kids.