me…us…

Jennifer day to daynes 4 Comments

*** Warning…word heavy post ***

In the days before Facebook there were blogs. There were all kinds of blogs. People kept them for all kinds of reasons. I think some people still do!

I’ve let mine lapse. I’ve let it sit unattended and alone for long periods of time…and I wish I hadn’t. My blog used to fill so many needs for me. It was a place where I could reach out into the world. It was a place where the world sometimes reached back. It was where I shared the stories of my life….my children’s little years, my hopes for the future, the triumphs (well…to my mind at least!) of the things I’d made and more often than not, the disastrous failures. There were birthday’s, baking, school days and hopes. It was a place where a happy part of me ‘lived’.

Then one day someone hacked my blog and created links to take you to sellers of Marlboro cigarettes of all things. I’m not the most technically minded of people and I didn’t know how to fix it and try as we might we couldn’t de-bug my blog without changing its format. So as a last ditch to save what I’d made we did and in the process I stopped loving my blog. I just couldn’t love it like I used to. It felt like someone I used to know.  It felt pared back, bland and without the familiarity I’d always enjoyed. It looked like something you picked up off a shelf not the journal I’d nurtured and treasured for years. So my blog kind of sat…and I found Facebook. It was exciting, dynamic, instant and addictive. My blog became a memory.

Literally years past and I finally decided that I really should re-visit my blog. My first love when it came to ‘talking to the world’. So I asked the very patient Victoria of Reindeer Riot to tickle it up for me. We put a new frock on her…took her out on the town and let her know I cared. Victoria came up with something that was beyond anything I could have achieved on my own. Everything looked exciting, dynamic and interesting. She made me a gorgeous new blog and website to boot. She filled it with my images and my illustrations. Nowhere on earth, other than perhaps my home looks more like it belongs to me than my blog now does…but still I gave it little thought or love past the initial honeymoon stage.

I’m a bad…bad blogger.

Now it just sits here…waiting for me to sit to a keyboard again.

The fact that you’re reading this would  mean that I’ve done just that.

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Because we went on a little holiday you see.

I never go on holidays. N E V E R.  I spend so much of my time at home that I sometimes worry that I might not be able to leave it should the need arise because it’s more than my comfort zone. It’s my sanctuary…all be it a messy one covered in felt, threads and perhaps more dust than can be healthy. However tickets were purchased, passports were arranged and buffets were booked and we left on a cruise with our kids to warmer places and saw things we’d never seen before.

Now I’ve come back I feel like I’m seeing things with a different perspective. 13567484_10206210378010700_7494282134638949505_n

I am seeing my boy growing before my very eyes. He isn’t three anymore, dressed up like Steve Irwin and calling me to wave goodbye to the teddy at the end of Play School. He’s about to enter his senior years of high school. He’s taller than me with the most amazing blue eyes. gorgeous hair and a cracking sense of humour that’s going to take him far. He’s knocking on the door of manhood and I’m afraid I’m missing  those moments I used to take when he was small…to pause, take notice and document his moments before they fly away. They’r
e being eaten up by telling him to pick up his socks and asking him if that’s where the towels go when they’re wet?
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…and look at her…

She isn’t putting dolls to bed and sitting on the kitchen bench eager to dig her toes into the freshly made play dough that’s still warm from the saucepan gleeful because she knows it won’t take long until it cools and she needs to make the most of it.

She’s long and leggy with twinkle in her eye. She’s about to face high school and all it has to throw at her and we’re all along for the ride because that’s just how it is. Meanwhile…I just wish she still smelled like Tinkerbelle strawberry perfume and promite sandwiches…
13654203_10206210378730718_2739319101425519255_nSo while were were away I sat on the sand and I pondered where we…I…go to from here. We’re a very happy family. I have a wonderful, fabulous, amazing husband but part of me felt lost on that sea. Sure that I needed to find some direction but not knowing what that should be.13619805_10206210379570739_661595696519936302_nThe warm sand is gone. We are home again. It’s cold. The heater has decided that keeping us warm is purely optional and thrown a fan that’s taking it’s own sweet time to get here and the new school term is rounding on me at the speed of light. Before I know it I’ll be calling up the hall to the boy for the fourth time that morning, threatening him with the bus (an empty threat and yet I persist with it…I’m no quitter) while tripping over the border collie who’s whole purpose in those hours is to acquire as much human breakfast food as she can before she’s chivvied out the door to chase the hens so we can race through school traffic, dodging buses, mobility scooters and intersection lights that  j u s t  w o n ‘ t  c h a n g e…!

I find I’m telling myself it’s time to take my life more seriously. It’s not a rehearsal. It’s the real thing.

I’m giving myself some real good talking to’s (is that how you spell that?!) along the lines of ‘…really ‘do’ something with the things you ‘do’ and stop talking about it. It’s not enough anymore to have a little bit of a go here…and a little bit of a go there.It’s time to stop faffing about!

Even though I’ve been sewing and making up my own designs for years I can honestly say I’ve never really committed to my making. If I’m completely honest (and anyone who has met me will attest) it’s because I lack self confidence and the fortitude to say ‘This is what I really want to do. I want to draw, and paint and sew and stuff toys.’  lest someone say or think something uncharitable about it..or me. Because when that happens it breaks my heart and fall back into myself and it can take me weeks…months to emerge again. Does that make me a Diva?

I’m utterly guilty of being a victim of a ‘compare and despair’ attitude. I see a designer that’s come up with a design that’s better than mine and I think ‘…why bother?’ or ‘Look at how many LIKES they have…I could never get that kind of a response.’ That kind of thinking is shallow and defeatist but I have to put my hand up to engaging in it more often than I care to admit…much more. I’m coming to the understanding that the way forward for me is to just ‘do’. Not overthink things. Put things out into the world and let them stand or fall on their own strengths or weaknesses. I need to stop worrying that they’ll get lost in all the other things people make and put out into the world and have faith that they’ll be seen and liked by people who will appreciate them. I think I just simply need to find a way to believe in me.

So…while I’m officially on holidays until one day after my kids go back to school (got to allow one day to de-contaminate the house, find the all the wet towels and wash them twice, explore hidden depths to return all the cutlery from under various under lounge cushion locations, make fourteen new lists and put the suitcases away) I will be trying a little harder to put myself out into the world…honestly and without comparison to others holding me back. Perhaps even from the safety and comfort of my kind of newly tizzied up blog?

Happy Friday people!

Chat soon.

Jen

Comments 4

  1. Audrey Wilson

    I can identify with so much of what you have just written, Jen!! I feel so discombobulated and unsure of what I should be/need/want doing with this life of mine… Coming up to 45 and still don’t know what I want to do ‘when I grow up’ (a big fear of commitment vs failure)…

    Your ‘new’ blog looks amazing and, I feel, like it captures the essence of who you are as an artist and designer!! Please keep on writing here?

    How gorgeous are your children, too!? I cannot believe how much they have grown up. I still identify with the little people they once were..

    Enjoy the last few precious days of your holidays and take care!

    Audrey x

  2. Annette

    Congratulations on your new blog!! It looks and reads amazingly, I could read what you write for hours!! You are extremely talented and you also inspire creativity in others. Your ability to create what your clever mind concocts is truly amazing. Don’t ever underestimate your gift and the effect it has on others. You are not only creating beautiful treasures for our children to cherish but you are also taking us back to our childhoods and remembering what we loved and cherished when we were little too!!! Can’t wait for the next post!!!

  3. Rachel

    You are an amazing designer, I love your toys and illustrations especially. I just wish I had more money to be able to buy more of them. I too lack the self confidence to decide what it is I really want to do so this really struck a chord with me. I wish you all the best and remember there are people out there who think you are tremendously talented.

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