start where you are

I wake early.

Week by week, the nights are slowly getting a little less disturbed. A little more restful. So today I can creep from the darkness & the warmth of the family bed, knowing I am as rested as I’ll manage for this morning.

On tiptoe, I creep down the stairs, into the spare room and turn on the lamp. The project I was working on last night is still laying out patiently on the work table. Beside it, my wheel is also waiting. A bobbin half full with a cloud of fibres hanging in the air.

Not knowing how long I’ll have, it’s hard to know where to begin. Ideas flutter around my head like butterflies. I leave the sewing & the spinning untouched and instead reach to my notebook. The one with all the lists. And scribbled ideas. There is so much I am aching to do. But there seems to be no time. No energy. No right moment to get started.

Then I remember something I heard a few weeks back. About how there is indeed never a “right” moment to start anything. So instead of never getting started, it’s all about taking that first step right now. Starting where you are, wherever you are.

He stirs in his sleep, the bed creaks and after a moment I hear “MAMA” calling out. I drop what I was doing and dash back up the stairs, sinking back beneath the woollen blankets. The warmth of his little body warming mine on this foggy morning in early January.  After we have snuggled for a while, the day will begin with all it’s toddler energy & pace: there will be breakfast which will leave me mopping up spilt tea and trying to wipe crumbs and egg from the floor & table. Then we will play, and the floor will be covered in all the elements needed to create this morning’s particular playscape. Cushions will be pulled from the armchair, the little quilt dragged from the bed and soon wooden animals, teddies and a tea pot will be strewn across our living room. By mid morning I’m forcing a comb through my bedraggled hair, trying to make the best of myself without the shower I am so craving. I look at myself in the mirror, with the tired eyes and the stain on my t-shirt and wonder if this really is the moment. Even with the help of my partner, it is not always easy to find time and energy beyond the caring responsibilities I have at the moment. Caring for my boy. Caring for my partnership.Caring for my health.

It’s so easy at times like this to sink into a spiral of negative feelings: guilt, low self esteem, embarrassment. But today, I am resolved. Resolved that yes indeed, now is the time to start.

So here I am: with a toddler grabbing at my skirt, crumbs on the floor waiting to be swept and a deep resolve to give it a go. It won’t be perfect, but then when is anything ever perfect these days? I gave up aspiring to perfect long ago. Instead these days I try to find joy & beauty in the mess and the crumples, the tiredness and the tears. If I can somehow craft things of beauty from the mess on my work table, then I’m sure it must be possible to do the same with my life.

Consider this an intention to get started, properly sometime very soon. And also to begin some wild & wonderful adventures in sustainable creativity. All be it at a deliberately slow pace.

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  1. from cinthia

    So beautiful ! So true ! I loved this this reading so much. It’s already so precious to know that bears are the thing you want to focus on (i mean on your crafty business front ! Of course i’m not forgetting the little soul who needs you to focus on every day !). Starting now is perfect and i wish you the most lovely journey !

    • Thank you dear Cinthia for your kind words & encouragement – it is so wonderful to have lovely folks like you travelling alongside me as I start out on this new (and scary!) adventure…makes me feel a little braver some how! That, and having a dear little bear to carry around with me when I feel a bit less than brave! Wishing you lots of warm & cozy wishes! xx

  2. Oh Fran! So happy to have you blogging again.
    In these moments, I wish I had electricity at home and some internet, instead of a crappy smartphone. I love taking the time and read blogs, and now your blog, and feel at home in your words… Well, it will be my guilty pleasure for whenever I’m away from home,”connected”.
    I love you & I’m so excited for you!
    Now I’m off to write a post too!

    • Oh Cat! I’m so happy to be here again…and to have you around too!
      It’s wonderful to feel like my voice is slowly coming back, oh how I have missed it!
      I’m happy to know I’m gonna be one of your guilty pleasures from now on…I’ll be sure to try and have something for you to read each week in that case!! Now I’m off to read your post! Love you too gal, thanks so much for being around xxx

  3. You wrote such a beautiful real life story! Motherhood is sometimes so hard and we push ourselves so much!! Indeed there is no right moment to start, there is only now with all its imperfections. Thank you for the reminder. I’m allways in awe at your strength and courage. Chronic disease is a hard path, but you still have the strength to create, to build something out of those hardships! Sometimes I feel bad about myself but I think about you, about how you still get up and do the work every day and it helps me. Thank you so much and cheers to this new space, I hope you’ll be able to write articles regularly!

    • Thank you dear Nadège, for coming and visiting me in this little notebook and for taking the time to leave me a message.
      I’m so glad to know that my words struck a chord with you…I suppose it is very much the motivation for sharing such things, there are times reading the experiences of others help me so much in my own struggles and so I know there is great value in telling our stories in this way. It is so easy (and understandable) for those of us walking this difficult path to fall into a place of pity. And yet I know it helps me no end in those darker moments to know lovely folk like you and to think of others also struggling with big & hard things in their lives. And so knowing some of the many things our lives share in common, it fills my heart with so much gladness to think that my little woolly endeavours might somehow encourage you too. Sending you much warmth & cozy thoughts on this snowy evening xxx

  4. Teresa Paiva

    Well, this is so touching, I could have written these words 20 years ago! Go, girl!!

    • Thank you so much for your encouragement Teresa – it’s so wonderful to have enthusiastic folk cheering me on from the sidelines, especially when they are a little further along this journey than me…so much experience & wisdom to be shared!

  5. Pingback: a new notebook | Spindrift

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