Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Only Time

So, I posted a few months ago about how hard it is to find time to write these days and that I was trying to just put aside 5 minutes to write. Ha! How hard 5 minutes can be to come by when you have a toddler. How those child-free years seem so indulgent now. What did I do with all that time? All those endless minutes and hours in a day with nobody to please but myself, no considerations except how much of my life I wanted to spend watching West Wing... if I had really understood maybe I would have treasured them more. Paused the DVD to look around at the toy free living room and the cups of tea I had managed to drink and really think this is the pinnacle of freedom. Still, that is the past and for the forseeable future it is snatched moments between nursings at night that I manage to fire up the lap top. And yes I have tried pen and paper - you try using a pen and paper with a curious toddler around and see how much productive writing you achieve as opposed to delighted toddler scribbles.
And Yes, I know it's my choice to let her continue to nurse to sleep and sleep in my bed or on me, and Yes I know there are many many people out there who roll their eyes and tell me to let her cry it out, that she is never going to be able to get herself to sleep. I would like to blow a raspberry at you, but it might get in the way of valuable writing time. So instead I am just grabbing at moments and doing my best. Because that's parenting in its essence. You Do Your Best. Even at your worst you are trying your best.
So, 5 minutes a day has not been possible to physically write. But I write in my head while she sleeps on my breast. I write in my head while she curls into me, her hand laying gently on my arm. I write in my head as she gives contented sighs and rolls away from me. And if I am very very lucky I write on a scrap of paper or even on the laptop while she sleeps for an hour without my body heat to soothe her, and then she murmurs and the laptop is switched off and the paper is hidden away and I am hers again, except the writing continues, on and on in my head. Beautiful stories opening up, keeping the heart of me blazing until I can let them free once more.
I type this drinking hot chocolate in a cafe. I have never in my life taken a laptop to a cafe before. It is really quite lovely. My husband is with the little one and they will be joining me soon and so at the moment, I hammer this out. It bears no resemblance to a structured witty post. But it is me writing and that is, outside of my family, the best thing I can do. I miss those heady days of writing at home from morning to night. But change is necessary and maybe this new way of working will help me to focus. Maybe my writing will be sharper, maybe it will be tighter and maybe it will be good for me. Time will tell.
Time. How I miss you. Nothing makes time fly more than having children. Time changes from a predictable reassuring tamed beast to something altogether harder to catch, flying past with a cheeky grin and yoghurt in its hair and caring not a jot for moments you want to savour, for cuddles that should last longer, for sleep that used to be abundant but now is like a myth you heard about once. Time. I never knew how cruel you were until I saw you changing every day in my daughter. How I love and loathe you and wish I knew before what I know now. But that is the way time works. It just rolls on and on and leaves you scrabbling to keep up.
Anyway, my alloted 20 minute blogging time is coming to an end. Maybe the next post will have some kind of coherence to it. Maybe it will be one of the posts I planned. Who knows? Only Time,

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