Last Friday I set out for my second Going Solo hike. I headed back out to Werribee Gorge and took the track that I had planned to go on the first week.
It’s a hot day. The sun beats down on my head and as I put one foot in front of the other I’m reminded of hiking with my folks when I was young.
Mum and Dad took us out bushwalking often and sometimes, in fact most times, I would get about five minutes into the bushwalk and think, ‘I’ve had enough. It’s hot. I want to go back. I don’t like this. It’s hard work and I don’t think I can do it. My head’s starting to hurt, my legs are starting to hurt and the flies are annoying me.’
Life has been a little crazy for me over the last twelve months with my mum’s diagnosis of cancer followed closely by her death, and then one of my kids became very ill with a chronic illness. From the moment I finished the latest draft of my manuscript and uni last year, I took up the role as a full time carer.
So when the three kids went off to school this year (all three tackling something new: one into high school, another spending a term away and the third changing schools for his VCE), I sat down to breathe. It was the first time in eleven weeks I had silence around me. It felt like it had been so long I had forgotten what it was that I used to do. This time had chipped away at my confidence as a creator, and I needed to work out how to find my creative spirit again.
Yep, you read that right. I do think I’m a fraud when it comes to my writing. I spent the last three years writing a manuscript that I now think is best placed in my bottom drawer, along with the two other half finished manuscripts.
My life has become so immersed in being mum, because that’s absolutely what I need to do right now, but in doing so the only writing I’ve been doing has been in my head, or notes to self about real life issues. Nothing creative makes it out of there because when I do get a moment to sit and write it’s all gone.
I crave silence, to enable my brain to work again. I crave space to be, to create. My impatience to create wakes me in the night, makes its own restlessness.
I don’t do resolutions. They stink of failure. just waiting to be broken and open up that chance to beat myself up. Instead I make a plan at the start of each year.
Every year for as long as I remember (as an adult) I have started the new year with some plans across different aspects of my life. I figure it’s good to give myself a little direction. I wrote about this last year, and a few years earlier. Life in its unpredictable way ensures that I need to keep adjusting these plans.