“Stop doing what you’re doing to avoid doing what you need to start doing to do the things you want to do.”
I can’t see her as I lay beneath a blanket of bath bubbles this morning at 5:00 am. I have been up since 4. Trying to get back to sleep.
Trying didn’t work so I decided to pour myself a bath, while also hoping it was too early for my mother to awaken from ‘the other side’ and come for a visit.
No such luck.
Except, I can’t see her. Only hear her.
And that was her message. The ‘stop avoiding and get doing’ call to action.
And then, the working title of this book I’ve been struggling to write (okay avoiding writing) pops into my mind, “What Her Mother Knew.”
I smile when I see it floating into view.
As a child, the book that most impacted me was “What Katie Did.” It’s the story of an English girl who falls off the roof of her home and is forced to spend her days in a wheelchair. She didn’t let it hold her down. She persevered in her desire to create joy in her life and the lives of everyone around her.
I loved her optimistic attitude. I loved how she overcame obstacles and her stubborn defiance of those who said, “You can’t do that.” Katie did it anyway.
Along with Pollyanna, my second favourite book, and The Parent Trap which my middle sister and I spent days upon days re-enacting, I always believed no matter how dark the day, the sun was still shining behind those grey skies.
When I look back on it now, I understand why those stories meant so much to me. Katie was encumbered with a disability that she did not let destroy her. Pollyanna always saw possibility and in the Parent Trap, twins separated at birth discover their love really is the strongest glue of all.
Growing up, for a whole bunch of reasons and a whole lot of circumstances that I struggled to make sense of, I believed, deep within me, that I was a mistake, unwanted, a constant disappointment, and, that somewhere in the creation of me, the universe got confused and replaced my egg with that of a weirdo. Which meant, I always believed I didn’t fit in or belong in my family circle.
I mean seriously, I always knew I was born one day after the day my mother wanted me to come into this world, and I was a girl. My father lost $20 and a case of beer because of my mistake in gender. All of which meant, I wasn’t wanted.
Of course, those were just my child’s mind creating stories (the date and losing the bet were true btw) to make sense of a world that didn’t make sense to me — and while in the end, those are now just stories, not my truth, those books impacted me and helped me cope. They also helped me define what kind of person I wanted to be in this world.
Which brings me back to my mother’s voice wafting through the candlelight and smell of eucalyptus in the bathroom this morning as I lay soaking in the tub.
The opening of the story wrote itself as I lay there. The outline of its journey became clear.
And… to start doing what I need/want to be doing, I shall be pulling away from writing here in the mornings.
I’ll drop in, I mean you are all part of my story and my journey. But it will be different — I’ll be reposting photos with quotes I’ve written over the years. But long posts — if you find me here doing those — tell me to get doing what I’m avoiding doing.
WOW! Am I ever glad I am not the only one doing something to avoid doing what I really should be doing as my “TO DO” keeps getting longer and longer ….
I call it procrastination but in reality it may simply be the fear that some project really needs to get done and I may not be fully on board on how that project is evolving.
So yes, right now I am responding to this post because my mind is racing on how to tackle a fabric layout for a quilt that I am designing and redesigning continually in my mind,
My solution – go put the Christmas tree up and keep those wheels “a’turning” to get that layout just right.
Enjoy the day! It is downright miserable here in the Middle Kingdom – rain, wind, and dreary.
When I can’t sleep I write. Tub time, for me, is reading time – and that puts me to sleep sometimes.
You’ve written about your father losing that bet before. I’m not defending him (I have two daughters and have never wanted them to be any different), but I can understand his wishes then, as I would now, because men know how easy they have it in life (though we whine!) compared to women, and we want the best in life for our children. Given a preference, given history and reality today, most men would likely wish for a boy. I think most women would too. It’s not fair, and I wish it was different (maybe, in another generation or two … ) but for now, it is this way.
I doubt, very seriously, if your father ever loved you one ounce less because you were a girl; I expect he loved you more because he perceived life would be tougher for you as a girl. What he never could have imagined though, is just how strong you would become.
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You go, Girl! Go get ’em!
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You speak very clearly to me, and you do it so well. Literally today is the day I woke up with this keen looking at what am I really doing – is it serving what I really should be doing? I asked for guidance, for change to show up so I really live each I’m honoring of my purpose. And I land here – so much resonance – I never felt like I belonged to my family, nobody really understood who I was, how much I perceived beyond their ability to give me a container for. I exactly know all that I need to do and all the good stuff I am doing to avoid doing the real stuff. I am watching myself and listening.
Ah there is a book inside your head too? Glad you are going for it. Keep us posted every once in awhile if the characters are doing what you want them to do!!
Oh and tell that critter of yours to get lost. You’ve got this!!