“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.