Monday, September 19, 2011

finding balance

A whole week just went by. I was so very quiet here, wasn't I?

After a rough couple of weeks, where it felt like my flu would never ever end,

I finally got mostly better.

And found myself completely overwhelmed.

Yep, all the way through. Simply 'Being' felt like swimming through mud. I was exhausted at the very idea of trying to catch up on all the things I'd missed, let go, forgotten, not been able to respond to, wiped out by trying to meet all our commitments.

Struck by the need—rising suddenly and so clearly out of the muddle—

for balance.

For healing.

For time and silence and space.

For other things besides

rushing to get to classes, rushing to get Things Done, trying to keep the house from imploding,

trying to keep up with my own words here and with the words of others
(such precious others. Not responding to your words felt like I was letting you down. Which then fed the muddle and made my brain go even blanker).

My girl recently said,

"Mum, you spend so much time writing your blog, but no time writing stories."

It's true.

She also said,

"It feels lonely here." Here being the corner of the living room where I've spent so much of my free time on the computer—writing my blogwords. Good hours and hard hours and satisfying hours and sometimes anxious hours.

I think my time here in this corner might have become a bigger part of my life than it is supposed to be.

I also think our time Bustling and Hustling to do so many things—albeit fun, exciting, sociable, educational things—outside our home has become larger than it is supposed to be.

My girl told me last week that she really, really, really wants to write stories with me. And she wants to make toys with me. She wants to do art with me. She has so many ideas. So many things she wants to do.

But there's not enough time! she said. She got very serious. And kind of sad.

How can we do the things she wants to do?

For that matter, how can I do all the things I want to do?

Because we need time for our projects. All of us. I need to return to my stories. I need to create. Make art. Play music. Sit and talk for hours without worrying about the Next Thing on the schedule. Without trying to Do Everything.

So we talked about making more time. Finding time. Doing all the things we dream of. We talked about marking space around our classes and commitments,

placing a sign on the door saying,

"Creation in Progress!

Please Do Not Disturb."

It is what we need, and what we're going to do.

So, even though
Overwhelm hit hard this week

(and I fretted so much internally and was flustered with my kids and short with them, and simply Could Not Sleep sometimes),

Hope rose regardless. It rose from the dreams of my daughter, on her speaking her mind, and on her reminding me of my own dreams.

It lifted me high on Saturday.

On Saturday, we went to a wedding that was so utterly beautiful it made the Universe sing and feel right and I knew good things really were possible. During the reception (which was spent in a stunning backyard in the sunshine) there was also a walk to see flowers with new friends, and tree climbing, and so much smiling! I was with my family, and I was surrounded by loving energy. All of it was soul-filling.

On Sunday,

I finished the latest Septimus Heap novel. I drew; I made art for hours. I practiced piano for the first time in over a year. I went to a movie. By myself! Then did the grocery shopping (by myself!). That night I returned to bouncy children and dinner on the table, made by this beautiful man.

On Monday,

we had the whole day free. Nowhere to be. For the whole day.

Today, my daughter discovered she knows ALL her times tables. Every single one from the 2s to the 12s. She said, "My smile is too big for my face!"

I sat with her the whole time she practiced her tables, and as she did a maths assessment to see how she was doing. She is completely on track with her maths. She is ahead in a lot of places. More smiles! She feels like a superhero, I think. I am so insanely pleased, because this time a year ago, she was frozen solid, fearful of anything to do with numbers. What an amazing turn around.

I sat with my son while he worked away on angles in his maths book. Together we flew through the questions. He said, "I really like doing maths with you, Mum." I said, "We can do it like this every time, if you like." Yep, I think we'd like that.

Then, my boy went and did a bunch of maths games on the internet, while my girl and I

found our writers notebooks

and wrote stories together at the table.


There is literally no other word for how it felt.

And of course,

today we went to the beach. It was as beautiful as the last time we went. And the time before that.

Water + sand + space + laughing children + sunset + dog = 

I feel like I'm finding myself again.

I've started making those wild green smoothies that Soulemama and Jessica have raved about. The kids are loving them!

I've started The Artist's Way, which probably five separate people in my life have mentioned and suggested I look into. Finally, I have begun the journey.

I've started going to bed earlier. Like, around 10pm, instead of at 12am… 1am… 2am…ie: Sillier and Sillier Time. I actually think me not going to bed 'til the Wee Hours led to me getting so sick. No more, I say!

I spoke to three incredible women at the wedding, who are involved in a meditation/yoga method (school? movement? I'm not sure what the right word is). They were three of the most peaceful, accepting women I have ever met in my life.

And tomorrow night, I
will be starting a beginners course in their yoga/meditation practice. Which I found, here in this town, under my very nose. Thank you, Universe, for your beautiful serendipity.

I am finding a

balance, for me. And for my family.

I'm not sure what it will look like, ultimately. I'm not sure I'll be here as much, or perhaps in the same way.

I want to be able to write about our lives, but not miss living my life in the process. I've realised I need to do other things in my free time besides sit in this corner, writing my thoughts, visiting you all and saying hello. (Though it is an incredibly uplifting and inspiring way to spend my time).

Perhaps I'll write less often? Perhaps I'll find a way to write less? (I'm not sure if I'm capable of that!). Perhaps I could take less time to create a post, instead of the hours I usually spend (literally hours and hours. Crazy, I know). Perhaps I could be less of an editor, and just go with the words that appear under my fingertips? Perhaps I can comment on the posts of others in under 15 minutes per comment! (Again, it takes me ages.) Perhaps, once in a while, I'll even let a single photograph do the talking.

Could I really? Am I capable? Is it possible?

I think,


These are the words of my future.

Possible. Capable. I can.

Along with, I Will.

And Yes!

And Let's: Make, Do, Dream, Be, Achieve,


All while steady.

While breathing.

While balancing

from rock to rock to rock to rock.

In rhythm with myself.


  1. The balance can be hard. I use the day hours for my boys and family life, and then use the hours after everyone is asleep for my blog, writing, poems, painting, art, my websites I do. But honestly at 9PM after a full day with my boys I don't always have any energy left for that! I know in the future my guys will be all independent and doing their own thing with their own lives and I will have so much empty space to fill. So until then I will keep my late night times and try to live in the present moment ... time flies!

    :) love your ramblings, as always.

  2. I agree, the balance is hard. But I love this post. I love that you know what is important. I love that you and your girl has such a beautiful relationship. I love the wedding pictures.

    You don't just 'write' posts, you create magical stories. That is why it takes so create. Even your comments are masterpieces. I love getting a comment from you because I know how much time you put into it, I can tell. much as I love Helena comments, I would be so happy with just a smiley face. :) To let me know you were there. Love you and you and your family are in our thoughts and conversations several times a week.

  3. I, too, struggle with balance. I, too, struggle with finding time for all of the wonderful ideas we have. My very best wishes to you and your family as you find your balance!!
    I agree with Karen that your posts are magical stories, and it is no wonder that they take such time to create. Though I would miss your posts and your comments, it is certainly more important that you are living your life and being happy, whole, and well :)

  4. It's even OK to take a blog break for a while, until you work out the right balance :) When you find it, let me know how it's achieved, OK ? Take care and take it easy xxx


  6. What they said! I look forward to your posts and your comments are soooo lovely and thoughtful. But you need time for you (and your kids, and yoga etc). Because, if "mumma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" Look after yourself :-)

  7. It always comes down to balance, doesn't it? Maybe it swings one way and teeters back the other and it's tippy and fun, wheee! Wouldn't balance be boring if it just meant both feet firmly on the ground at all times? ;) Bliss to you on your journey. I'm happy to see you here and there when it comes around, and happy to know you are following your "yes, this where I'm headed Right Now".

  8. So beautiful, once again. So absolutely the Same (and yet different) than every single one of us are struggling with. Your post gives me hope. Thank you!

  9. ah huh, what they all said. May you go forth and grab hold of Balance Helena!


I love hearing from you! Thank you for your heartfelt, thoughtful responses—they lift me, and give me light.