To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.
So it’s been, what, a bit more than a year since the last post? Okay, let’s bring you up to speed. We bought a new home, we sold our old home, we renovated the new place while living at my parents’ house. Just as we were packing our stuff to move them into storage from the old place, we found out to our delight that we were expecting a second baby. I finished my MA thesis and graduated before Christmas, just in time to take a breather for a few months before the new guy arrived in late February. Oh, and our daughter turned two, so there is a lot of drama going on around, as she tries to figure out what are things she can and cannot control.
So it feels kind of silly to call it a Tidbit Insightings post, since the past year has brought more than just tidbit changes. On the other hand, as a mom to a two-year-old and a three-month-old, most of my thoughts come in tidbit complexity, so it’s sort of appropriate.
Here goes. 🙂
Writer’s Block Galore
The most obvious thing from the Insightings perspective is that the blog didn’t get any love. But it wasn’t just the blog. I was really struggling with all writing, except with my thesis (fortunately enough). My journal has maybe four entries from the second half of 2011. My online journal on my favorite message board was equally deserted. I couldn’t finish a song lyric I had started in the spring, despite the fact that we had band practice nearly every week.
I’m guessing part of it was due to the pregnancy. I had the same kind of phenomenon happen when I was expecting our first child, but this time it was more pronounced. During the first few months I was so wiped out from needing to sleep all the time, and to top it off there was the whole hiding-the-news-until-the-biggest-risk-of-miscarriage-is-over thing. Doesn’t really foster an atmosphere of sharing.
There was something about the whole time frame, though, that blocked me off from any kind of self reflection, written or otherwise. I didn’t really talk about my feelings or thoughts with anyone except my husband. And since he was struggling with a burnout himself, it was not like he was the best person to figure out if something was wrong.
I don’t know if it’s a symptom of some form of prenatal depression or the cause, but both my pregnancies have been marked by withdrawing from social contact and keeping to myself. The good thing is that the second time around, I was aware of the possibility and could be on the lookout for any symptoms. I did get the phone number for the health center psychologist, in case I wanted to go and chat, but I never went. You know, since I didn’t want to talk to anyone about my personal stuff.
I’ve been rediscovering my writing voice these past few weeks, after the newborn haze has started to lift. And I’m liking it. It’s also a relief to notice that yes, it was a passing thing, and I haven’t completely lost my inclination to write.
Details and distance
Another thing I noticed was that little things in life took on huge meanings. The toddler could drive me nuts in a heartbeat, the hubby would say something wrong and I’d be miserable.
Again, this could be due to pregnancy hormones, fatigue or not reflecting on my life through writing, but somehow things got too close. And things that are closer seem bigger. There was no distance between me and whatever felt like a Huge Deal at the time.
As time has passed, it’s provided me with some of the distance. Writing offers a degree of distance, too, since I have to step back and explain what it was that really happened. Meeting friends and talking to them about stuff might have helped in the moment, but that wasn’t really happening, either (see not-wanting-to-talk-about-my-stuff above).
Finishing things feels great – if there’s something on the other side
Finishing the renovation (almost, since we still don’t have baseboards…) and moving in felt awesome. A beginning of our life in the new home. Finishing the toddler’s room in time for Christmas felt great. A chance for her to transition into her own room.
Finishing the pregnancy and giving birth was great, even though there was the inevitable newborn stage ahead, complete with nights spent soothing a screaming baby and the endless diaper changes. So much easier this time, though, since we already sort of knew what to expect. And babywearing a sleeping newborn might just be the best part of being a new mom.
Graduating, on the other hand, didn’t really feel like anything. It was great to press “PRINT” on the final version of the thesis and take it down to the university, and it felt awesome that my mom and dad got to see me pick up my Master of Arts diploma. But the day-to-day didn’t really change. I was still at home with a toddler, still expecting baby number 2, still not working outside the home.
Maybe the realization will come, at some point, that I’m actually done now. Should I choose to, I can continue with my PhD, but that will have to wait until the kids are old enough for me to work outside the home. Right now, though, it feels like my graduation was the smallest of the endings during the past year, because it was just that. An ending – not a new beginning. And those are rare.
Thank you for reading! I’ll try to reactivate myself here as well, but feel free to browse the archives for some past insightings. And as always, have fun catching your own insightings!