I am wandering around in a bit of a haze today.
It’s always a bit of a blurry day, the first Monday after the festive season, and this one is made no easier by our journey home this weekend from our adventures in Iceland and the USA. It took approximately twenty seven hours to get from the house we were staying in to our front door: fun and games at the best of times and made that little bit more challenging with the addition of a three year old.
It’s the longest journey by far we’ve attempted with him, and actually he was pretty amazing – he slept for almost all of the two flights and a fair portion of the car journeys. Though of course that meant that at 2am this morning I was left negotiating with a temporally confused toddler who wanted nothing more than to play.
So today is a little more blurry than usual. But in between the essential sorting I am trying to get my focus on and think about the shape I want this year to take.
And part of that has been pondering about the place of this blog.
I feel like I’ve been prevaricating for a while now – not entirely sure what I’m blogging for, but not wanting to give it up entirely. But after taking a complete break for the past couple of weeks I’m getting closer to understanding why I’m still here.
It comes back to the initial intentions of this blog really: a place to carve out my new, post-motherhood identity – for myself, and anyone else who wants to listen. After a mostly enjoyable but emotionally turbulent couple of weeks over Christmas and New Year with my family that is feeling more important than ever.
For reasons I may or may not elaborate on in the future I’ve come back feeling the opposite of invigorated – my self-esteem has taken a bit of a beating, and that sense of identity I thought I was getting closer to having all worked out is suddenly seeming more than a little elusive.
But I know it’s in there somewhere, and this is the place, I reckon, to work it all out.
That’s not to say I have entirely worked out the shape these ponderings will take, but I have the beginnings of ideas – and certainly more than enough to get me started.
I want to continue to document Arthur’s childhood, and I’m going to do that a bit more explicitly with a shift over to The 52 Project as the drive behind my weekly photo. I’ve been sort of doing it for a while, but I want to use the project now to focus my lens a little more closely on Arthur as he grows – and maybe even to inspire a shift to ‘proper’ photography rather than a total reliance on my phone.
I also want to look more closely at Arthur’s learning and development through a journal about the beginning of our explorations into homeschooling. Whilst I don’t know for sure whether this is the direction we will take when it is actually time for him to start school, I don’t see the damage the government are doing to our education system easing any time soon. Besides, I’ve already started down this road to an extent by dint of the fact that I have chosen not to send him to nursery or preschool – a decision that rightly or wrongly it is feeling increasingly important to defend.
In fact there is much of my approach to parenting which is coming under increasing scrutiny as it continues to diverge from mainstream expectations, and this is something I’m keen to explore further in the coming weeks and months. I’m intending to start with a ‘parenting manifesto’ – a summary of the principles driving my approach and what I am hoping to achieve – and as I begin to thrash out the contents of this in my mind it’s spawning lots of ideas for further posts about the choices I have made when it comes to parenting.
Finally there is of course my writing. I am still waiting on feedback on the latest draft of my second novel from my agent, but I am hoping in the next few weeks to not only have an idea about the next steps with that but also to start work properly on drafting novel number three. And as part of this whole process I’m looking forward to continuing to link up with the lovely What I’m Writing community – without whom, if I’m honest, I might not have made it through my rather sketchy year of blogging in 2015 at all…
So there you go. A little bit of focus to the haze, a few ideas to get me started, and hopefully the beginning of a bit more blogging this year. Because whilst I have a million other things going on to take up my time I have come to realise that this one is pretty damned important to my sense of self – and I owe it to myself to get that sorted.