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Short words, from the centre. X
The sun is shining which means I am a new person.
It’s the kind of sun we didn’t have at all last spring. We had our fires on inside right up until the end of November and then bam— we were into bushfire season. Spring, where you at? There was no such thing as spring here last year.
This year, we went to our beloved Italy home for the European Spring. Funnily (don’t you dare laugh), it was unseasonably cold and wet. I packed one or two items of wet weather clothing for the kids which I had to immediately upgrade. We were even able to go skiing in Chamonix.
Nobody in the local community could believe it— rain! This much! This long! What?! I didn’t say what I was really thinking about weather manipulation. My Italian shiatsu masseuse quickly brought it up with me though. We have the best conversations and my Italian improves ten fold after each one. Although my conversational Italian is pretty solid now, it’s amazing how we can get into such complex conversations and still understand each other (a lot of hand gestures). On the odd occasion, I’ll get my translate app out just to make sure I’m not laughing at something really offensive. He’s not the type who’d care anyway— my kinda friend.
The sun is shining so beautifully today that my kids stripped off at the park, down to their woollen singlets. Their pale post-winter skin was thirsty for summadat glorious vitamin D.
If you know me and my Mediterranean + 7th generation Aussie blood you’d know how much I love the sun. It seems the Greek, Cyprian and Italian genes in me overpower the Scottish, Irish, English, Norwegian ones.
My kids are still wearing their woollen singlets underneath their shirts out of habit, but today I’ll fold them up and pack them away. Hallelujah. I know from experience that another cold front or big rains could reappear at any time, but mentally I’m just not available to it. Are the mangoes ready?
Pregnancy wise, I’m nearing the middle of my third trimester. Cryptic I know. I never share my ‘due date’. Especially not publicly. Baby will come when baby comes. It could be 4 weeks, it could be 10, but it’s likely to be somewhere in between.
I’m limping, but it looks like a waddle. I did a workout a couple of weeks ago that was a little too advanced for a third trimester pregnancy. I’m very active but I did push myself a little in it and did some things I haven’t been used to throughout this pregnancy. Whoops. You’d think I’d know better but, when there is a hyper-enthusiastic American woman on the screen giving all the energy then sometimes it just sweeps you up, ya know? “Mums should feel like athletes! I slept two hours last night and I’m still here gettin’ it done.” You know the trademark American workout trainer line was in there too… “GET IT MUMMA”.
I love the feeling of a good workout— a real sweaty one. Also, I forget about ligament laxity and all that jazz. Needless to say, God humbled me and my hip/sacrum have been on fire since. A chiro adjustment didn’t help, nor a massage. The famous local osteopath with the healing hands is coming over tomorrow and I have no doubt she’ll provide some relief. She’s the one who told me that my ribs have been crushed, likely from an old soccer injury, and that my recurring mastitis was due to poor reticulation/drainage in that area. After tackling my recurring mastitis from every other angle from years, I felt a lot of hope after she adjusted me. I also breathed properly. It’s amazing how many years we can go without doing that.
With my tail between my limpy legs, I’m back to my slower, pilates-esque workouts and rolling around on a fit ball, combined with all the non stop action of mothering two kids.
In the last two weeks I’ve ‘nested’ by amending my will and tying bows on affairs. It’s quite a sobering exercise to create or amend a will— speaking about all potential death scenarios, and the reality of life after you’re gone. I’m quite the straight shooter in these (all) scenarios so I enjoy my US estate attorney who doesn’t hold back when asking ‘ok and if all goes nuclear?’.
Creativity wise, I am pondering switching the paid subscription back on, but am hesitating because I don’t want to feel I have to write during the delicate postpartum period. I know many people keep their paid subs on despite fluctuations in regularity, but for me when the paid subs are switched on, I feel I do need to be writing with some regularity. I actually love the discipline of that, but also, ya know… newborn baby and two kids at home. There’s a chance I will want to write throughout that period because in my experience, creativity surges around birth. It’s not a creativity issue, it’s an obligation issue. I want to be free of it during those precious weeks.
As I sit in church on Sundays, receiving the life giving sermons of our hilarious, grounded, humble, ex-atheist Pastor…. I am filled with things I feel I have to write about. It feels dutiful and spirit led and…. then I also feel myself hold back while awaiting my third child. My prayer is that I can be sharpened in my discernment between a true calling, and false/egoic inspiration.
I am not an influencer or a content creator. I don’t believe in churning out content just because. I could make a dozen reels a day of the observational comedy skits stored in my head or read poems over slow music and maybe one day I will… I’m just not willy nilly about it, you know?
I’m a writer. I care about writing well. I care about putting goodness, truth and beauty into the world and not adding to the noise.
“You have to learn to write from the very centre, and to have the courage to look at that centre.” Vivian Gornick.
I have a document that’s nearing completion— answering many birth questions I’ve been asked. The way it’s shaping up though it appears more like a mini ebook than a Substack post. These little micro opportunities to discern are what I am practicing right now. Even the intricacies of our creativity can become swept up in ‘what others are doing’ and stray from our true centre.
While I want to honour myself as a writer, and flick those paid subs back on now (I will, in due time), I also know I am safe in this ‘just hold on’.
From the centre (limp aside),