I have been feeling so good lately, about life, about being a mother, about how lucky and privileged I am (I have a sweet baby, I have a supportive husband who is also home on parental leave, I live in this lovely house, I have many wonderful people in my life, I'm highly educated, I am healthy and so are the people I love, etc. ), but I have not been doing much for myself lately, and I worry that it is going to catch up with me.
Working on this blog is one thing I am trying to commit to. I spent a satisfying hour or two tidying and organizing my desk yesterday and I pulled out a bunch of art supplies, and a little sketch book that a friend and I have been mailing back and forth to each other and doing art and writing in. I've got a bunch of jewellery-making supplies. I've got a great camera. I've got knitting needles and wool. I've got some nice notebooks. Some watercolour paints. I've got an itch to do something creative. I figure I should just dedicate time to doing something, anything. I could totally spare an hour a day if I wanted to.
Part of the problem though, of reading so many fantastic blogs, is that rather than being inspired, I get all self-defeatist. Last night I found myself talking to L, after flipping through a Canadian magazine of short stories and poetry: "I'm surprised you have it in you to keep writing short stories when there's so many out there that no one is reading." (What a jerk I am, eh? I wasn't actually meaning to be so mean and bitter sounding, I actually am impressed at his discipline and dedication and creative output....)
I said, "That's what I feel like when I think of being creative: just what the world needs, another mommy blogger; just what the world needs, another necklace; just what the world needs, another crappy drawing in a sketchbook, another photograph of a snowy tree..." etc. etc. I mean if I continued with that thought I could think "Just what the world needs, another baby...." and I certainly don't feel that way. What I need to remind myself of is that I am not doing it for the world, I am doing it for myself. I don't have to do anything with it. The act of doing it (whatever it is), should be enough.
And part of my thinking around this is also that I want V, my daughter, to grow up with a mother who does things. With a mother who is devoted to her but also devoted to creative and intellectual pursuits. I want her to see and know that I am not just a mother but a person who does things outside of mothering her.
Anyway, I'm trying to not be self-defeatist. It's just a pattern I've had for many years now, and one I should wash my hands of. It's not a useful perspective at all. So, perhaps along with my commitment to blogging, I will commit to making something every week. Maybe I will even post my progress towards that on here, kill two birds with one stone...