A year tomorrow. That was my last post- a year ago! That alone tells me how little I have emphasized my own writing time. I know it is my 'sanity' time, I know how important it is but I always put it on the bottom of the 'family's' priorities (even though I know my family does best when I am also a priority) so it does not often make it to the top. And when it does, it takes me so long to return to my Writer's Mind that I waste my time circling and circling and not writing anything of substance.
The problem is...me.
There is always something that pulls me. Pulls at me. Pulls on me. Pulls towards me. Grabs my hand and tries to drag me, but what I am going to work on is my writing-- the 'thing' that strengths my resolve and determines who I will be. I try to always make sure everyone else has Time for their events and activities, but I shuffle myself back in at the bottom of the deck.
I see the Facebook Memories of This Day and I see that many times I have said this.
Many times I have tried to shame myself into writing. I've tried to coax myself. Sometimes I have scared myself into writing and also away from writing. Mostly...I see that some of the same things I said a few years ago are still relevant: I have this story. I have this idea. I want to write. I think I can do it. If I try. Hard. If I give myself permission to fail, fall and time to recover and get back up.
I have finally grasped some form of Control in my life. Things don't always feel like we are flailing...even when I have no idea where the money will come for x, y, z or how I will juggle the schedules of the girls, husband and myself or, how I will handle a regular day in our world. Things are still flailing and out-of-control, but I have found a better way, most days, of dealing better.
I was thinking back, my husband had made a comment about how I was being 'controlling'...like when things were moved or not put back where they belong and I got ansy; or when I said certain things, like meals, had to happen within a time schedule for Kath; or when I got upset about any kind of mix-up in Kath's schedule;...and I realized that I was indeed controlling about many things now, that before, I never was. I didn't have to be once upon a time. Before Kath, life moved along or things didn't get done, no biggie, or just a ripple of a deal. Things got done or they didn't, they didn't undermine months of scaffolding and work. But since Kath, there always needs to be a 'lesson plan' or a game plan or an explanation of Life as We Do It. And since I have figured out a bit more of how Kath's brain works, I have found that my 'whatever, it will all work out' way of being, my very essence of thinking, had to change or she wouldn't have a chance to be able to handle this world and its pacing. It had to be me helping her step from her brain to this world, who else could it be?
I had mostly been the kind of person who didn't stress too much over cleaning, organizing or schedules. I liked the ebb and flow of doing and moving on. But Kath and her stroke-brain gets stuck, her engine will continue to rev and she can't figure out how to get unstuck, unless I show/tell her, unless I explain step-by-step "Ok, so what you should do now is try to think of what you could do next so that you can get the rest of this homework sheet done, and not allow yourself to get stopped here at number 2 for the whole night. What can we do? How about we leave this and come back to it? Or let's go get a drink of water and take a little walk." And then we talk through the process of How and Why. Step-by-step. With me right there. Everything is step-by-step, organized, goal-setting, otherwise everything becomes an insurmountable mountain that immobilizes her and makes her shut down.
That's what I let happen to my writing, it became a paralysis, an insurmountable mountain. I couldn't even jump into conversations with my writing friends. I couldn't figure out my next steps.
I talk about wanting to write. I sit down and tap out a few sentences and then I get called away, and it's too easy to stay revved, distracted and stuck. So I stay on the peripheral and drown in the paralysis, hardly even remembering what I am writing about anymore. I am almost afraid to even try. How did *I* get to this spot?
I have Kath on a tight leash of, 'Ok, go brush your teeth and go to the bathroom, I'll be up in a minute." And then after 5 minutes I call up, "How's it going? Ok, you need to refocus, brush your teeth now." I have to check-in and continue to build small scaffolds so her brain can soon learn to go through the motions and she will know what to do without my check-ins. But I also give her, especially in the summer but also all year, chunks of "go play" time. And each summer I see her unfold slowly, at first she wants to watch a movie, she fears the freedom, then before I know it, I struggle to get her to eat because she has immersed herself in some imaginary play, relaxing into allowing her brain the freedom to roam.
I had to learn and relearn Kath's brain to help her to be able to make a place at the World Table, or at least her classroom and playground. I had to reteach my brain so I could scaffold teaching and learning for Kath...not just for short, 'minor' issues, like how to approach a homework assignment, but all the major Life Lessons too, especially Resiliency. I think I have had my brain on a short leash, always focused on 'what is next on our agenda and how can I break it down to build her up" and now I have to teach and learn how to unleash my brain and let it 'go play' because I appear to be stagnant, revving and not accomplishing what I should be able to do in my writing at this point in my life.
So. This blog looks like it will rebound a bit and be about getting myself back into my writing like I originally intended (for at least this summer) in addition to our journey with Kath and her brain journey.