I did something drastic today. Well perhaps that’s a bit of an exaggeration: I didn’t shave my hair off, or pack my life into a tartan suitcase and leave home. I archived ALL my Instagram posts. No biggie, right? But it felt drastic. As if I was turning my back on all that I was. Which is of course ridiculous, because I still am. (Aren’t I?) With or without my own little museum of my former life.
I did it because lying awake last night listening to the man next door’s most awful cough reverberate through these old walls, it struck me that I have been spending a lot of time recently focusing on what I have lost (or chose to give away) over the four years since Mum died and so very constantly comparing what I have now with what I had then. Not so much envious of other people’s lives on Instagram, but envious of my own. Before I sold my little cottage, and sent our dog to live with my sister. Before we moved here, so that running down the lane to my best friends house is no longer an option. Before Finn grew up and I lost the community at the school gates. Before I got so very caught up in the need to sell in order to survive, so that my authenticity was swallowed up, and a kind of shame took over. Before, before, before…
Envy is an emotion that dilutes gratitude and allows a little bit of rot to set in. Envy says “well now what is the point in celebrating this when it will never be that again”, and chuck in a little bit of both grief and trauma and before you know it, hope and gratitude have packed up their own suitcases and headed off in search of she who knows how to appreciate them again.
So today I am starting again. And again has to start with archiving my old life, so that I can bring fresh eyes to this one: eyes tainted not with regret or disappointment, but brimming with possibility as I finally recognise that all my angst has been about what I had, not the abundance I have now. That this is a new season for me emotionally, hormonally and as a Mother.
(Pah! I’m such a do as I say, not do as I do person aren’t I??)
Recently everything about BrocanteHome, from my posts to my workload, the graphics I was creating and my writing, has felt noisy to me. I have been muddling through, pretending I’m OK, but if I’m totally honest my heart hasn’t been in it, because my body called time on the manic way I was churning out words and finally, forced me to take stock.
Of my daily routines around social media. The way Facebook has slowly but surely consumed my mind. (An insidious addiction I am determined to break once and for all).
Of the way I have recently been consuming news and news apps and allowing the overarching sadness of life to affect me. In tears this morning because Freddie Starr is dead! Freddie bloody Starr!
Of how very lonely I feel recently. How claustrophobic it feels in these four walls.
Of how very detached I have become from the house and my old rituals: treasure hunting, puttery shopping, coffee with my girls, early nights with my books: all the things I was before my Mum died.
What I know deep down inside is that I need both a clean sweep and a new attitude (Tsk. Isn’t it just awful when one has to take oneself to task!!). That I will not fill myself up following billions of business groups on Facebook and allowing myself to carry the weight of this very silly Brexity-Trumpy world we live in on my plump shoulders. That despite having hidden evidence of my old life from view so it doesn’t feel like an endless round of water torture to merely remember, I do need to use who I was to steer my way through to a better way of life again, or else I risk losing everything and my marbles with it.
So here we are. On the brink of a new season. What it will mean here at BrocanteHome, I do not know yet. I still have so very much to say. So much to share and teach. And my heart still so very much wants to be writing. But I don’t think building my business around Facebook has been good for me and I want to make changes there for a start. Financially it is no longer viable for me to run the site the way I have been doing so perhaps there is drastic action to be taken there too. But above all else I want to be living what I teach again. Inspired by my own creativity and not endlessly searching through other peoples lives for who I used to be.
In the words of Miranda’s friend Tilly, bear with! Though should you find a little bit of me in your comfort drawer or on your bookshelves, do send me home again won’t you? I miss who I used to be. And honestly worry really is the most awful bore.
Perhaps I really should shave my hair off? Or pack a little suitcase? Somebody stop me: I’m a woman of a certain age. Frankly anything could happen…