Apologies for not being about much over the past few weeks, as much as i adore blogging and writing for So Bad Ass, as a mum of three I have to ensure bills can get paid and and so I have been super busy with other work. It has been pretty lovely work though I have to say! I have been working as an artist for arts group Responsible Fishing UK running their creative workshops at Haven sites all over the UK, the project is called Camp Cardboard and entails hundreds of cardboard boxes and working with kids to transform huge spaces into giant dens/castles/boats/zoos/FBI headquarters/shops/homes/prisons, basically anything the children can imagine! It has been brilliant fun but has meant quite a bit of time away from home, Timm and the kids.
My husband Timm is a director for Sheffield music festival Tramlines, which means that his summer has been jam packed with preparation and running of the event. These things mean that our kids have been super busy and passed between the two of us as we attempted to resolve all childcare over the summer holidays. We are ever so lucky that all our jobs are freelance, versatile and child friendly and on most occasions they can come along with one of us. I am ever grateful to my mum who picks up the slack when we can’t make it work.
And so I suppose today’s post is about distance, both a physical distance and an emotional one. Timm and I both have what we laughingly call Portfolio Careers, this basically means we are both freelance and work our butts off at any job that comes in! Timm is a photographer, he runs Responsible Fishing arts group, he is both director and main stage organiser at Tramlines and he teaches at a university for their Music Industry course. I write for publications and websites, work for RF, help run the photography business, do public speaking and I am writing a book! This makes for crazy scheduling but it does mean that we both work from home and both have time with our children and eachother. Honestly, we would both like it to calm down some, the manic diary planning and time away from each other is hard going and we would both like a little more time.
I am not complaining. Two years ago when I had my first surgery I couldn’t imagine how life could be something good, I was so low, so physically and emotionally broken. I felt like I was in a black hole. And so for now to have the physical ability to be working and traveling and doing things that I love, it is a real blessing.
The events of my life have made me a pretty tough cookie, yet I realise that my emotional strength relies very much on a connection with my husband. I can get through ANYTHING as long as I have him with me in my heart. I know this sounds so corny and feel free to make vomiting noises whilst you read, but after everything we have been through, our relationship has just solidified, our bond is so firm now and the connection between us is better than ever before.
So when we have weeks on end where one of us is working away, when the free days are spent heaping time and love on the kids as we deal with the working parent guilt, when we both have so much on our plates, it is so easy to feel distant and alone. We have had lots of day to day stresses of late, cars breaking down magnificently, bills to be paid, plans to be laid and so time has been spent on all those rubbish grown up things. The physical distance is one thing, but we have both had an emotional distance too as we both just try and wade through all our work load.
Through writing my book, I am churning up lots of feelings and emotions about my past, I feel quite fragile right now as all these events from my past come floating up to the surface and I have to deal with them all over again and this is really adding to my anxiety levels. I am so chuffed to be writing the book, but I had not planned at all for this tsunami of feelings that it would bring with it!
Last week we finally got time to sit down and have a proper chat, we both talked about how little we have seen one another and how we felt we hadn’t connected properly for weeks. (Not a euphemism!!) Isn’t it amazing how a good talk can make everything feel a million times better? The darkness and anxiety I was going through lifted immediately when I was with my boy, my shoulders raised and my head cleared when we had the time to discuss all that was going on. Life just feels better.
It is so easy to get caught up in life. In all that adult, grown up crap that none of us really want to be dealing with but we just have to. It is so easy to get into a rut, to go day in, day out in a monotonous grey drabness. It is so easy to get so deep into your work that you forget to look up and see the colours around you. So this week, take a moment, look around you at the people who matter. Go for a walk with your kids, have a nice meal with your partner, go out with your friends. Do something to reconnect with the most important people in your life, do something to close the distance that the boring stuff causes.
This week, go do something beautiful with someone wonderful.