So, it’s 2023. It’s 2023! Where did 2022 go? Anyone else feeling a bit discombobulated on this, the first day of the new year?
It has been 11 months since I last posted something here. Eleven whole months. When I spoke that out loud to my husband this morning I could hardly believe it. And yet, here we are.
When I was trying to think of why I hadn’t sat down to write in so long (despite my usual New Year’s resolution to do so every single day…or, at least more often) it only took one quick glance to my left at the peacefully snoring little one there to remind me why.
I didn’t write much at all last year because, well, I wasn’t feeling up to it. Why, you might ask? Well…because most of my energy was necessarily taken up in the act of growing the newest member of our family. Eleanor Rita Roberta Gurski Savoie was born two weeks early on October 14th, 2022, coming swiftly into this world after a mere 5 hours of labour. Of course, we are over the moon (as is her big sister Aria) but as pregnancies are not easy for me, the worthy cause of giving her life was pretty much all I could handle for 10 months. Well, that and making sure her older sister also had all the food, sleep, fun and love she needs and deserves every single day.
But here I am, again. I will always return to writing, no matter what life throws at me. Writing is a part of me, a big part, and something I miss terribly when I’m not doing it. However, as a wise friend recently reminded me, there are seasons for everything in life and perhaps being a mother of two young ones is not the season in which I will do the most writing. And that is OK.
Rowing was a religion for me, composed of a set of rituals and movements repeated until they became a meditation.
Deborah Harkness, A Discovery of Witches
I am just now, very belatedly, listening to the Artemis Fowl series on audiobook. I know, I know, they’re middle-grade and perhaps not meant for a woman of my age, being somehow already in my mid-thirties.
However, I am a firm believer in the idea that books are not meant for any particular time of life. You may read a more adult piece of literary fiction at 15 (as I did when I read Jane Eyre) and find it changes your perspective on life. On the flip side, you may read works meant for young teens in your thirties and find yourself grinning ear to ear at their brilliance (as I am now). Regardless of your age, good writing is good writing, is it not?
OK, Erin, what is your point.
Well, in the first Artemis Fowl book, without giving away any spoilers, we find out that The People (magical beings such as fairies) are required to regularly perform The Ritual to ensure that their magic powers remain topped up and ready to use. If a fairy goes too long without performing The Ritual, their powers may fail them when they need them most.
While we mere humans (or, mud people as we are called in these novels) may not have a supply of magical powers, we too rely on various rituals in order to feel and perform our best.
After last month’s triumphant exclamation of having finally found a good rhythm for my reading habit…this past month knocked this nascent habit off course. Again. I’m trying not to get too impatient, however, as my lovely toddler’s sleep regressions are no joke (and in no way under my control).
This isn’t the season of my life when I’m going to do the most reading. I keep having to remind myself of this fact. And, more importantly, reminding myself that I’m not bidding the habit of reading farewell but rather À Bientôt! Because to this habit I will return. Eventually.
But, for now, I did manage to read some interesting articles and blogs in September, if not so many books.
And so Clara sat and watched and waited. And knew the agony of doing nothing.”
Louise Penny, Still Life
*Trigger Warning* Miscarriage
I had originally scheduled my next book review for today – and may post it as a bonus post later this week instead – but as I have been focusing on my mental health this week in response to the latest (albeit unsurprising) extension of the lockdown here in Ontario, I felt a change of plans was in order.
This is a post I have been ruminating on for a while now. A difficult one for me to write because I’m not sure how much of the insanity of last year I want to share with the world just yet.
Despite my hesitation, my feelings on this topic have been begging to be written down, to be shared, to be allowed a resolution and a sense of closure. So, here goes.
I have technically been a stay-at-home mom (though one working several freelance contracts simultaneously) since July of last year. While I went back to work initially three months after giving birth to Aria, I found that the stress of keeping on top of all my work tasks while keeping a little human alive was too much for my mental health to handle. Not to mention the fact that we were all also trying to find our rhythm in the midst of a global pandemic.
I don’t know how mothers in countries without parental leave do it…