Paying Attention to Mama

I have been holding out on you. I have many photos I want to share under my Nature Watch tag. Many of them I took last spring when we went to Cloudland Canyon State Park on vacation. I just haven’t had time to post them, but I’m going to remedy that.

The photos on this page were taken at the front fountain at the state botanical garden. These are pitcher plants, which as you know, we’re very fond of.

The reason I’m making a point to renew my commitment to do Nature Watch posts is that lately, I have been in a sort of funk. Not a Whole Life Funk. I have a good life, which I love, and I have no right to complain about. But I’m having a What-Do-I-Want-To-Do-Professionally-Funk. Though I’m still writing and editing, I’m having a writer’s block. That probably doesn’t make sense, so I’ll explain. I feel there’s something I really want to work on, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. There’s something else I want to do besides writing the same ol’ columns, but I can’t quite figure it out. I am restricted by time, money, and well, I need to make money, so that’s a restriction too. I can’t just go back to journal-keeping and be happy with it. I also want something I can build upon once my children are grown.

So I’m wondering what I want to do. Write a book? Actually, I already started one, but I’m losing confidence in it. Does the world really need another book by a homeschooling mom telling about her experience which may or may not help the experience of other mothers with very different children? Sigh. Should I try writing a column for another venue? Should I try cracking into more freelance writer markets? I can’t decide what I want to spend my limited time doing. Because when I do decide, I put my 100% into it, so I want it to be worth it.

I am really stuck.

I was really feeling down about this, but today I realize that while I’ve been “stuck,” I’ve started taking the time to pay more attention to the things I really love. (I’m talking about things besides family-children-homeschooling.)

One of those things is nature. Even though I don’t have much time or the proper equipment, I can take some pretty nature photos, and I’m going to try to share my work when I find the time. On Twitter, I made a “nature” list, and I’m adding people there who do wildlife photography. Whenever my boys and I spot some wildlife, I’m going to tweet about it (I also keep a hand written journal) whether or not I have a photo. This is transforming how I use Twitter, and I’m enjoying it immensely. I am also promising to start posting my “Nature Watch” photos that I’ve been holding onto with good intentions these past few months. If you enjoy nature photography, you can also follow my photography blog. Doing these things also helps me when we don’t find the time to get out to the local parks and go hiking, especially during this unusually long rainy season we’re having.

I have never written about this before, but I’m also doing yoga regularly. I started about a year and a half ago, but it took awhile to commit to a regular practice. I love it. I want to keep learning about and doing yoga even though right now that means learning through books/online tutorials and doing a 15 minute (sometimes interrupted) practice 4-5 times a week.

I also want to learn how to use some software on my computer. This means taking the time to do some online tutorials. I have no idea when I’ll find the time for this, but it’s on my “list.”

I’m also paying attention to the fact that I have felt lonely for quite a while. It seems strange to say that when I have some great friends, and I have a husband and two boys I love being with and talking to. No, this kind of loneliness is for something else. I miss knowing people who are driven to create. Writers. Artists. Or even nature lovers who like to take long walks and muse about the mysteries of the universe. I used to facilitate writing groups. I used to having walking buddies, but they moved away. Others have very different life situations. It’s hard for me to make time for people when I can’t bring my children with me, and then find something to occupy them with. I don’t think I can remedy this problem until my kids are a little older, but it’s still there. At least recognizing it helps me with some goal setting.

I’m hoping nature, yoga and gaining some other skills will help unstick me and eventually lead me to new people I have other things in common with. What do you do when you feel stuck?

4 thoughts on “Paying Attention to Mama

  1. Shelli, this is one of your posts that makes me wish you lived next door – or at least in the same state! I would love to walk in the woods with you pondering the mysteries of the universe while our kids turned over rocks and pondered mysteries of the forest. *sigh* I run a little homeschooling group that is like that in the best of days. We do hikes and other outdoor explorations, but mostly the kids run around and explore while the parents talk and try to keep up – usually homeschooling support speak.
    My funk lately is that we have too much to do. My kids are extroverts and I’m an introvert. But there’s so many great homeschoolers and such great things to do, it’s hard to cut back to take time for myself. I’m not a writer, but a reader for sure. And I love nature, it rejuvenates me and I’m also an amateur photographer. I can definitely lose track of time taking and editing nature photographs. Yoga and meditation are also great rejuvenators for me, but often they don’t get the permanent place on the schedule that they should have. My oldest loves yoga too but my youngest has trouble resisting the urge to tackle us while we are in complicated or relaxing poses.
    Ah, but living in New Hampsire I know that winter will drive us indoors soon! Whether it’s illness or snow, there are certainly days of herbal tea and reading book after book on the couch ahead.
    And if you’d like to send what you are writing to me, I’d be happy to read and send suggestions! 🙂

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    1. Peggy, Thank you so much for your thoughtful message. I sure wish you lived next door too! Your group sounds great, and I wish I had something like that. I have thought of trying to start a group of my own, but I usually get moans and groans from the boys, if I ask how they’d like to do “such and such.” They are introverts! But we also have appointments three days a week right now, so I really don’t want to use up one of our free days for something else. It’s very hard to juggle everything, isn’t it?! Thank you for allowing me to send you something to read. I really don’t have anything near that stage, but maybe someday I’ll take you up on that!

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  2. Oh my, thanks for writing this! I did a brain dump in my journal this afternoon and much of it was the first ramblings of your wonderfully written post. It’s lovely to read it articulated so well, allowing me to understand my own searching for new passions in this phase of my life. I’m going to print your post and tuck it into my journal to read more later, and to help me formulate my own thoughts and direction.

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    1. Thank you, Sarah! I really felt it was more of a ramble than well-articulated, but I am glad you thought otherwise! Good luck forming your direction. I will be working on that too.

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