Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Being a zig zag.

On the weekend I went to Bendigo - on my own - to stay with my sister Sarah. It's strange to travel on your own when you are so used to always being with little people. It made me realise that I am NEVER alone. It's hard to relax and turn off the watchful-at-the-ready #for drinks-food-questions-injuries-cleaning- toilet-shoes-teaching-nosewiping-rescuing- conflict resolving# part of the brain. It's constant.
In fact, on Saturday I was at a loss. Sarah was at her drama group and I was wandering around the centre of town. I had to literally tell myself DON'T PANIC! RELAX!

a) there's no rush 
b) You have time and 
c) permission - to just wander.
d) stop feeling guilty!
And somehow I fell into the wandering days of my youth in Bendigo and went to some of my old haunts.

I went to the art gallery, the park, my old high school, book shops and the op shops. 

I found this wonderfully huge printed silk dress (which I will hopefully transform into an equally wonderfully not so huge printed silk dress)
This fantastic book on zig zag needlework.

It's made me realise how being available to everyone as a mother/wife/sister/friend, necessitates the fencing off of the free, wandering, creative part of your mind. The focus is always (over) half on others; work and duty. And they do seem to be mutually exclusive to some extent. You can dabble in the creative life - still dip your toes in and even wade - but you can't dive in and be submerged or swim off into the horizon. It's a zig zag.

Needless to say, I was completely relieved to get home to the brood and all their demands and the parametres they create on my mind ...and they way they expand my heart..


  1. Julianne, I can really relate to all you have written. My children have been "on their own" for quite a while now but it took me a while to become "me" and not "someone's mother" all the time. When my children left to homes of their own I missed them so much and realized that I had a child as a constant companion for around 35 years of my life. I have always loved being a mother and love having my grandsons around to mother now :) But, yes, one needs time on one's own every now and then so one can return refreshed to continue mothering. Enjoy!

  2. I went to Bendigo last year and really liked it - it's a very pretty town and the gardens are just lovely. I even went to a cool restaurant. I am someone who has always savoured, relished and NEEDED time on my own. I still do. Earlier this year I was away from my kids for 9 days - the longest I have ever been away from them since they were born. I now this might sound slightly overstated, but I felt reborn. Those days alone (which happened to be in New York) were a revelation. I stayed with a friend and met people while I was there, so I was never lonely, and I enjoyed every nanosecond. But if I didn't have a family, I would be really lonely. I love family life. But I still need a lot of time on my own. Without it, I would go crazy. And that's not pretty for anyone.