Periodically I set myself targets and challenges. It’s something I’ve done all my life, but in recent times good examples are Janathon (jogging and blogging about it every day in January) and #2013in2013 when I made myself walk, run or cycle 2013 miles over the course of that year. (Rather pleasingly I walked the final mile on New Year’s Eve out across the fields near my house.)
This month I have joined in with #NaBloPoMo – National Blog Posting Month – when, much as it sounds, you basically sign up to post a blog every day.
Inevitably therefore, I today found myself curled up on my sofa wondering – as I spooned soup, juggled bread, and tried to keep food and upholstery apart – why on earth I had signed myself up for something like this yet again. (I’m proud to confirm, by the way, that no sofas were ruined in the pondering on this blog.) As you would imagine, this is not a new debate I have with myself. But there must be something, I reflected, that calls me to place such demands and strictures on myself.
After all, my work is personally and professionally demanding and interesting. I continue to intellectually and emotionally challenge myself through my immersion into the many byways of the adoption universe. I am forever feeling guilty about neglected friends and family. I have a house that is lovely – but does seem to be a bit like the Forth Bridge, ever demanding of resources and time.
So why add pressure? Why make myself not only write every day but also publish each day?
I know part of the answer is that I need targets and deadlines. It is the way I am made – and after many years of wanting to be different I am increasingly accepting and indeed embracing of these sides of myself. (Maybe that’s a fancy way of acknowledging that I’m definitely now well into middle age and had better come to terms with myself!)
Part of the answer, too, is that I enjoy writing. Yes, I find it frustrating. Sometimes inspiration is lacking. I can’t always get what I want to say into a form I am happy to say it in. But I have always enjoyed the process of writing, the crafting; perhaps that is why my childhood belief I would one day write that novel never truly died, and to this day still occasionally thrusts itself back into my dreams …
And the third part of the answer (most things seem to come in threes after all), is that so much of the adoption process seems to be about waiting, learning, patience, and indefinably change. Maybe that isn’t true for everyone but it has been for me (to which indeed earlier blogs such as The Adoption Wait not to mention My own personal theme park ride, testify). These weeks leading up to Christmas demand from me acceptance, that my life is other than I had imagined, that a different future will be ok, indeed that a different future will actually be the right future.
Just now, therefore, blogging every day keeps me reading and thinking; it helps me continue communicating and engaging; it reminds me how lucky I am in so many ways, conscious and appreciative of the little things and the fleeting connections (thanks @Kosjanka, great expression).
Mostly I continue to write of adoption and the universe of the prospective adopter – that after all is where this blog began. Cautiously, however, I have been expanding to posts reflecting the diversity, incidents and accidents of daily life. I am conscious that my future child or children need me to be observant, resilient, thoughtful, looking out to the world as well as in to our own lives.
Yes, I am mad. Yes, telling my family and friends what I’m doing made them smile wryly.
But today, even if I had not previously articulated it to myself, I finally recognised that there is reason in my madness. For blogging every day nudges me to keep on learning and keep on engaging; it forces me to look out of the window, to observe and digest (even if I do not always share) every detail of this latest stage of my adoption adventure.
Thank you, gentle reader, for sharing the journey with me.