“Baby steps. 


Desire to throw out all the dishes. 


Don’t! Don’t chuck it all away and start again! 


Do reconsider, with support, to move forward in a different pattern. 


I’m losing sleep. I’m not sure that’s useful. It feels like it’s all on me. I really need to stop thinking like that. I’m in a stalemate. It’s not a competition. Or is it? If it is competitive then I’m tired of competing. I’ve never wanted to be at the forefront of anything, not really. Top of my game, but not necessarily trumping anyone else. Urgh what does that even mean?! What game? 


What do we need now?


I search into the crevices of my crumpled – been through this too many times, – still not making the right moves to move it forward sensibly, sleep addled, night sweat, wake up foggy and grumpy brain. I don’t want to get up. 


What do we need? What do I need? Morning pages? 


I remembered that, a glimmer of hope in how to sort the wheat from the chaff through the fog. 


Quietly tapping the keys. Craving guilt free time to myself. It’s not useful anymore to work alone on this, not for me anyway. I need someone walking by my side. I’m struggling to pick up the phone, respond to emails, move the plans forward. I’m not saying the welcoming supportive words in my profession because I’m not sure anyone wants to hear them, not from me at least. I could take this and utilise positively, but I’m all over the place, heartbeat racing, medication might be welcome? Hmmm. Advance, retreat, advance, retreat.


What will we need?


Trees, flowers, seeds, compost, sun, water growth. Can I see further than that? 


Self sustained isolation? 


What will the garden need?


Sunlight, rain, worms, rich compost, planting, no digging. Oh this is metaphorical? Can I plant myself? Bottom in, legs arms and head out, and wait? 


Please water – and wrap me up in winter, I get cold!


How can I help?


By stepping down and moving on? By enabling or empowering someone else to step forward. I could help by stopping thinking I’ve got to do it all myself. By opening up and finding warmth. Building trust. How to connect online? I’m tired, so tired, but is that just an excuse. Take the reins, pick up your own and click the horse into motion.


How shall we begin again?


How shall I begin again?


The temptation is, having failed so much perhaps, that to start again in a different field would serve me and the field best? When I look around, I see fresh energy, clear ideas. Those fresher to the table have observed, seen what’s wrong and come up with better solutions and that’s great, I say go, take it, run with it, go! I’m not sure how to say that publicly. I feel myself instead withdrawing quietly.


Maybe I can be part of working with that. But the truth is I’m burned out. Perhaps it requires strength, resilience. I’m done with that. 


Where’s the fire? Is there anymore fire there? The complexities of social interactions made all the more difficult and acute in this digital age. It’s spread wide and far and as I move through my early forties feel none the wiser. I’m still seeing my mistakes, I’m no more well read and without much more vision to move forward. I’m a fucking exhausted mum who is trying to manage looking after the house, the family, and life as a freelancer with multiple projects on the go. The thing is, you might think that shows some level of success, but these projects have been hanging around my ankles for the best part of a year and yes we’ve been in lockdown and yes I’ve been home schooling and we are in a pandemic and sometimes we just need to take it slow, but IF I feel like I’m failing at everything, then something has got to be wrong somewhere, so a great reset as in really look at your life and reconsider your direction… actually I’ve already decided I can’t do that alone, that’s something I’m going to need insightful, experienced possibly psychologist or life coaches to help me with because it complex getting to the truth in here. It’s complicated to find the honest desire, because while you’re still holding everything up. It’s impossible to stop and even if I did stop, would anything really become any clearer? 


A new start. Yeah that could be exciting, but is it just running from sorting out the way forward and if I can’t do it in an industry I know really well, how can I do it in one I won’t? Fresh eyes? Fresh opinions? A community who haven’t formed an opinion of me yet, my failings, my inabilities.


So do I need to begin again. The great reset. Yesterday I listened to the writer Sue Stuart-Smith talking about her book The Well-Gardened Mind. I haven’t read the book, but twice in the last year, friends suggested I read it. I am yet to buy the book, but I thought I’d fast track and listen to the author in a live webinar. She talked about building beautiful gardens, starting with functional spaces and then creating enclosures, places for people to feel safe, how gardening can heal people, that’s the nuts and bolts of what I grasped.


Could I start with the garden? I turned half of my garden into an allotment four years ago. I converted one square one year and then another two the next. The first year I grew carrots and they were magical. We grew beans and my son pulled up the first bean shoot out of the ground and brought it into the house to show me, that was how exciting new growth was. And that is the magic isn’t it. We need the new growth. 


It resets every year, although the cabbages and leeks have carried us through and the garlic are forging ahead. If I could be like the garlic, resilient and thriving through the frosts, would that help? How can I help? My every word and thought paralysed with a sense that it won’t be enough, won’t have considered everyone, a singular viewpoint in isolation. Conversations the way forward. Ways to be with people safely? And what action or what activity? 


The fig, pear and apple will again bear fruit come the summer. 


What will my branches offer out this year? 


Could they be muscular arms with the strength to carry many things forward, and fluid enough to listen and absorb the information from the nutritious root systems  carried through the trunk and branches to the leaves so that the fruit will grow.


Or could one pear be so deliciously ripe with all the nutrients and seeds of possibility that one idea taken forward with considered thought and care could be enough?”

– 11th Feb