So having given myself a bit of a talking to last week, I’m feeling really excited…
If you have read this blog before you know that come September, my youngest of three daughters will start school, leaving me home alone. You will also know that I now work as a self-employed lawyer working on a consultancy basis but that for the last few months I have kept this to a minimum, feeling like my balance was out of line.
But just now, I feel almost giddy with excitement about what the next 12 months might bring.
Don’t get me wrong; if I could hang onto F for longer, I would and I will be bereft come that fateful day when I wave her into school for her first day; but in the words of Stephen Sondheim, “Something’s coming, something good”!
I am still not quite sure what and I still don’t have a fully imagined picture of how I want my days to look and feel. However, I read something recently which has allowed me to trust that my time will come. That I will figure my ‘thing’ out.
@katenorthrup recently published a post on her Facebook page which talks about the “Fertile Void”. Having published a highly successful book, Kate Northrup found herself adrift, with no desire to grow her business and no new big idea. This period lasted for three years. But then after the winter comes the spring. Kate found her new thing.
Kate writes that we are raised in a culture that celebrates productivity and so in the winter of her creativity, she felt deeply uncomfortable, like she was failing.
This resonates with me so deeply – Kate was planning a wedding and had her first baby, things which she desired, loved and wanted, yet she still felt that she was doing something wrong. Unable to just ‘be’ and rejoice because she felt like she ought to be ‘doing’.
However, her creative spark and her drive and inspiration has returned and she now celebrates her fallow time as a “Fertile Void”, a period in which she rested, was wild and during which time a new idea was forming, growing and taking form, even if she didn’t know it. Creativity, life, women, are all cyclical, all seasonal. This down time, this break where creativity and energy pause is essential and permits regrowth, permits an even more prosperous and beautiful spring. And spring will always come.
Now I typically shy away from what I will call female centric spiritual and priestess ideas, but goodness, when I read this a weight literally lifted from my shoulders and I breathed easy for the first time in a long time. Thank goodness.
And since that moment, I have felt more light hearted and have been able to live in the moment. I have felt a renewed and deeper gratitude for all that I have and have felt more able to enjoy the girls. I have relaxed, without guilt, without a worry that I ought to be doing something else. This time, this here and now, is my fertile void. My season at home, my season where my time and focus is predominantly mum but which I can enjoy knowing that my future ‘something’ will blossom.
This also releases me from any anxiety I might have about enjoying that buzz when I meet work colleagues or when I get a potential lead on a new opportunity. It doesn’t mean I am any less of a mum or that I am betraying the girls and the life I currently hold dear. It just means a new season is coming and that since I am inextricably bound to the natural order, I too will see a new dawn.
I feel a new confidence that I have something to contribute and that I will find my way, when my time is right.
I know lots of mums wonder where their ‘old’ self is and cannot imagine how they will find a way back. You don’t need to. Your new self will emerge. Different, more beautiful, more daring and with many new and wonderful things to share.
I will not wish away these last precious weeks with my little girl but I am now filled with hope as well as tears about the new phase our family will soon enter.
Ps thanks to Pinterest for the images and thanks too to @KateNorthrup for your inspirational words