Friday, 20 September 2013

making eyebrows

I think I've been staring at this computer screen for about 20 minutes now. My brain is a fog. It has been for the last two or so months. I'm spending life constantly double-booked, or finding myself on the couch wondering what I was doing, or just giving up and having a sleep. I think whenever I'm pregnant, my body becomes distracted making eyebrows, or whatever it's up to now. I am no longer Jodi. I am a vessel.
I'm thirteen and a half weeks now and I still feel sick most of the time. I felt sick with Tully till around 12 weeks, with Evie till 36. So I'm just starting to process the realisation that this might be me for another five or six months. I was snuggled up in front of the TV with Tully yesterday and one of the shows said, "It's time to let go of your expectations and go with the flow." I felt like it was for me. But OH! I think I find that the hardest thing to do EVER. I've come to that time of the year when the markets are busy, the custom orders are flowing in and I'm starting to write a completely ridiculous list of the Christmas presents I'd like to make. And I'm having a bit of a tantrum about the fact that I'll have to choose.

 It makes me really thankful that my friend Jodi has been coming around every Thursday to sew up our friends' Fire Quilt. And yes, I am amused that we share the same name. It's for all the times I wished there were two of me. Although we're not actually that alike. She's very organised, good at maths and never double books herself. Probably makes us quite a good team, really.

I can also rest in the fact that while my ideas for what I could make for the Olive Tree Markets are all amazing, I do have plenty of stock left over from the shop earlier in the year. More is not always more, Jodi. 

And this custom order for a patchwork table cloth brings all the fun of BIG piecing without the basting, quilting, binding. When I finish the top, I will actually be finished!

I think I'm the kind of person who takes a couple of months to find a groove in new situations, to decide what my priorities and goals are. At the moment my only goal is to not be ridiculous in my expectations of myself. I'd like them to be better articulated than that, but slowly, slowly. After all, the point of life is not to produce, but to be.
And today being means messaging a bunch of friends to cancel afternoon tea because I won't actually be here, I'll be on my way to Sydney for my Dad's 60th. It means not beating myself up for handing over my brain to my uterus.
Then I'll put on some music and do a very poor job packing for camping, because I can't for the life of me think intelligently about what we'll need. And then I will enjoy being with my family and celebrating my wonderful Dad and not worry about forgetting pillows or toothbrushes.
I do love that I can share this here. Writing is the way I process, remember, move on. Thank you friends. x

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

A Gift in Season.

About a year ago Tim and I were travelling through the New South Wales countryside wondering what the heck had happened to our lives. We had two kids, a toddler and a baby. And while I'd always wanted to be a mum, I missed the adult conversation, mental stimulation and positive feedback of the academic life. Tim missed having a wife who had interesting dinner (and travel!) conversation. You may have read here that I drew hope from the trees and their seasonal life and started to formulate a quilt to express my reflections. 

Around the same time, I was reading Maureen's story. At the other end of the 'small children' season to me, and on the other side of the world, she was processing difficult news about her health at the same time as sending her youngest off to school. I was discouraged that this season felt so long, she was grieving that it was over so fast. And her story, a reminder of how much a mother's life changes over and over, connected deeply with me.
So I decided to make that quilt for her, stitching away, praying it would be a blessing, terrified of sending my work to someone I admired so, pushing back the voice the told me not to bother. I don't write this to 'big note' myself. I write it because pushing that voice back felt like the main thing I was doing through it all. So when Maureen wrote to me recently and this amazing quilt arrived in the mail and she told me how much it had meant to her, and how perfect the timing had been (it arrived the day she dropped her daughter off at school!), I felt like that little boy, so long ago, who had given his fish and bread to a master chef, and it was used to give a feast to a crowd.

 This beautiful quilt, with the lady that looks like she's waiting for something, and the butterflies fluttering off in freedom, also came right on time for me. Tim and I had found out a couple of months earlier that we were to be officially outnumbered. I have been excited, but if I'm honest, mostly I've been terrified. It feels so ungrateful to say so after losing a little one earlier this year. I'm sure it's partly been hormonal, and partly the result of morning sickness, but also a big old part of me is just scared to go back to that time where I'm constantly tired, working to someone else's rhythm and no longer have life in my control. We'd just hit the stage where Tully could pour milk, butter bread and work the computer. Were we crazy?? 

Yes, I'd say we are, but Maureen's note encouraged me to remember that I don't have to have full brain capacity or energy levels to love people, be inspired, or grow or enjoy the sunshine and the new leaves budding in our yard as I write.
Thank you Maureen!

And then today, seeing that tiny heartbeat, knowing it was made to be loved, loved by me! I could feel those fears start to fade. I know there's a crazy, noisy, experiencing too much 2am, road ahead. But I also hope that 3rd time around, I've learned a little patience and grace to remember that my turn for sleep and ease will come in time, and this precious gift will be a wonderful reward.
Jodi. xx