Wednesday, 18 January 2017

some thoughts.

For anyone who stops by this little blog of mine, you might have noticed that things have slowed down - perhaps you could say they have even ground to a halt - around here. I have thought a lot about removing this blog from the internet lately. I started blogging way back in 2004 as a means of keeping in touch with my family while I was away at university. Twelve years on, and it all feels a little bit tired around here. I am a little bit tired, and I am not sure that I really have the energy to give this blog a face lift. For a long time, I have not felt the need to change the layout and design of this space, but now when I look at it, it just doesn't feel like an accurate representation of what life is like now for me. (That photo of me in the sidebar? It was taken back in 2012 back before I had been pregnant, had children, knew what sleep deprivation was like. These days I most certainly look a little more tired than the fresh faced Hannah in that picture, and bearing children has changed my hair, adding many more waves than I ever had before, not to mention the few pounds of weight I have gained since the days when I used to run half marathons, ate a lot less chocolate, and hadn't grown two babies...)

I often think about how many photos I want to share of my children in this space. While they do not understand the need for privacy now, they will eventually, and I can't help but wonder if they will feel saddened that I have shared so many images of them on the internet in the years where they could not give consent to do so. My children are the people I spend every hour of my day with, and so to imagine blogging and not writing about them feels strange.

And yet, there is something about the way I think that makes me feel like I need to write. Perhaps no one else needs to see these words? I don't know. Perhaps it is my extrovert tendencies which mean that I am an external processor, and getting the words out in some form - be it in spoken word, face to face with another human, or typed into this little white box - helps me process, and maybe more significantly, it helps me to remember. While I have not really missed blogging during the last year, there have been multiple occasions where I have said to John, 'what was the name of that place where we stayed with those friends? Which year did we go to Cornwall and go on that beautiful walk in whats-the-name-of-that-gorge?' My mind does not retain the detail it once did, and I have always loved blogging as a way of recording where we have been. Perhaps it is this desire to remember that compels me to write once again.
As I was thinking about this desire I still have to write down the details of our days, my thoughts turned to my teen years and the subjects I chose to study at A Level. I remember having a conversation with my tutor who taught Maths, who commented that all of the subjects I had chosen were essay based assessments, which would equate to a lot of writing. Even then, although I had no clue what I wanted to study at university, I knew that words did not evade me - that I could make sense and be creative with words in a way that I simply could not do with mathematical formula or scientific principles. I have changed in countless ways since those days - my ability to string a sentence together has matured and then crumbled as I wade through sleep deprivation. Sometimes I cannot remember what the washing machine is called, and other times the words I want to pen flow so freely in my mind that I long for just a moment to write down those fragments of life.

Last year was filled with many wonderful things - I completed my Montessori studies, grew my baking business, had another baby, and just to top it all off, we moved house in early December. Time felt precious and squeezed, and there just wasn't the time to write anything other than my assignments.

I recently read a quote which said,

"Writer's block — so what? Write something bad. Just throw it in the trash can when you're done, you're always improving. That kind of writing is like doing a bunch of push-ups. Every individual push-up is not the important thing. On Tuesday you're going to think, "Is it really important that I do it today?" No, but the collective impact is. If you write every day, you will improve." N.D. Wilson

So perhaps I will carry on penning words in this little space, for the cathartic effect it has on me; for practise; for my remembering, and for anyone who might enjoy reading them.

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