Gluing myself back together

Post Easter seems as good a time as any to resurrect my blog. It’s been a very difficult winter. I have a tendency to keep things to myself, trying to make the best of whatever problems I have and it’s hard to know what to write without sounding like a whiner (although I have unburdened myself a little in the safety of my Patreon page, where my lovely readers have seen far too many photos of my working in bed).

Apart from battling with the cold, I came close to burn out recently, as I struggled to put my book together and maintain a living with my shop. It just isn’t possible to do these two full time things at the same time; I’m too worn out from the things that life has thrown at me. Sometimes I feel like a pot that has been dropped many times and glued back together and I’m getting to the point where if I’m dropped again, I may fragment into so many little pieces that no amount of glue will put me back together again.

Reluctant to acknowledge how bad I was feeling, I was finding it increasingly difficult to concentrate on anything, my book work was lagging and the prospect of having to put the cottage on the market later in the year loomed over me, which I think would have been the final straw. Suffice to say, I felt useless and it’s been hard to maintain a cheerful presence on my social media.

However, I have been the recipient of some immense and unexpected kindness, just as things seemed quite hopeless. I’ve been able to take some much needed time out to rest and repair over Easter. I have been granted a deadline extension after I explained my difficulties to my lovely editor and a few days ago, I had a garden visit from a new Shropshire friend. Being so isolated, I’ve not been able to form many connections since moving here, but for me, lockdown made me not one but two new friends and this one kindly bought me lovely pinky yellow daffodils, which are cheering the cottage up.

It’s a monumental relief to know that I can finish my book without any extra stress and then throw myself back into making and selling, hopefully making a go of things. I’ve finally started painting again. Ideas are sprouting up. I can tackle the garden, knowing that I am safe for the summer.  Spring is here and remarkably, so am I, and I am so thankful for all of it. 


Unknown said...

Glad to hear things are looking up. From acrosss the pond to your Ringo Starr, I love his To The Night song. My little Shih Tzu loves me to sing it to him.It is so uplifting. Take care. https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=ringo+starr+here%27s+to+the+night+video&view=detail&mid=8ED9BA0FFF3AFBEE4FA98ED9BA0FFF3AFBEE4FA9&FORM=VIRE

Catherine Hayward said...

Sometimes I think the pressure to reach that social media 'ideal' of a perfect and happy life is a bit worse for artists and makers. There seems to be an unspoken expectation that we have big bright airy studios with the perfect balance of beauty, creativity and organisation. That our lives are perfect - because 'phwah phwah, if you can make a living out of your creativity what could possibly be bad or stressful in your life, wotwot?' But its all nonsense. And at the moment, given the huge increase in people experiencing stress or mental health issues because of all that's going on in the world, I would like to think that we can drop these pretences, and admit that sometimes, things are just a bit shit. And that's nothing to be ashamed of. You have a pretty good track record of gluing yourself back together...I think I know that broken pot feeling well and I know there is not much that can be said or done to take away that feeling of being cracked and chipped. But if it counts for anything, and hopefully not too mawkish: to me, you are a kintsugi masterpiece, and I'm fonder of you for it. I hope that feeling of renewed hope keeps coming back and the stress ebbs away. Cat

Tiffany Dawn Smith said...

Gretel, You *have* had a lot of difficulties and pain. I've read it through the years here on your blog. But what you also seem to really have is a resiliency about you. A toughness. A "come what may, I'll get on with it" and it's one of my favorite characteristics of yours. It inspires and motivates me. Of course we're all well aware that there's much more to our days and thoughts than these brief blog posts let on, but I do believe that you have a certain kind of strength in you to weather the storms of life, though it's not easy. May Spring bring a renewal, fresh energy, purposefulness and creative vigor. x

Twiglet said...

Your little "set" with that lovely view through your window just looks so perfect. A pity life isn't as easy to arrange! You never cease to amaze me with your ability to keep going and overcome difficulties that others would find impossible. I hope that the next few months are happier, healthier and more productive for you. Hugs. Jo

Karen said...

You’re going to be okay.