A few weeks back a regular reader who often comments (thank you for both) took me aback with a remark about the bloody trench coats. Not quite ‘don’t mention them again’, more ‘I am bored now, move on!’
I was momentarily upset. It is after all my blog and I can post what I want. I write this for me. I very nearly stamped my foot. I may have said a swear word or two.
After I had calmed down, I thought, maybe they do have a point. If someone has taken time to write it, it may be true. It wasn’t unkind, or mean spirited. And when you blog and publish and share it on Twitter, you open yourself to feedback. If you only write or blog so that people say kind things to you, stop now. Really, stop.
I typed the ‘B’ Word in to the search box and yup. I have mentioned them a lot.
So I won’t be mentioning them again. They have gone and I have moved on.
And then I wondered why I had gone on about them so much? And I came to the conclusion that they had become symbolic of the clutter that was holding me back. I was stuck in my life. I wasn’t playing the same old record over and over again, I was just playing the same line in a song. And not getting to the end of it. Time to nudge that needle to the next groove. And give that record a good clean.
Whenever I thought of having too much stuff, it always came back to the fact that Mom had bought the same things over and over again. She too was stuck in the same groove, not moving on.
When she took up machine knitting, she had three different models. They all did different things you see, one did not satisfy her needs.
When she took up golf, for all of five minutes, she got all the gear. Pringle sweater this and plus four that and special shoes. To play on the local council owned golf course, not at The Belfry.
Her stuff helped me understand the relationship between clutter and mental health and to realise that surrounding yourself with stuff does not make you happy. Happiness is not a designer handbag, a wardrobe of shoes or three knitting machines and a collection of Wedgwood Calender Plates. Or piles of books and a vinyl collection that you could never ever have time to play in its entirety. It cannot be bought. Happiness can be found in one song that takes you back to one moment in your life in an instant, that brings all those good memories flooding back. Of course there maybe a song that can remind you of the sad times too. And that is ok because that means that you are alive, you have memories, happy and sad, that have made you who you are. We can’t be happy all the time.
If a book or a CD or a handbag is gathering dust; if you don’t love it and you don’t use it; it holds none of those precious memories. It is just stuff. Taking up space in you house and your mind, leaving no room to let other things in.
Most of the cookery books I had were thick with dust. The ones with food stained pages and repaired spines were the ones I loved and used and I have kept those.
Why do I write? I write because it gets me in touch with all those raw emotions and reminds me that I am alive, and I can laugh and cry and love.
I write because the more I write the better I get. I know this, as I have a record of how I used to write, and how I write now, in front of me. I don’t’ use ‘and’ and ‘so’ as much. Although I still use them too much.
I write because I am learning about blogging and WordPress and Plugins and self hosting. Learning is a good thing. It keeps the brain busy, even if technology make me swear a lot. (You should see me with a remote control).
I write because it make me feel better, it improves my mood. I know this because I have in front of me a journey of highs and lows laid out in posts about lonely people in cafes and days out at local festivals. I write because it is better than taking medication for those highs and lows. Much better.
I write because I want a record of my travels and of my life so my kids can read it in years to come. (They don’t read it now). I write because Mom always said she would write her life story, and she never did. I wished she had as it was a pretty amazing life. Until it became normal.
I write because I know that one or two of my posts have moved and inspired people, and they have thanked me for it. Just like other writers have moved and inspired me. Helped me understand farsickness. The blogging community is a mixed bunch I have found. Some are happy to share and engage, some think they are special. Some make a judgement on their readers and choose not to engage as they decide that I am not their target market (yes, really). And many don’t. And so I tidy them out every now and again.
I write because it makes me a more adventurous cook. I know more about baking and cooking and food poverty now, because I write. I understand better the connection between well being and food. And writing makes you read more. I read more about food and food poverty. I was directed by the blogging community to writers like Jack Monroe and getting angry about food poverty brought me to the job I do now. The job that I have been looking for for most of my life. A job that I couldn’t have done if I had not experienced the happy, sad and despairing moments that makes me who I am. Met the people who have shaped my life. And that is why I write.
And I write for you, if you want to read it you can. Because this isn’t a locked diary that I don’t want to share. It is not the musing of a love crossed teenager who wonders what to wear at the disco on Friday night.
I write because this is about me and what I am thinking and how love, death and stuff can mess up your life and why trying to be normal, to conform, made my mother the person she wasn’t. And that is not going to happen to me. Because I write. For me.