I have just darned/stitched up my broken coat (do you darn coats or is it just socks?) On my bed whilst drinking hot sloe cordial and coughing like a heavy smoker (which I am not). I’d like to romanticise about this moment and say it is turn of the 20th century Americana folk…it’s not, it’s a century and a bit later and I was watching back episodes of ER on my phone with the hum of a baby monitor in the background. But I’m going to watch Little Women tomorrow so I like to idealise these moments!
I haven’t felt like winter has been that bad, in part because we have only just started it and in part because having a newborn often means you have no awareness of the seasons (or much else) you are just trying to make it through each day with all your and their anatomy still attached and hoping you haven’t flashed too many people your nipples. ( I am at a loss as to why I am not approached to do marketing for newborn/mum products?!)
But despite this I am aware of the mild hum of discontent simmering away in the background
It’s there when I watched the first few minutes of strictly Christmas special and fell down a Google wormhole as I worked out one of the contestants had a baby the same time as me in the summer but looks and dances like she has not given birth in the past year but instead like she has been on a health retreat to ensure she looks her best!
It’s there when I spend any free time scrolling my phone whilst the TV hums away in the background and I think wouldn’t it be nice if this room were clean and less cluttered. Not show home pristine but without it looking like we have brought a nature trail indoors and then scattered Frozen paraphernalia amongst the leaves. But I’m mainly annoyed that I am not better at keeping things clean and organised. My mum had a magnet that said ‘dull women have clean houses’, however I have grown up to realise that this isn’t true-some people have cleaners and others don’t have children!
It’s there when I read books about people establishing their own business, excelling in their profession, organising projects and getting people to rally around a cause. I always thought I’d be that kind of woman and yet I find myself in my mid 30s without a career or profession or even a clue about where to go next.
I have a good life, a great one in fact. But I feel like discontent has been sold to me as an accessory to adulthood. Not only the belief that there should be more, but the nagging feeling that there is a thing I should be doing/contributing to society and I’m not.
I see it in so many of my peers too, demonstrated in our eagerness to find that thing-is it a lifestyle choice, or a job, or maybe a hobby that will offer us peace of mind?
Well fellas- I like that phrasing- I am taking one giant step into this winter.Rather than avoid the feeling by eating/drinking/embracing all things Hygge. I’m going to try and face the depths of winter, may the cold brace me, may the churning of worry and anxiety about not being ‘there’ yet propel me into those who find themselves here with me now. May I try my hand at lots of things not in a desperate searching for my skill but simply for the love of learning.
Also maybe I am Jo from Little women not particularly accomplished at finery, and with the propensity to cause chaos when I do, but also willing to embrace life in all of its colour!
I think maybe the sewing and sloe cordial has gone to my head.
I hope this winter exposes the background chill of discontentment and that as you enjoy what is in front of you, you watch it thaw!
(in true folksy style I have not added any GIFs or pictures because it’s illustrations by candle light or nothing right!)
(Also I’m typing this on my phone and haven’t really worked out the all yet)