Tuesday, October 14, 2014

What are you waiting for?

When I was pregnant, I felt like I was in limbo. I gave up my job in Belfast to move home, be closer to family. I applied for jobs back home, but once the bump began to show, there was no point. No one was going to hire a pregnant woman. Of course, they'd never tell you that was the reason, but what employer would take on someone who was only going to leave in a few months anyway.

So, I spent my time reading and listening to music and feeling trapped. Some songs I listened to on a loop. One of these was Colin Hay's Waiting for my real life to begin. Have a listen... don't worry, I'll wait for you.

When I listen to this song now, I find it hard to imagine how sad I was back then, but I was terribly sad. I'd listen and just cry. Up to that point in my life, I'd never been unemployed. In fact, most of the time I had two jobs, or a college course and a job. It was very hard to be idle. It was unbelievably difficult to imagine how my life was going to change when the baby was born. But, for those months, I was just waiting.

After Beth was born, it still felt like that for a long time. I was waiting for my real life to begin, waiting for something, anything to happen. Then, it hit me. Nothing was going to change unless I did it myself. No one was going to hand me my dreams on a silver platter, some Tuesday afternoon in October. It's about three years now since I quit my day job and dove head first into writing for a living. I don't regret that decision for one minute. 

The last three years were not easy. Rejection and doubt come hand in hand with being a writer. I couldn't imagine being anything else though. 

I wish I could reassure that pregnant girl, sitting on the floor crying, that everything would be fine. That all she has to do is get up and start doing things for herself. No one else is going to make you happy or fulfill your dreams. That's your job and it's never too late or too early to start living the life you always wanted.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

September Shenadigans

Yikes, we're a week into October and I'm only doing my September catch up today! It was a manic month with birthdays, christenings, weddings, parties etc. Of course, one event stood out among all others. On the 18th September, my little girl turned five. On her actual birthday, we went for lunch at a restaurant, Beth picked and then on to the cinema to see Box Trolls. Great movie, like Tim Burton meets Charles Dickens. I think I enjoyed more than Beth and her Dad. Then, on the Saturday, we had a Barbie themed party for a little girl dressed as Elsa from Frozen... even though she's no longer a fan of Disney Princesses.
Our little Box Troll

I had this idea to set up a Barbie dress up area at the party. Beth wanted to call it "The Groove". Barbie clothes can be expensive, so I made these out of bargain fabrics I bought in Penney's. "The Groove" was our old three man tent and, within minutes of the party starting, the boys had commandeered it as their den. So much for that idea!
My next idea started off like this...


The next stage...

Some wrapping later

Almost there 
The finished product with beautiful Elsa. The idea was a photo booth, allowing the kids to be Barbie in the box. Pinterest is great for party ideas!
Beth's bouncy castle. She didn't want anything princess-y at her Barbie party, but allowed this. Bouncy castles are possibly her most favourite things in the world.
Beth had her hair styled for the event ;) It was part of a birthday treat from her Great Aunt. Apparently, she conversed well with the hairdresser, giving her all the details of a fantastic party being thrown in her honour.

They didn't sit for the whole party, but no girl's party these days would be complete without a bit of Frozen

The goodies I prepared (more came later). The cake pops went down a treat!

She had an absolutely brilliant time and was spoiled by the guests. We also had a pinata, beaten to a pulp by twenty-one children aged 3-10. What a day!

Photo of my Mum and I at a wedding two weeks ago. Wonderful day. A humanist ceremony followed by  a gorgeous meal at the Ballymascanlon Hotel

 I need a new laptop! Uploading photos for this blog takes forever on this old thing.

My third book is coming along nicely. I have a plan right up to the climax and I'm somewhat on schedule to finish the first draft by the end of the month. Very excited to start NaNoWriMo and see what new characters I'll be meeting :-)

Hope your Tuesday is as sunny as mine, wherever you are!