It’s been a while since I’ve blogged and I cannot come up with any excuses other than to say it’s been a crazy month!
What is it about this time of the year that drives us all into maniacs frantically trying to finish all our work projects, sitting in mundane meetings and taking on more than our plates can handle?
I’ve honestly been feeling like I’ve been burning the candle at both ends and I’m sure I’m not the only one! And through all this scurrying from one deadline to the next, my blogging has suffered most!
Last month I signed up for a creative writing course with Meg van der Merwe, a senior lecturer in the same field at UWC and an author of two South African fiction novels. I met Meg through the West Coast Writers Circle I belong to and was taken aback by her passion for teaching the craft to fellow writers. When I received word that Meg was offering a class from the confines of her home, I knew this was an opportunity I could not pass.
So far I’ve attended two sessions and it’s been scary and intense at the same time. I’ve never been part of a creative writing group before with so many talented writers sitting around the same table. Meg is rather unconventional in her teaching; she steers you in the direction of extracting personal information from your life, such as what your name story is and delves into your family history. By doing so she seeks to expose your authentic voice without the bows and whistles. Our first assignment was to interview the oldest person I knew and ask them the oldest story they knew. I decided to interview my Mom and after much coaxing she opened up about her arranged marriage to my Dad. For the first time I gained insight into my Mom’s life as a seventeen year old being handed the devastating news that she was set to marry a handsome man she’d met only once, leaving her family behind to embark on a new life in a town hundreds of kilometres away! I had to write the story as if I was my Mom and capture all the emotions she experienced and it gave me a greater understanding of her struggles, something I would never have learned if I hadn’t pursued this course. My next assignment is to write the story in my Dad’s voice. I’ve been procrastinating somewhat, for I know it will bring up a lot of emotions as my Dad’s passing is fresh in my mind.
November is also the month in which I do service at my AA meetings. What that entails is that I chair the meetings every Saturday at my group and come up with topics that relate to alcoholism and sobriety and share my experience with the members. The topics I chose were prayer and meditation, acceptance, learning to love yourself and gratitude. Each of these topics resonated with me and where I am in my own sobriety and it was a heart-warming experience giving my take on them and listening to the contributions from members. I’ve been doing service for the past five years and initially it was nerve-wracking considering I have social anxiety (something I will blog about soon) and how I managed to face my fears through trial and error (lol) but still received glowing support from fellow members that has helped to boost my self-confidence. Chairing these meetings continues to challenge me, taking me out of my comfort zone, helping me realise I have so much potential waiting to surface.
I’m happy to say I’m running again:-). My injuries seem to be subsiding and I’ve finally accepted that I needed to slow down and concentrate on smaller goals. I’ve went back to basics, reduced my pace considerably and like a snail I’m making steady progress. I returned to my running club with renewed energy and found joy in the sport once again. After much contemplation, I decided not to enter the upcoming Two Oceans Half Marathon. The old me would have signed up for it in a heartbeat, but this time around I hesitated and took into consideration my history with injuries and that I needed time out from big races and the toll it places on my body. The new me listens to the whispers from my body and pays heed to them. During my recovery time, I opened my mind to yoga and pilates; something I’ve never done before. In the past I always thought of these activities to be a waste of time as one doesn’t break into a sweat, so how beneficial could it be? Since my injuries, I’ve had to rethink my stance and found these classes aided in strengthening my core muscles and were unbelievably challenging in ways I didn’t think possible. I’ve since incorporated pilates into my exercise routine and my body is smiling.
Yip November has been a hectic month and I’m not sad to see the back of it! Summer is upon us and all I wish to do is relax and enjoy the holidays and not work as much – except of course to blog now and then!