Since Friday I have been prone to getting lost in thought. My attention has been elsewhere, mulling over fears such as: “Have I made a mistake?”, “Am I making a fool of myself?” and a list of various ‘what ifs’ that seem to grow the more I dwell on them. So what is so significant, you might well ask, about the last week that makes me worry, when so many have their attention on this coming Friday; reportedly the end of the world as we know it. Well… last week I took the decision to offer to anyone who reads my posts a free copy of a book I have just finished writing. It’s exciting… but also nerve racking. Any self-doubts I have about the book keep wanting to surface. On the one hand I am very keen to hear what people have to say about it. On another, I don’t want to expose my self and invite ridicule. To be told that the book has faults is far easier to manage and work with than being considered by others a fool. You might think I ought to be better than this. On the whole I am relatively resilient and thick skinned, in order to ride the storm. But people don’t like to forget do they? The opinions and judgement we make of others, once we have made up our minds, are very hard to change.
I’ve had to work on myself this week to let go of these fears, as I recognise they are self-made and not necessarily true. When the first copy was downloaded, I reconciled with myself that I have to let go and let the universe decide how well it will fly, how far and who it will reach. This got me imagining a picture that would help me manage and contain my thoughts. The mental picture developed……………………
I had arrived at the playground more by chance than design it seemed. I haven’t the excuse of any kids in toe, nor had I apparently arranged to meet anyone who has. It appeared as if I had been walking past it on my way back from the newsagents and regarded it as a safe place to sit and kill a bit of time. It’s mid afternoon; not especially warm but the sun is trying to make an appearance before it goes down at 4pm. There is no one here but me. The metal entrance gate had been really heavy and stiff to open. As I had pushed it back, it crossed my mind how parents with pushchairs are supposed to manage. The soft woodchip base beneath the equipment tries to reassure me it’s safe, but being all alone, with no obvious excuse to be here, if feels a little unnerving and eerie. The wooden bench that I thought I was going to sit on was still saturated from last nights deluge. Looking about for an alternative, I saw and elected to sit on the swing. A quick, almost precautionary, wipe over the plastic board with the sleeve of my coat ensured that it was dry before I went to take up residence. Grabbing the rope handles, I realised, as I attempted to lower myself onto the seat, that childbearing had taken it’s toll… as had the sweets and cakes. To make it work for me, I had had to adjust my approach; dropping one hip in first and then the other before my adult bulk was accommodated. I might be in my forties, but I sat there unperturbed by what others might be thinking; more like an ambivalent teenager. My arms were crossed around the rope and over my chest, with my head hanging forward. Staring at my feet, I twisted my body from left to right using one toe as a pivot point. I am alone with my thoughts. I consciously choose not to engage with the voice that wants to moan about the neglected state of the place; the coke cans and other bits of discarded rubbish left around the swings. I also move my attention away from the constant hum of the nearby cars. I chose to ignore the inner voice that wanted to moan about the traffic rushing by. Instead I indulged in a bit of time travel and went back to my childhood. I saw myself at 8 or 9 years old, free of chores, swinging on the old metal-framed garden swing that Dad had anchored into the back lawn years before. I felt my heart quicken as I recalled the excitement and exertion of pulling my legs back hard to give the swing as much height as possible, before daring to release my hands and jump off; enjoying the thrill of finding how far I could fly. It was great. The challenge to try and get further each time was compulsive, even if I did on more than one occasion crack the back of my head on the vacated seat or land so awkwardly that I winded myself. Pain was felt… but suffering was spared. The drive to do better seemed to anesthetize my anguish. Retuning to the present, I was aware that there is still a child inside of me, so with litttle persuasion I began to swing. Back and forth, my legs stretch and bend. It’s harder than I remember and despite a slow start I am soon gaining height. Swinging was however making me feel a bit queezy, which caught me out a bit, but I tried to control it by closing my eyes. I only stopped pushing when I felt sure I must be at the highest point. Opening my eyes, I was surprised to see how far I had come, which is when I had to ask myself: “Would I really have jumped from this height?”
I have no idea. I certainly wouldn’t now. A fear of injury held me back, but it didnt stop me indulging and having a go when I had slowed down and come close enough to the ground to feel safe trying. I forgot to keep running on impact, so the ankles and knees complained a little, but I was pleased with myself for keeping upright.
I took another leap of faith when I put up for scrutiny the book I have just finished. Its still available to download until midnight Friday if you’re interested. Twenty one people have so far grabbed a copy and one has already come back with some written comments: “Easy read” and her suggestion… “it’s the sort of book that would resonate with any mother or woman”. A male friend, who was apologetic that he hadn’t finished reading it when I bumped into him in town, commented that he had laughed out loud several times. With a cheeky smile he told me that, as a result, he had been searching on the internet for more information on Tantric Sex. I managed to keep a straight face, but had he winked at me too I might have felt severely embarrassed! Despite this, it felt good to know I had sparked off his imagination. So I am pleased to say it seems to be going really well. For those who have taken a copy, thank you so much and please keep those comments coming back. Any improvements I can make to the manuscript now will help me give the book a healthy start in life. I know it can fly. I just need to keep trying to ensure it reaches further with each attempt…..
Download it HERE