This is what I scrawled at the top of my notebook as I sat down to work at my bamboo desk, next to our increasingly murky-looking tropical fish tank.
My return to reality has nothing to do with the last two years and the pandemic. I’ve been bang in the middle of the pandemic of course, like everyone else, but I’ve been experiencing it from the point-of-view of an impatient and frustrated mum of three boys, rather than an impatient and frustrated travel and fitness writer.
Trying to homeschool two kids when you have a two-year-old throwing cars at your head, is never going to work, no matter how you spin it.
No, this return to reality is all about me waving my three-year-old off to nursery, putting my porridge spoon down and picking up my pen. Returning to where I left off, close to nine years ago, when I first became a mum.
I have to be honest – I’ve never stopped writing. Not one moment. I’ve written two novels – one of them I’m currently submitting to agents, the other doesn’t need to be seen by anyone ever again. I’ve edited a book to help people in care homes remember the last 40 years, I’ve written articles, kept up my content writing, dropped it again when I had our second boy, picked it up again before our third. I’ve been shortlisted for my short stories in Writing Magazine, I write the parenting blog Milk and Mayhem – What Happens When the Kids are in Charge… And I write all the content for my Photography website I began when my third boy arrived.
There is no stopping me from writing. It has been part of me since I could read and since I wrote my first article about coal mines for the Early Times when I was at primary school. It makes me feel good no matter the subject. I’m the mum laughing, with a dollop of dismay, at her toddler missing the potty, and then furiously writing it up into a blog post.
I dust off my contacts book and call the people I know best. I’m back, I say, but I don’t know where I am. I get good advice, and I listen to every word, knowing this matters. What I do next matters to me. I write emails – I get lovely replies, and I look forward to catching up when things are more normal.
The reality I am returning to is not the same as the one I left, one hot summer back in 2013. This reality is very different for us all. But my passion for writing is exactly the same – if not more intense, fuelled by the lack of time over the years, now my time will be spent fanning the flames of my ideas, and shining once again. Hello to you all, I look forward to chatting and seeing you soon! Felicity