I don't like to be innapropriately personal. I shudder slightly at the vulnerability in the status updates some people feel inspired to write; like bait waggling to social media sharks.
But I do feel I want to share this, not angling for sympathetic comments, but to mark the end of a silence in my writing.
It's been a tough year. And it has been a particularly tough three months. My dad passed away at the beginning of January after a long illness. He wasn't that old. So it wasn't a particularly good innings. There are the repeated phrases. People say things like 'I'm sorry you lost my dad'. It sound trite, like he wandered off in Tescos or he slipped unnoticed down the back of the sofa or something. Death really does inspire some peculiar words and deeds... You'll know the kind of thing I mean.
But it also shows you who really is there for you when it hits the fan. I am incredibly lucky to have amazing friends, who seem to know the right thing to ask and say, and where to leave pans of sustaining vegetable broth / fish pie... where I will find them at just the point of need. I also have an incredible husband. I wouldn't have managed without him.
This is going to sound whingy - sorry. But I haven't been able to write properly for about 6 months, and I haven't written anything for about two. This isn't because of emotional turmoil, or grief (I'm a bit cynical about writer's block - just get on with it.) I just logistically haven't had time. If you are in a position to be able to drop everything to help out, you do, don't you? And I'm really glad and lucky that I could. I know not everyone has that luxury.
But I didn't realise 'not writing' had affected me so badly until in the pub the other evening Mr S asked gently about it. I've come to appreciate 'not writing' makes me very unhappy. I feel like a part of me is clawing to get out, make itself heard.
And so here I am, immensely glad I've been able to spend time with my family and see dad off with dignity, pleased I will still be able to support and help as needed. But it feels like fresh air to be back sitting at my laptop with my notebook open beside me.
I'm full of ideas. It's going to be a great year.