Something’s Gotta Give

“I am old, Gandalf. I don’t look it, but I am beginning to feel it in my heart of hearts. Why, I feel all thin, sort of stretched, if you know what I mean: like butter that has been scraped over too much bread. That can’t be right. I need a change, or something.” Bilbo Baggins, The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R.Tolkien.

I’m tired. I might just be having one of those lulls in mood but all I know is, I’m tired. I feel as if, like Bilbo Baggins, I’m being stretched too thin. Too many self-imposed commitments that I don’t know how I’m going to manage to meet. I feel like I’ve been photocopied one too many times just so I can duplicate myself to juggle everything; the image getting poorer and more grainy on every copy (how d’you like that analogy, ey? I ought to be an author…oh…wait). And because I’ve too many fingers in too many different pies, I feel as though I can’t entirely focus on any of those…pies. Perhaps I ought to be writing a food blog. All this talk of pies is making me hungry. At least my appetite isn’t being affected by this weariness. So that’s something.

As you know, in my free time (free time? What’s that when it’s at home?), I’ve been on the final stretch of editing my second novel. People ask me all the time, ‘where did you find the time to write three books?’ And to be honest, I just don’t know. I must have stolen the time from other more deserving tasks. Or maybe I had more freedom some years back that I just don’t have now. Because I am really struggling to fit everything in at present. And I can’t help but feel something is about to go ‘ping‘ and snap. Perhaps I should feel pleased that an end is in sight as far as the book goes. But actually, I feel as though I’m stumbling at the final hurdle (and it isn’t even the final hurdle as there is a third book to edit after this). There’s this little voice in my brain which just won’t be quieted, ‘Why are you doing all this? Why are you working so hard to produce something that very few people are actually asking for? What are you getting out of this other than angst and a sense of burden?’. Shut up, little voice! Stop asking me searching and personal questions!

Actually, I think I do know why I carry on with this nonsense. I think I have this overwhelming need that just once in my life, I will actually complete something. If I got run over by a bus next week and I hadn’t put out all three books in my saga, then something would have been left undone. I mean, of course there are other reasons to fear being run over by a bus, I expect it isn’t a very pleasant way to go for one thing. And there would be a lot more at stake than a few silly, made-up books not being available on the virtual shelves of Amazon. Oh, the horror! There are loving family and friends and a mostly fulfilling life to consider. But however silly and pointless the dastardly ‘books’ may be to everybody else, they are important to me; they are my legacy. I have nothing else to leave behind, nothing else to be remembered for during my little stint on earth.

Maybe I’m just being a misery again (who, moi? Never!). It’s just, not being around anymore is a fear that is ever present in my mind – if only nestling discreetly right near the back. If you know me at all or have read this blog for long enough (I pity you, dear reader), you’ll understand why I worry more about my non-existence than perhaps is healthy or necessary. You know when you greet an old friend in the street and they ask how you are, and you answer, ‘I have my health’ (actually, you probably wouldn’t because nobody says that anymore)? Well, what if you didn’t have your health? What if all those tasks that you currently take for granted were simply too hard to undertake and you just didn’t have the energy to get things done? I do have my health right now – and whilst I do, I keep reminding myself that I need to make use of it.

Do you know what? If I could just complete my stupid little trilogy, I wouldn’t be all that bothered if I never wrote another thing. I’m not intending to or anything, but if I ground to a natural halt, there’d be nothing to be ashamed of. If I never came up with another idea, if I never wrote another book again – it wouldn’t be the end of the world. I’d have done what I set out to do. I might carry on blogging; how else would I get the opportunity to annoy you on a weekly basis? And really, annoying you is what I live for! But at least one job would be ticked off the bucket list. I mean, don’t get me wrong, there are other goals (nothing springs to mind right now, but I’m sure there are), but this is the big one for me. I’ve invested too much time and energy to give up on this. I just wish I wasn’t so weary of it all.

In spite of all the pessimistic stuff that has preceded this paragraph, I’ve always felt I’m just on the verge of something. I’ve absolutely zero evidence to base this on, but I have this feeling that something is just around the corner. Right now, it feels like a bloody big corner and maybe I’ve been entirely mistaken all this time, but what if that unattainable thing really is around the bend? I can’t stop now. I have to finish this thing I’ve started, even if it kills me. I’m certain I’m not the only one who feels like this, you may be going through something similar right now. You don’t need to be a writer to feel pulled in too many different directions. Life just asks too much of us sometimes, and we are precariously balancing everything; spinning plates, just trying to avoid fracturing the very fragile thing that is holding everything up. But some things must be wrapped up and concluded. They simply must come to an end. And I aim to get this done; and then maybe another dream on the bucket list will get a little bit of attention at last. I’ll just be careful to avoid wayward buses until then.

PS: Apologies for the bellyaching, I’m feeling much happier since writing this. I think I was a bit miffed as my one and only day off in the week (the only day I can write) was being dashed as I had to take my daughter to a gymnastics competition. I mean, it was worth it because the little star had a podium finish, but I spent many hours standing around a sweaty gym that smelled like feet (with nowhere to sit and no café). And my day of writing was wiped out, putting me behind. But I’m trying to see all that I have yet to do as a challenge rather than a chore. It’s a case of having to really…


16 thoughts on “Something’s Gotta Give

  1. “They are my legacy.” The good thing about being a writer is that one can actually leave a lasting impact. However, big or small. I hope you are on the verge of something really big. A great read as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know exactly how you feel, Adele. I had expected Harry the Spouse to be out within a couple of months of the first instalment but it is now almost a year and still a long way off. The ‘Bella’ legal case and other commitments have just got in the way. Still, we must not get despondent, often great works of art have become famous and worth millions after the artist’s death and left the family very wealthy! I just hope I get The Spouse finished before that bus comes along (or I drown sailing this Spring) so I can leave my fortune to help my disabled grandson as I always dreamed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. hi chick, I don’t have constructive advice, the only thing I can offer you is a suggestion that you breathe, sometimes we have to let go of all of the ‘need to’s’ so that we start wanting to again. Like I said, nothing useful to offer you here :-s but I’m here, cheering you on in the background anyway. x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi again! We kid each other, I know. But I’m not joking around here.

    Good you are doing that next book. Good you are aiming to do the three books. Bravo!

    You need justify yourself to no one. I often joke with myself that perhaps someday I’ll be really BIG….after I’m dead. I do write accordingly. Seriously. Because once you’ve written anything, it’s forever. You never know. 😏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Robert. I know we set ourselves self-imposed deadlines and beat ourselves up for being behind. I know the urgency isn’t entirely necessary but I couldn’t stop now if I wanted to. Because you’re right, what we write is forever. Even though we are not. Thanks for your support! 😊


  5. Hello, Adele….

    Hmm. Well, I’m not sure what to say. Well, I have ideas and feelings. But I’m considering my words carefully. I don’t want to knee jerk a response. So easy to succumb to that impulse – the urge to rush in and rub salve over somebody’s “wound.” My default mode is to offer help to anybody who needs it. But it’s always important to consider the who, what, when, why, and how we’re helping, if that’s what it amounts to.

    As a human being, I care about you. Speaking as a Christian, it’s part of my spiritual DNA to care when anyone suffers…is in distress or pain for any reason. As a friend – and somebody who bears a special affection for you as such, my longing to impart some light and warmth into your life is even greater than usual. However, there’s only so much I can say or do. And probably should do.

    You’re smart, Adele. You’re very smart. Thoughtful…passionate. And I think you’re also an honest person – more honest with yourself than others I’ve known. This is important because we can never be honest with anyone else until we’re first honest with ourselves. And I mean brutally honest…confronting and acknowledging truths about ourselves as they “are,” not as we prefer them to be.

    So, Adele, this bad day you had…the funky mood you said certain circumstances invoked? I’m inclined to sympathize with your assessment that it’s related to the deeper concerns that apparently hover and shift around in your head from day to day. If I were to use a psychoanalytic term, I might call it existential angst. But I’m no Freud.

    What I am is a human being. And I believe that makes me as qualified as anybody to relate to the basic implications of our natural human condition. In other words, in the context of this matter, I understand yearning for more, apprehension of never experience real fulfillment in life, and stress over what the future might bring.

    Now, to clarify, I mean to say I understand how it feels…to be burdened, even driven by such anxieties. To be blunt, although many of my years have been afflicted with such concerns, my growing relationship with God has thankfully freed me from a lot of my torments or given me clarity and strength to deal with them. However, you’re not me, Adele. I know this. And although I believe with all my heart that God is the answer to all problems for all people at all times, I recognize the way you see and engage matters of question in your life is your choice. People walk different paths and at their own pace. I appreciate and respect this for everybody.

    You know, recently I sort of dropped off the radar for a while. I was going through a bit of a moment myself. Not the first time, don’t think it’ll be the last. But I needed to pull back from social interaction at large to reconcile certain things occurring in my life…in my personal growth. Being a Christian, a person who trusts in the power of God to provide what I need, doesn’t automatically exempt me from still being human and experiencing moments when I’m questioning, say, the direction of my life. Now, for me, the questions I’ve had (the questions I always have) have been how can I live a truer, more virtuous, worthier life. Sometimes, I wonder if I’m doing enough. Or if I’m doing it the right way. In times like these, I seek to quiet the “white noise” in the background (or foreground), so I can hear what I need to hear and see what God needs me to see.

    Alright, as for you, Adele, being the intelligent, passionate, honest individual I believe you to be, it’s up to you to take the best steps to find the right answers to the questions that are being asked in your soul. I might be able to help (which if able is a privilege) and others may be able to help. But in the end, no matter what our connections to other people (family, friends, strangers, etc), we all of us owe it to ourselves to get these answers we need. To ask things without any real expectation or desire for solutions creates only a perpetual recipe for profound unhappiness.

    Like I think you said at some point, and as I think we both already believe, everything happens for a reason. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Bilbo knew a thing or two Adele! And Aleks is right, you are a very honest person and if the mundanities of life could just bugger off for a while we could get on with fun stuff, but I suppose without yin there’s no yang. X

    Liked by 1 person

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