It’s done!! Last t crossed and i dotted. I have a book. I have a cover. I have a book launch date. I have a desperate urge to both drink a bottle of gin and go to bed for a month. I may do both.
This year took a lot from me, but it gave me a lot too. While this year threw away a life that I knew, it taught me a way of life that I never knew I could live.
It also taught me that you never know how things will evolve.
Twenty years ago I met two people in the wild jungles of Borneo… I thought one was merely a friend or someone I would know generally, and one was someone I thought would be a soulmate.
Ten years ago I started a blog. I barely knew what a blog was but I was home with a wobbler and a baby having given up my career, and I needed a space to express myself. And also to just ask basic questions such as Really? Is this much poo normal? and How can a two year old seem to know the code to my internal nuclear launch keypad?
The blog was called Mummy Mania and I wrote about the wonder (of them) (and my colour coding planning skills) and the withering (of me) (and the looks my child was capable of giving me), of the joy and enchantment, and the stress and the frustration. And I found a community of women from around the world who followed my course through those unchartered waters, and whose own writings comforted me. Many of them became friends, and we share with each other still.
Now, of those two people I met in Borneo 20 years ago, time has told a different story. The one I thought was my soulmate and married is slowly reducing to someone I just know, while the other has emerged from the depths of our friendship to being the best soul-mate mate possible (she’s like the best gift ever – always comes with a free bottle of wine).
Those relationships evolved and transformed, just as my life did.
And that blog that I started in the chaos of my children’s playroom, also evolved with my life. It eventually became the Sandwich Years after my mum’s stroke and I wrote about the issues of caring for small children and sick parents, and a place to explore my love for them both. And now, finally, extraordinarily, that blog has evolved into a book. Very little of the blog is in the book, but it was it’s creator, it’s muse.
And here it is….. Daughter, Mother, Me. This is the blurb…
In life women can have many labels: daughter, single girl, wife, career woman, mother. I had worn them all and, while life was hectic, I was the one in control. Then four days after the birth of my third daughter, my mum had a massive stroke and, just like that, everything changed.
Over the time to come – in what I call the sandwich years – I found myself both grieving for and caring for my beloved mum, supporting my dad, raising my three young daughters, while trying to get my career back on track. The cracks began to show. I discovered that sometimes having it all, means doing it all and that, amid the maelstrom of need, I had lost the label I had started out with: me.
Daughter Mother Me is the uplifting, at times, heart-breaking but ultimately inspirational story of the bond between a mother and a daughter and how one woman who, through caring for the person she had relied on the most, finally found herself.
All very exciting. Very honoured to have Patricia Scanlon read it, love it and give me a quote for the cover: ‘There is real life on every page of this funny, sad and wise book’ Patricia Scanlan.
So it is done. The year is nearly over and it has thrown everything at me. I am walking through a new door with a rucksack full of promise and leaving the debris of destruction on the floor.
Now, where’s that ice and tonic…can somebody cut me a slice of lemon!