Hello my loves. I’ve been having one of those ‘creative blocks’, fuelled by perfectionism. You’d think that cycle would stop at some point but in ten years of writing and creating, there’s no sign of it giving up. The perfectionist voice says:
This is boring.
This isn’t helpful.
Why would anyone want to know about that?
That’s not good enough/beautiful enough/neat enough.
You know, just the usual – not enough, not enough, not enough.
A lot of it stems from my strong impulse for neatness and consistency. Maybe control. I’m often filled with this longing for my work to fit into a nice neat container, so that I can know inside myself exactly what I do, how I do it, why I do it and who I do it for. But again, in ten years, I’ve not been able to pin down that container. I keep giving up on trying to find it and then realise I’ve been looking for it again. It would be nice to know what it feels like to be one of those people who can commit and stick to one thing.
For instance, today I’m sharing more what I consider ‘life updates’. This feels completely different to me to pieces of writing I might do that are more creative/self-contained pieces of art. And even though I want to share both these things, I don’t enjoy the feeling of mess it creates inside. I want everything to be uniform and perfect and definable and properly contained.
If nothing more, I wish I’d have learned by now that one of the best ways out of these ruts for me is simply to write something. To share something. To make contact with you, out there, rather than swimming around too long in my own head.
This first contact after being deep in a rut often feels quite painful as it feels inadequate, messy, pointless and boring. A bit like the worst thing you’ve ever created. But it usually does the trick and stokes the fire. And more often than not, there’s something in the mess that is encouraging, uplifting or helpful for someone else to hear. And if it does that for just one person, that’s enough for me.
So without further ado, I thought I’d share our most happy recent news.
Last Thursday we went to collect a 9-month old kitten/cat from our local shelter. Ben and I have both had cats growing up and of course I did that long stint of cat-sitting in 2019/2020. We’ve talked about getting one before but we’ve always felt it wasn’t quite the right time as we didn’t feel settled enough ourselves.
Then a few weeks ago I had a sudden impulse to check the animal shelter website and immediately saw a cat called Coral who sounded just right for our house and circumstances. I went to show Ben, he smiled and said ‘Let’s do it!’. I called the shelter but they told me she’d already been reserved.
Still, the shelter arranged for a home check via video call and asked us some more questions and at the end of that check the lady told us she thought there was a cat that would be perfect for us, who wasn’t yet listed on the website.
We went to meet Luna a couple of weeks ago, fell in love and gratefully brought her home Thursday just gone. She’s settling in so quickly and is very much a love bug. Rarely have I met such an affectionate, gentle cat.
One of the reasons I thought I might never home a cat of my own is because I love the birds so much and I would be so sad if she were to hunt and kill them. But then a friend in Canada told me about the Birdbesafe collar which seems to have great reviews for its efficacy.
Luna will be inside for a couple of weeks whilst she gets used to her new home. When we begin letting her out, I’ll see what her hunting skills are like and if she shows a fondness for birds, I’ll invest in a Birdsbesafe collar.
Yesterday we made her a toy to keep her entertained and give her some exercise whilst she’s indoors. Ben whittled down a long piece of wood and drilled a hole in one end. I tied a feather to a piece of string and tied the string through the hole in the stick. Ben also bought in a long log from outside for her to climb and sharpen her claws.
Wow, she loved it! I was beginning to think she didn’t know how to jump until we saw her with this toy. Here’s a short video if you want to see 🙂
It is just about the loveliest, most relaxing thing to sit down with her on your lap. She has a really loud purr and loves her cuddles. She is offering us so much joy, love and comfort. Hopefully we are doing the same for her.
Well, this post feels just as messy now that I’ve finished as it did when I started. But I shall share it anyway and live with the discomfort. Maybe it will encourage you to do something a little less than perfect too. It is just incredible to me how much we hold ourselves back. I cannot even begin to imagine the potential inside each of us if we could take action despite the perfectionist voice even 1% more of the time.
Love and courage,
How wonderful to have a loving cat!! I know how nice it is because we adopted a cat last February. Pumpkin was the same age as Luna when we adopted. He has been such a joy for me!! He loves to snuggle and is playful. I think Luna is the same. Thanks for sharing!! Love and hugs.
Oh Bonnie, that is so lovely to hear and I LOVE the name Pumpkin 🙂 I totally share your joy. It is a delight to have her in the house. Thank you! xx
Thank you for sharing Leah! Love your new baby Luna. May she bring you both so much joy and love. About your “messy” thoughts – actually I find that sharing to be even more relatable and encouraging than having everything neat and refined. Neat and refined isn’t real life. You are loved for the truth of your humanness and how that shows up. Thank you for sharing and feeling the discomfort and moving with it to still bring it forward for us to witness and be with. Hugs to you:)
Thank you Michelle! I very much agree with your thoughts that to hear more of the ‘messy’ is often very relatable and more encouraging than something neat and refined. I guess it’s just perhaps that they’re different things and the ‘artist/creator/lover of order’ in me really enjoys the particular feeling of something that feels more complete/finished/beautiful (not that mess isn’t beautiful too) and, more importantly for me maybe, I enjoy the feeling of consistency/patterns. So complex, so interesting to ponder. Thank you for writing and hugs to you too! 🙂
Having just found and connected with you(r work) online, this piece made me laugh. After reading 2-3 of your posts I was squealing with delight “THIS PERSON GETS Me!!!! She deeply understand!!!”
My God, it feels so nice and worthy and refreshing to be seen, even in our deep insecurities and areas we wish would chill (Oh hello, inner critic!). I just left my job a few months ago and am on the pathway of creative self expression. Your willingness to be real, be raw, and just write SOMETHING was refreshing. Seems like a real cute cat, and I love the name Luna. More than being perfect, I think most of us are just looking for permission to show up and be seen. By doing this, you’ve given us all our own unique type of permission. Thanks for pushing past the discomfort & the fear. xo Kristen