BALLS AND FOCUS - How 2024 is going so far
And welcome to While I've got you
So far, not bad
I started 2024 wanting to adopt some better habits. Didn’t we all?
I wanted to do two-three pages of journal-style writing everyday. I reckon I’ve done it about five days out of seven, and that will do. The other two are generally lost to nights when I’ve fallen asleep with my six-year-old daughter and woken up at 11pm too overheated and confused to put pen to paper. I’m doing my best.
I wanted to be more mindful about how I use my phone. Some days I’ve managed it and other days I’ve failed miserably (because Instagram knows I cannot resist a Sister Act themed reel). Setting a 45 minute daily limit on the app has helped a lot. When I hit my limit it fades to grey, says THAT’S IT FOR TODAY, and locks me out. If only our sweets cupboard had a similar function, my teeth would be in much better shape.
I wanted to go for more walks by myself. When I’ve done it, I’ve come back a much calmer and more reasonable woman (in the short term, anyway.) I realised I hardly ever go outside without a child-based purpose. I’m either dropping somebody off or picking them up, or taking us to the park to get enough fresh air to justify putting Toy Story on again when we get home. So it’s good for my sanity to have the odd walk which I don’t start after bellowing “SHOES ON PLEASE!” 14 times.
I wanted to do better at focusing on one thing at a time, which is surely a work in progress for us all. Using a timer has helped me write this. Purposely leaving my phone in another room is another good tactic. I’ve also had to accept that piles of clean washing are the closest thing I’m going to get to company whilst I work, so if I can’t put them away for a while, that’s OK. (Though if I find myself asking my husband’s socks what they watched on telly last night, I will seek medical assistance.)
Time for a change
And lastly, I wanted to put more creativity out into the world, so here we go.
During one unusually insightful writing session in deepest darkest January, I found myself writing BALLS AND FOCUS at the top of a page of my notebook. I’d been rambling on to myself about struggling to get stuff done and feeling unsure about whether anything I have to say has any value (the standard creative’s journey) and I realised that’s what I need. BALLS because I need the courage to just do it as what’s the worst that can happen anyway? And FOCUS because a lot of the time my struggles to get sh*t done are directly linked with my inability to sit down without diving into a WhatsApp discussion with my mum about whether I should or should not purchase yet another leopard print jumper on Vinted. (Of course I should).
I have been a ‘blogger’ since 2011 on a website I called ‘Nothing good rhymes with Charlotte’ because I guess I thought it was funny and I also just couldn’t think of another name. I thought I’d change it when a better idea came to me, but it simply never did, so we stayed as we were for over a decade. It’s a bit like when we moved to Wimbledon ‘for a bit’ whilst my husband had a short stint working in Cobham, and then we stayed for 13 years. We don’t like to be rushed around here.
I’ve been surprised by how much of an emotional and unnerving process it’s been for me to decide to simply start writing on a different platform. Substack is where people blog now, so it makes sense to join the party. And it would be cool to try and build a readership, if there’s one out there that might like my flavour of nonsense. We’ll see. I tell my children to ‘Give it a try!’ and ‘Be brave!’ so many times a day, I need to practise what I preach.
Why ‘While I’ve got you’
I’ve given this blog a different name. I’ve gone with ‘While I’ve Got You’ for two reasons - 1. Because that’s probably what I’d say if we were chatting in real life, before heading into whatever thought or story I felt compelled to share. I appreciate it’s a pretty one-sided chat, but please do use the comments to tell me what you think!
And 2. Because I write about the things I’ve got that matter to me. As I’ve grown older, my posts have started to feel like love letters to my children, my husband, my friends, myself and the world. So 'While I’ve got you’ is addressed to them. While I’ve got you at this moment/age/stage/still putting up with my relentless requests to PLEASE TURN THE BATHROOM LIGHT OFF WHEN YOU’RE DONE, here’s what I’d like to say.
So if you’re a Nothing Good Rhymes With Charlotte reader (hi Mum!), you already know what this is all about. Same stuff, different place. And if you’re new here - welcome and thanks for stopping by. I’ll be chatting about motherhood, marriage, relationships, creativity, and more with honesty, emotion, and EXCESSIVE use of capital letters.
I have brought a few posts from my previous blog with me, so you can see what I’ve had to say before about lessons I’ve learnt from my daughter, overwhelm, and the day our son was born. That last one is where I go when I need a cry/a reminder of how quiet and innocent he was before he learnt how to poke me in the eye.
I hope you like it here, and to see you again next time.
Thanks for reading While I've got you. Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.