It's been hard to write over the last month. Christmas and family time were fantastic but Omicron reared its ugly head and everyone became wary of life again, and that small window of feeling a little like normal was gone. We were in the centre of it here in my hometown and it was scary to be looking at everyone around you every time you left the house thinking 'Do they have it? Will I get it?' But then I told myself to get a grip and think of all the amazing frontline workers - nurses, doctors, teachers, grocery store workers, truckies - who have kept us going and who have had to live with that fear in much closer circumstances than me. I also remind myself that although any death from this insidious disease is hard, there are many others in many countries around the world who don't have the wonderful health and support systems we have access to, and just the fact that we can bitch about those systems and the politicians who supposedly run them, is a luxury they do not have.
So - it's cup half full for me. I'm home with family after years of living abroad, I have a very nice roof over my head, plenty of food and drink (despite the rush on sausages and toilet paper - seriously!), a new puppy who is just the cutest thing, and I've have decided to put head down and bum up and write as many positive and uplifting stories as I can to help make 2022 a better year than the last.
Revitalised, reinvigorated and ready to write again! It is SO good to be home in Australia. I know Covid is not great here right now, but I'm so thankful to be back in this wonderful country. Lockdown here is very different to lockdown in Vietnam and I feel for my friends and colleagues still there who are doing it so much tougher than I am. I walk the beaches near our house every morning revelling in the fresh air and the smell of the ocean. I walk to the local supermarket. I cook for my family and touch base with friends I haven't seen for two years. And I'm writing again. I am so very fortunate.
Sometimes it's hard to 'just keep swimming' like Dory did. Wandering around the apartment feeling sorry for myself, with my head full of ideas that just won't seem to un-jumble themselves, life feels like it's not moving forward. That it's stuck. That I'm stuck. I'm a writer who's never been published. Some critiques have been amazing and made me feel that contract is sooo close, while others have truly sucked and made me want to crawl under the bed covers and never come out again! Looking out my apartment window here in Vietnam, reminds me just how fortunate I am and that I need to stop and smell the frangipanis! It doesn't matter that I'm not published. It doesn't matter that some like my stories while others don't. The thing that matters is that I write. So that's what I did just now. I wrote. And it helped me to not be stuck anymore.
Do you ever feel like that? Do you ever have 'black cloud days'? What do you do to become 'unstuck'?
You can read today's thoughts, aptly titled 'Stuck', by following this LINK.
Although I can't get home right now because of COVID-19, I'm in a beautiful place by the ocean, on holiday, and safe, which is definitely something to be thankful for. I love the ocean. Our home in Australia is a 5 minute walk from two stunning beaches and we can hear the waves as we go to sleep at night. So being able to relax looking out over the turquoise waters of Ninh Van Bay, with a light sea breeze cooling me as a write, is a pretty good alternative! And the setting is definitely inspirational. Having to do a 'staycation' in Vietnam has it's perks! So I've been writing like crazy in between ocean swims and have added a new poem to my poetry page. Not one about calm, gentle seas rather the opposite. It's about the storms that gather out to sea on my beaches back home. You can read it here.