Walking with the moon

A creative living in the real world…

The Next Big Thing. September 23, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — hannahoakland @ 5:08 pm

A lot can happen in nine months. Trust me, I know – I have the children to prove it.

It’s been nine months since I blogged. This time there’s no baby to show for it. But there is a book. Or there will be, soon. When the editors and copy-editors and sales people and designers and printers and everyone else has finished tinkering with it. April next year, that’s the plan. We’ll have a party. Maybe even some ice cream. Or cake. Or both.

You’re all invited – put it in your diary – in pencil. I may not know much about the publishing industry but I’m learning fast that nothing’s set in stone until you can hold it in your hands. Maybe not even then.

52,000 words. That was always going to take a while. And there have been plenty of other distractions. Spectacular trolling that shot my confidence and my self-esteem to pieces. Family illness. A very-far-from-welcome diagnosis of gluten and dairy intolerance. Weaning myself off my anti-depressants. Potty training. Sickness bugs. Jobs that never materialised. School summer holidays. A new nephew. A new car. An allotment. Cooking. Cleaning. Laundry. Life. In general.

It’s been a long nine months. Tricky. It’s taken a lot of effort, and tea, and mild-to-moderate emotional breakdowns to get us this far. But always, throughout it all. I’ve been waiting. Waiting for the Next Big Thing. The one that would change it all. Perhaps I’ve always been waiting. Turns out it’s harder than it looks.

Signing the book deal was going to change my life. Make me successful, happy, fulfilled. Except that actually, I’m still the same. Now I’m making sneaky early-doors plans for a second book, safe in the slightly disappointing knowledge that I’ll be exactly the same person when it’s finished.

The allotment was going to revolutionise my mental health. And my exercise regime. Until I realised that I was spending ninety per cent of my time dragging Joel out of other people’s vegetable patches. Or their cars. So we put ourselves back on the waiting list and handed our little clutch of onions over to someone else.

Being gluten and dairy intolerant was going to kick-start a healthy-eating revolution. Give it a month or two and I’d be one of those internet gurus – eating nothing but kale and doing yoga in my sleep. Until I discovered gluten-free cake, and dairy-free ice cream. And ‘free-from’ pasta. Scuppered.

Coming off my tablets surely means that I’m Better. Completely. Ready to take on the world. Except that I’m not. Not really. I’m just better. With a small b. And I’ve learnt the hard way over the summer that I need to build some serious self-care into my schedule unless I want a full-on nervous breakdown.

I had a plan. This month was going to be the beginning of my big beautiful new life. I’d applied for the perfect job, had a couple of days of exciting freelance work lined up, and was totally ready for the start of term. Or, more accurately, the peace I’d get when Elvie was finally back at school.

I didn’t get the job. Not even an interview. One of my freelance days got cancelled, and I had to give the other away when our childcare fell through. And then, four days into term, we all came down with a vomiting bug of doom which left me curled up on the bathroom floor in crampy horrible tears, wishing that I was dead.

All within the space of a week.

There has been a lot of sobbing this week. A lot of anger. Sheer fury at the injustice of it all. At my glorious, best-laid plans that got so thoroughly, unceremoniously squashed.

I’m not so angry anymore. I’m just tired. Tired of always hanging on, feeling like an idiot, waiting for the Next. Big. Thing. to drop from the sky and change my life. In all honesty, I’m not sure it even exists. Don’t tell Joel.


If only I had that confidence. Or maybe just that t-shirt.

This month has been a new start after all. Just not the way I planned. There’s no stellar career progression. No peace and quiet. No break from the mundane. And absolutely no rest for the washing machine.

But, *deep breath*, I think it’s going to be ok. I’m adopting a new approach. And, hopefully, immersing myself in the little things. I’ll be blogging more. Sleeping earlier. Writing notes for the new book. Making sure we get some proper, quality family time. Going slowly. Starting from scratch. I might even paint my nails.

I’m hoping that the Big Things are over-rated. I think they are.

They’re definitely too heavy to haul around all day.

I’m letting go. For now. Or trying to, at least.

Feel free to remind me.


6 Responses to “The Next Big Thing.”

  1. sallyjs84 Says:

    I love your honesty. And one thing about human beings (myself included) that never fails to amaze me is how the thing that we thought was impossible for ourselves, once achieved, we now we view as mundane. That thing that we thought that we never could do and if, you told us a year ago we’d be doing it, past-self would have said “never, not me.” Yet now we’ve done it and we’re thinking, oh well, we’re just super ordinary. So incredibly impressed that not only have you written a book, you’re casually just mentioning that you’re thinking of making notes for a second one, like that’s just what one does 🙂

    I think that The Next Big Thing is (usually) overrated. Often just one big overwhelming stress response (albeit even a positive one!). Gentle change is usually less overwhelming. Being totally healed of all our trash would be awesome, but most likely we’d just take the state of being re-set totally for granted and end up in a bigger mess because we never learnt how to look after ourselves. I love popping in to your blog because seeing your journey of taking these steps teaches me about being kind to myself and also gives me such encouragement for what is possible when you just keep doing the next thing that is in front of you to do.

    Anyhow, these are late night musings and I usually avoid commenting on blogs because of fear of misinterpretation, so perhaps I will just click post and hope that this comes across in the light that it is meant! 🙂 🙂 Sending love to you all on that side of the globe * * *

  2. Liz Banks Says:

    Wondered where you’d been. In fact remember you said you were off to write a book – but in all honesty didn’t really take that seriously! Given how much effort it was going to be and with 2little uns to care for etc. Plus so many of us say things like ‘I’m going to quote you in my book when I write it’ and such remarks that I admit to kind of dismissing that. So what I’m saying is WELL DONE YOU. Cos you actually DID write a book. I can’t tell you how curious I am as to what’s in it and what it’s about. Is it fictional? Childrens? Blog stylie? Does it have a ‘working title’?

    • Hi Liz! I know…its crazy…still can’t quite believe it myself! It’s called ‘The Honest Mums Club’ and its an edited, re-written version of a year in the blog…terrifying and amazing all at the same time! Loads of love to you and your two not-so-little-anymore beauties! xxx

      • Liz Banks Says:

        My little babies are sooo growd up. Abbi’s gone to Derby uni and Debs is working as a childcare assistant in a day nursery and drives there in own car. Also dating son of someone from church. They just came back from Greek hols last night. Sooo redundant. Also in quarantine with throat infection and stinky cold😓Not really redundant. Just been on Skype to Abs re tinted dyslexia glasses the optician was supposed to claim funding directly from Student finance for disabled students but is refusing to hand them over cos he’s emailed ‘the usual people’ and hasn’t heard back from them yet! So Abbi’s now ringing student support for advice and I’m waiting to hear back so I can call optician back. My role is now full time broker and middle woman! Look forward to seeing your book on the Internet. Good for you. Was intrigued by your comment “spectacular trolling that shattered my confidence'” well they say in the theatre ‘always leave ’em wanting more’ so that’s your game me thinks. Lots of love Liz xxx

  3. Daisy Says:

    Glad to see you post again. Horrible as it sounds, your blogs let me know I’m not the only one covered in snot and drowning in laundry! Love my 3 littleboos, but suffering pnd makes a hard job even harder. Good luck with the book and look after yourself.

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