Two years on… and feeling the pressure

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Strangely, today I thought to myself  ‘go on, write a blog post’.

You see, I haven’t blogged in a while. Well over a year, probably more like eighteen months, but since I’ve been working on building my social media presence, I’ve been trying to push myself to write a new post. To re-enter the blogosphere.

And it just so turns out the day I decide to put finger to keys is my two-year anniversary on WordPress. Coincidence, or what? I like to think it’s more than just coincidence… that some predestined path means I’m sitting here writing this.

Who knows. But here I am.

My first thought when I opened up WordPress was ‘what should I talk about?’ and then I thought ‘hell, just wing it’. Forcing these things can seem unnatural, stilted. Sure, just winging it runs the risk of a long unfocused jumble of thoughts, but I’m going with it.

Lately, my life is all about pressure. The pressure associated with trying to make a living from writing books. The expectations and pressures I place on myself as a mother and wife. And the daily pressures that arise from being an adult. Write, cook, clean, play, pay bills, rinse and repeat. Okay, that’s simplifying things down to one sentence, but the pressure remains the same.

I’ve always been the kind of person to face pressure head on. Whether it be in work or my personal life, I like to analyse the problem, make a plan, and execute said plan. But lately? Lately, I just want to climb into bed, pull up the duvet, and sleep in the face of pressure. I don’t… but I want to. Maybe it’s the time of year, or I’m just weary from a year of broken sleep and toddler tantrums, or I’m juggling too many plates, but man that bed never looked so good.

Two years ago, I was embarking on this shiny new adventure. A writer’s life, they call it. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do. But, like many writers, I work from home. My office is a pokey little corner of my bedroom, so when I’m at work I’m literally sitting in my bedroom. It can be stifling, and because going to work is actually taking the forty steps upstairs, I don’t get total peace and quiet to do what I need to do. And, some days, the bed just calls to me with its fluffed up pillows and thick, comfy duvet cover. It’s like a piece of forbidden fruit taunting me, calling to me. It doesn’t always make for the most productive environment, that’s for sure. But I push on, ignoring its seductive calls because I have work to do and deadlines to meet and if I did succumb I’d only feel guilty anyway.

For better or worse, Pressure motivates me. It pushes me to work for just ‘one more hour’ or to ‘do the laundry’ when all I really want to do is sit down and read a book or chill out with my two children. Pressure is the voice constantly whispering in my ear… ‘just one more…’ or ‘just five more minutes…’ But it’s also a reminder of everything that’s good in my life: family, children, the chance to do something I love for a living. Pressure comes from my need to achieve. Whether it’s trying to be a better mother or pouring my heart and soul into writing a better book, I want to achieve the best I can in whatever I’m doing.

So, on the days I feel like doing nothing or having a ‘day off’ of from adulting, I let Pressure whisper. I let her whispers grow louder and louder until she’s a screaming in my ear I can’t ignore.

Because, in the end, the day that Pressure stops talking is the day I’ll have either become the best version of myself I can be or I’ll have failed… and since we can always grow and evolve and develop our skills, the other option is simply too scary to consider.