This morning it is raining.I'm on Day 3 of my new regime: taking this writing thing seriously.That it to say: writing as my day job.Suddenly I feel a bit unqualified.I am wearing my old holey jeans (not holey in a cool way, more in a - I can't leave the house due to indecency - way), I have no make up on, my hair has been cleaned with dry shampoo and I have a peg holding it off my face.Yesterday I finished the novel I was reading (a weird one - about a woman who fell in love with a duck)...

This morning I dropped my three children off at school for the first day of the Autumn term. I returned to a blissfully quiet house and put the kettle on. I exhaled and thought,Congratulations, you survived the summer.This summer has been good.I have stayed in bed late and when I have finally come downstairs I have chosen to ignore the cartoons that are still on and the dried cereal adding a crunch topping to the lounge floor. I have been more relaxed about what and when we are going to eat occasionally making an effort and cooking from scratch, and...

I'm all about the grace. Grace is one of my favourite words.At my darkest of times, when it felt like the world was closing in on me I have known the sweet relief of grace. Grace in the actions of my friends, calling at the right moment, anticipating my needs. Grace revealed in a beautiful sunset, refreshing rain, or the flowers in my garden. Grace for my soul, in the quiet knowledge I am accepted and loved regardless of my mood or actions, knowing I belong.Mercy, grace, favour when I really don't deserve it. Amen and hallelujah.But. But.If Grace is poured...

I opened my computer the other day to check something and somehow found myself on Facebook (how does that happen?).I followed a link someone had posted to the page of a blogger I have long admired but rarely read (not sure why): Glennon Doyle Melton (of Momastery).I scrolled down, glancing at the small amount of text she had prefixed her latest blog posts with, until one stopped me in my tracks.This is what I read; 'Yes, I’ve got these conditions—anxiety, depression, addiction—and they almost killed me. But they are also my superpowers. I’m the canary in the mine and you need...

In my battle against the anxiety I have amassed an arsenal of weapons.I moderate my alcohol and caffeine consumption, try to eat and sleep well, practise mindfulness, exercise regularly, use 7/11 breathing techniques and try to schedule in time to rest.But recently I noticed a new habit that is also having a big impact on the pull of anxious thoughts.I am fairly well at the moment. The past six months have been some of the most stable and relaxed I have known in a while. I have managed to do many things that, even a year ago, would have seemed...

I went to see my Nan yesterday. Nan is 95 and has lung cancer. She is pleased to know she will soon be leaving this planet and has wanted the Lord to take her for a while. All my friends are dead, she tells us.Although obviously weakening she is still bright and fairly active. She gets tired more and her eyesight is failing her, but apart from that you still wouldn't know she was ill unless she told you.I like to talk to her about her life, and have recorded a number of interviews with her over the last few...

Some weeks I have a phrase that hovers around me no matter what I am doing.This has been one of those weeks. And the words have been:On Tuesday they got 'magnetic letters' status.Relinquish:to lay down or surrender. To give up ownership and authority over.To release from your grip. To loosen your hold and let go.This week I have had to relinquish control of a number of things: My diary. At the start of the week I had so many things I wanted to get done. So many people I wanted to see.But I hadn't factored Matt or the kids into my plans...

 As Maria sang in the film The Sound of Music, 'Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start'. In fact, it is the only place to start.The only way to start.With the first step.I am the kind of person who has a new creative idea every hour, it often feels like I catch it on the breeze. It is rarely a logical thought-process looking to solve a given problem. It is a moment of whimsy, a random string of connections, like lights on the runway leading me in the direction of creative flight.I cannot see it all, but a glimpse of...

As I drove back from dropping the kids at school today this poem floated down to meet me.I feel confused about the decision our country has made today, and it is difficult not to feel hopeless.  When things seem to change so rapidly it is hard not to feel out of control.But some things are still the same. The air I breathe, the ground beneath my feet, and the scent of the roses in my garden. We forget our days are so brief, and the earth so old, so knowing.Who can think they own the earth? That the leaves on the...

This writing lark is relatively new to me. For the past fifteen years, for better or worse, between pregnancies and breast-feeding, I have been trying to form a career as a theatre director. Scrabbling around, looking for scraps of work. Work that would fit in with my childcare, work that would develop my skills, work I loved and work I took because it seemed like the right thing to do.This was my passion. These were my people. This was the path I trod. I stuck doggedly to it.Then a couple of years back, after a season of great emotional turbulence,...