Week 7 is about recovering a sense of connection. I'm glad I managed to achieve this over the weekend with my Auntie. Good quality nurturing time is exactly what I needed. She left this afternoon, though, and I spent a few hours going through a wee spell akin to grieving; I feel it every time we part company, and have done every time we've said goodbye since the year I spent living with her in Australia. We're exceptionally close and it's always a trial when our time together comes to an end.
I had my Date for the week after leaving the bus station. I wandered through the city, which is cooler and getting darker early now that autumn is really drawing in. Finding a good hat, scarf and gloves as part of this week's tasks was a timely pleasure. I sat and read a book with a never-ending cup of coffee (only £1 with unlimited free refills thanks to my Starbucks card), before treating myself to a free dinner using a voucher I've been hoarding for a while. It was wholesome, nourishing and warmed me, but I felt a combination of guilt and sadness while sitting there among the other diners; despite the fact I wasn't actually spending money, it felt wrong to be doing something that seemed frivolous in the face of the fact I'm about to lose a significant chunk of my income.
I know I've gone on a bit about it this week on my blog, but worrying about my situation really has dominated many of my waking hours. I'm caught between a rock and a hard place, and despite the fact I've taken positive steps and already had interviews for part time jobs to supplement my income, I still feel terrified about what lies ahead — more so because the effects will kick in immediately. I already lead a frugal lifestyle and have little to cut back on. I reduced my responsibilities and commitments quite a while ago to free up money to repay some of my debts faster in the hope I'd be able to scale down work commitments and eventually be able to focus on my writing career. I'm just not quite secure enough yet for this to be happening now.
Part of me is tempted to take a risk with it all. What if the Universe is pushing me in the direction I need to go by freeing up this time and forcing me to concentrate on making a success of my creative work to survive. Is pursuing part time work and running myself into the ground in the process a silly thing to do? Am I ignoring signs and limiting my opportunities when I should be paying attention and taking a leap of faith?
Such is my quandary.
On the way home I picked up a couple of free magazines and postcards to work on my collage. I've not really gotten the tasks this week. I've tip-toed around them, actively avoiding some of them. It's not that I don't like the art and crafts element, more that I feel a bit childish or stupid doing it. That's no good. I need to get over it. I noticed that I actively sought certain types of image to include, but sometimes by the time I had cut them out and stuck them down, they felt a bit strange being there. I think I'm changing. My tastes and desires are changing. It's possibly in direct response to the major changes I'm experiencing in other areas of my life; suddenly things I've always considered part of my personality, my likes and my dislikes, are starting to feel irrelevant.
Saying goodbye to Auntie today was a significant milestone; an occasion to mark the changes I'm going through. The play has come to the end of its current run, my writing projects are tied up for the year, I'm about to embark on a new creative writing course, my work routine is changing, my home-life is changing, my finances are changing, the seasons are shifting — it feels radical.
I realise that this week I got so absorbed that I failed to really reconnect with myself. Perhaps as Week 8 rolls in and I start recovering a sense of strength I'll find the confidence to be kinder to myself.