Derfwad Manor has always been intended to be a simple, embracing place to swing by, grab a laugh or two and then move on and go about your business. Not too shallow, not too deep, a nice little slice of just right.
And that intention has not changed. God knows that Mrs. G. is not interested in being taken seriously. Back when the Women's Colony was in production and we were occasionally interviewing authors, Mrs. G. got an email from esteemed author Margot Livesey asking when her interview was going to be published, she was anxious to see it. Mrs. G. apologized for the delay and told Ms. Livesey that she had a confession to make: the Women's Colony was not Newsweek and in no small part consisted of a middle aged wife and mom cranking out print in her living room, winging the holy hell out of it with an amazing group of dedicated women. Ms. Livesey wrote back that she was impressed and that she felt like she would like to come over and water Mrs. G's plants.
The point of this is that this is still the truth. Mrs. G. is just a woman sitting in her living room cranking out print. She doesn't say this to minimise herself, she says it to remind each and every one of you that she has presented herself in what is likely an alarmingly honest way: she's insecure, she's struggling to reframe a life centered around kids (which is leading to a lot of second guessing about decisions made years back), she really does just randomly fall to the ground, home decor and fashion bore her and it shows, she's an interrupter, and pretends she is serving the environment by wearing a shirt two days in a row when in fact it's just one more ploy to avoid laundry. She tries to be a nice person and apologizes when she fails. She can open any jar put before her.
But she is flawed and, presently, she is lost.
And this is a big one: Mrs. G. rarely shares her problems with anyone besides Mr. G. because she is fearful of appearing whiney. When she is feeling overwhelmed or troubled, her inclination is to lay low and not be a bother. Compared to most of the world, she is so privileged and what is more annoying than a privileged woman carrying on about her problems?
Which is explains her recent lack of writing. She thought about writing some bullshit about being extra busy and blah, blah, blah.
But it occurred to her last night that she should tell the truth because certainly she is not the only person who has dwelled in a valley, and because she suspects just laying it out there will actually solve some of her writer's block, the just sitting in front of the screen staring at it and staring at it and staring at it.
So she has swallowed her pride and found a SARK-less therapist to help her re-evaluate her difficulty in just sucking it up and shaking it off.
Apparently these strategies are no longer working because Mrs. G's previously conquered fear of bridges is back--but she keeps driving over them, refusing to give in. Her normal appreciation of beauty is lacking. She was walking up the stairs to her house and came alongside her most beloved gardenia tree (in her estimation, the world's most exquisite flower). The tree is in full bloom, the smell intoxicating and the gardenia tree's beauty and optimism were in such contrast to Mrs. G's dismal frame of mind, she told the tree to shut up as she walked into the house. Similary she looks at her cherry tomatoes, withering on the vine, desperate for water and thinks stand in line, cherry tomatoes, stand in line. You aren't the center of the universe!
Mrs. G. has cancelled her last three hair appointments. Are you getting some idea of the magnitude of this crisis?
Another intention of Derfwad Manor and The Women's Colony was to create a community of women who might feel comfortable saying things online that are difficult to say in person, a meaningful start in Mrs. G's mind. Reaching out is reaching out no matter what the method. It's human to just connect.
So if anyone out there is struggling, know that you are not alone, because feeling alone in turmoil is the bottom and the one thing about the suck ass bottom is that, even in tiny increments, there is no place to go but up.
If there is anyone who is experiencing similar difficulties, let Mrs. G. know and she is happy to share what she is learning on what is clearly going to be an ongoing journey. Mrs. G. wants to stress that for her this is not about the outside (aging, whatever) but the inside. We can round robin email if anyone is interested in creating a mini support group, sharing experiences and insights. She suspects to some this sounds cheeseball, but guess what, at this point, Mrs. G. fully embraces cheeseball. Honestly, she would french it.