Hello, Anxiety…

Anxiety and I have been very close friends since…well…probably birth. She doesn’t just pop in on special occasions she pretty much holds my hand and blows in my ears all day, every day. She’s kind of in whirlwind mode at the moment though and I’ve been giving myself a hard time about it, until last night when I suddenly had a sort of epiphany.

Could anyone else handle the inside of my head?

Here’s the thing. This week has kind of sucked for various reasons. Mostly I’m questioning my capabilities as a mother. As usual I feel like I’m fucking up on that front but it’s a little more magnified than usual at the moment. Like holy shit please rewind ten years and make different choices kind of magnified. And then I went and did something potentially stupid: I signed myself up for a market appearance this weekend.

How awesome does a pop-up bookshop sound? Pretty damn freaking awesome, right?! (more…)

A fine for what now?

I was scrolling through Facebook the other day when I came across this post by Business Insider that was basically saying that barking dogs could start costing South Africans up to R20 000 in fines. And honestly? I haven’t stopped thinking about the absurdity of it all for days.

Can you imagine? Dear Ms Larter your dog is barking. We know it’s a dog and dogs bark but if you don’t stop it you’re going to have to pay 20K or spend two years in jail.

Sure…

Here’s the thing though: How the hell? (more…)

Six Months Later

I had elaborate plans to actually start writing today. It seemed fitting. It’s a Monday. There are six months left of the year. And I told myself that once I had settled here I would write. No more homeschooling, after all.

Not this writing, I mean. This slightly more fun and kind of play-play writing, considering it serves little purpose other than to vent. To giggle a bit. Perhaps to save a memory or two. No. It was supposed to be book writing. And here we are and it’s after lunch time and I haven’t done the writing. The writing that was supposed to be done before 10. I’m starving but my husband has promised to whip up a spaghetti (thank God for husbands who cook) so at least I will be fed but I’m still just sitting here and wondering how the hell half the year has gone by and I still haven’t written a thing towards that stupid “dream” of getting a second and third and forth and fiftieth book written.

Hmmm… It’s possible that I need not only a permanently employed housekeeper, but a life keeper. Wouldn’t that be nice? A life keeper…

That sounds like a story waiting to happen.

If only Nadine was writing. (more…)

A Habit of Writing

I’ve been quiet again. I’ve fallen out of the habit of writing I suppose. It’s not that I’ve had a lack of things to say, it’s more like a writing melancholy exists and I might be afraid to indulge it. It doesn’t matter. Write I should. Because the habit of writing is important.

I started this blog at the end of 2008. Newly single and fresh out of the career I had been cultivating for almost two years. I found solace in the idea of a blog, despite finding the word “blog” to be irksome. How can anyone take “blog” seriously? You can’t. It’s too stupid a word.

But there I was, ready to write again after two years of neglect. And I wanted to re-create the habit. Because the habit counts far more than bouts of inspiration do. It takes nothing for me to sit down and write a whole bunch of words with zero inspiration. I don’t have to be amped to write. The problem is that without the “amp” it feels pointless to sit down and do it, even though it isn’t pointless. Feelings are stupid. They lie a lot.

And so here I am again. Ready to write. Ready to re-cultivate the habit. Because writing was one of the reasons I moved here. The freedom to write a bit more. Although granted I didn’t take into account the busyness of this place. The busyness that consists of fetching and taking kids to school and sport. That part keeps tripping me up. Distracting me. Eating away at my time because it takes so long for me to snap out of one mode and into another.

We’re cultivating though.

I Have No Clue What I’m Doing

For the last two weeks or so I’ve been happily sharing the progress of The Littlest Bookshop’s progress and then last night my brain suddenly went: Nadine what on earth are you doing?! All those before photos are just fine but you don’t even have a clue what the after plan is!

And it’s true: I have no idea what this spot is supposed to look like “after”. Not even the teeniest bit. And so of course now that my anxiety has been able to shift focus from Noah’s first day of school to “my” stuff, it’s going “you dumbass what if it looks terrible and all these folks are watching and telling you they can’t wait to see the end result!”

Well… awkward…I guess. Haha! For a second or two my inner critic had me, I must admit. I started to panic. Like oh my gosh what if it doesn’t turn out like I’m hoping! Then of course I realised I had no particular hope in mind. Which is something I’ve actually taught myself to do because it’s not possible to be a writer and stay sane if you’re too hung up on expectations. Apparently that habit has infiltrated to a few other areas. I’m going to go ahead and call that a good thing.

So the point is this: I don’t know what I’m doing. Not even a teeny tiny bit. I’m just going with the flow and seeing what happens. So when this is all done I will be just as surprised as all of you by how it turned out. I do apologise if it turns out to be a bit of a letdown. My decor skills are not exactly on fleek (*snarf*) in the first place and I did kind of spend all my money on cement and floorboards with none left for decor items. And to be honest there’s pretty much only space for books and maybe two people at a time in this little Hobbit Hole of mine anyway. But whatever happens, whether it turns out better or worse than I was hoping, it will still be filled with hundreds and thousands of beautiful stories. And that particular part, the most important part, I have covered. So we’re good, right?

The First Day of Our New Life

I think I might have forgotten how to blog. Today was such a monumental deal in this house that surely whole thing should be documented in some way and yet I sit here barely able to put one word after another. It might be all the tired at play…

My littlest peanut went to school today for the first time and thankfully I am quite content that it will all work out just fine. You see the thing is, this little school that my little peanut went to for the first time today is kind of the #1 reason that we moved here.

A little bit mad? Maybe. But mad things must be done from time to time.

And so my littlest peanut started school today. The reason we moved started today. And today was a really good day. Even though I nearly cried ten times. Even though I can see he’s a little overwhelmed and exhausted. Even though I know I’m going to have to keep my finger on the pulse here and somehow magically balance Noah’s penchant for social and emotional burnout with my own burnout struggles. Even though this is all going to be totally different to what we are used to.

Today was a really good day.

New year new life, right?

Or something like that. Usually this is my favourite time of year. The New Year feels like a reward for getting through Christmas for me. But here I am, burned out and overwhelmed. And very surprised that I haven’t been crying a lot more than I have been.

How are we all doing, by the way? It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Since I was last here. I’ve sort of told you that I’m moving (move date: Feb 28) and you know that I started a new business. Because why do one huge thing at a time when you can do two? Right? Or seven…

Here we go though. 2019 promises to be challenging af. I’d like to say “I got this” but I truly don’t we’re all just holding thumbs and hoping for the best…

How’s your year going so far?

One Month Later…

My shop has been open for a month. And y’all? It’s been a ride to say the least. This weekend I actually started to worry that I was about to shut down a little, which was scary because I don’t have time for burnout right now. But luckily I changed the brand of magnesium I was taking (I have no idea why the Clicks one works better) and I’ve been happily sipping on banana cream Herbalife shakes (the magnesium and potassium content in there is superior!) and I’m feeling better today. Much better. In fact I’m happy so yay!

But…oh yes! I have a bookshop and it’s been a bit of a nutsy month. Pretty much everything else in my life has taken a bit of a backseat, I’ll admit. Blogging especially! Balance has not been easy (or forthcoming!) but I’ll figure it out, right? No probably not. I’ll make peace with it though. Maybe.

For now I just wanted to acknowledge the magical support I’ve been getting. I am so grateful. And I cannot say thank you enough!

PS: I sort of feel like my feature pic doesn’t quite match the mood of this post. But I’m way too lazy to take another selfie right now so I’m going with it. It’s the only one in my phone that has books in it. Just imagine I’m actually super happy, but I’m also super tired and I’m busy trying to stay positive about what seems to be a carpel tunnel issue that has reared its head thanks to all the extra social media-ing I’ve been doing. So the pic kind of fits, right?

There’s Something I Haven’t Told You

I’m a little ill today. My body is rapidly burning out I think. It’s ok though. I’m catching it. Resting. Taking my supplements. Liquids. Probably I should go and make some tea…

OK I’m back. I totally made coffee though. And some toast. And MedLemon because honestly cherry MedLemon is the best thing about being sick I really like that stuff. Probably I should consider this addiction of mine something akin to drinking too much? Probably let’s rather not think about that now.

Anyway: back to the thing I haven’t told you yet…

I’m moving.

And I’m moving really far away. Far away to a place I believed I would never return to.

I’m moving home.

Every time I try to talk about this in conversation it ends up a being very long and probably boring story about how we came to the decision to do this. But what it really boils down to is that I want something different for my kids. And even myself and my husband. But mostly my kids.

So we’re moving to Molteno. Thanks to my mother and father-in-law, we’ve gotten ourselves the loveliest home to move in to. I love it so much I can barely comprehend it. And funny enough it’s a home I spent a lot of time in as a child. I loved it back then already. The fact that it is almost “ours” still blows my spoilt little brat mind. I can’t get over it.

But we’re moving. And it’s exciting and scary and sad and happy and a whole bunch of other contradictory things. But mostly it’s just time. Time for a change. Time to be with my sister and brother-in-law who I adore while I patiently wait for them to give me nephews and nieces. Time for my teens to experience a quieter life. Time for my son to be with his best friend in the world (seriously: it is possible to make a decision to move somewhere just because you really like your friend’s kid and you think he’s good for your own child) and time for my husband to experience the small town life that he has been begging me to consider for years.

I haven’t processed the part where moving somewhere means leaving here yet. And to be honest I am afraid. Because I do love it here so very much. I can only have faith that someone will catch me once the reality of it all hits. For now I am distracted by plans and packing though. And by writing blog posts while ill because if I don’t do “something” I will think too much.

We’re moving. What a beautiful and horrible thing.

Bypassing the Open Windows

I’ve been meaning to write this post for months. Ever since I got back from Thailand, really. I just haven’t had the words. Or the heart. Passing the Open Windows has been a kind of mantra in my life for so long now. Silly, perhaps, to latch onto something that you read in a book once and make it your life.

It has been my life though. Keep passing the open windows. Basically it means don’t commit suicide. Not really something that’s socially acceptable to talk about. But that’s what it was for me. A place to record and celebrate all the reasons to keep passing the open windows. And sometimes a place to rage against the things that send you in the wrong direction.

Of course, last year, on the advice of someone who believes in niche blogging, I split my blog into two spaces. Here, a place where I can awkwardly tell you about my “real” life, and There, a place where I shared the travel life.

But the thing is this: It’s all my real life. And my life has no niche. It’s all just a glorious and beautiful and hideous messed up jumble.

And so I have decided to let Passing the Open Windows go. This is a small bit sad for few reasons. One is that I did really liked the idea of being “a travel blogger” and living a glorious life of travel “one day”. Another is because the windows have been part of my identity for so long. A few plans ands ideas are being let go as well. That’s ok though. It happens.

Stephen Fry said something very interesting once that has stuck with me ever since. If you will forgive my paraphrasing (I don’t know how to Google this and find the correct wording) he said don’t label yourself as any one thing. If you call yourself a “writer” then that is all you will be. Rather be “a person who writes” because then you can do many other things as well. Mr. Fry has been and done many things. And I like to think that idea fits with me.

I am a person who travels.

I am a person who loves motherhood.

I am a person who writes.

I am a person who takes photographs.

I am a person who owns a bookshop.

I am Nadine Rose Larter.

So, the Open Windows will still be found here even though there are no travel plans in our near future. I knew as soon as I booked our Thailand tickets this year that they would be the last plane tickets in my life for probably a very long time and I have made my reluctant peace with it. Travel will always be in my heart and hopefully always accessible to me in one way or another. I might not be able to afford to fly for now but I can still walk. Exploration is accessible.

A few other adventures await.

I’ll just be telling you about all of them here from now on.