What happens when we lose inspiration to do the things we love?

Stress Marathon

My recent blogging absence mirrors a stress reaction to Caroline’s cancer. Once I felt Caroline was finally ‘safe’ after a year in fight or flight mode through her treatment, I hit a brick wall of ‘freeze’, the third primeval stress response. Quoting a friend; “You’ve run the marathon and now you’ve collapsed at the finishing line both physically and emotionally.”

Life Gives Us What We Can Handle

The repercussions of childhood cancer are lifelong for the whole family. A spiritual director told me life gives us everything we need for our learning whilst only giving what we can handle. So I know I can cope, it’s just working out how! Step 1 was a break from writing.

This re-evaluation of life has shone a light on actually how hard it is to motivate when we’re low. My life’s foundational belief is in the spiritually healing power of getting outdoors, connecting with nature and making everyday adventures. Yet here I was with a desire for nothing more than hours sat in front of the TV – my pre-cancer pet hate. On a positive, it got me thinking about how to better reach those whose lives don’t include ‘outdoors’.

Image of woman in red top cuddling girl in blue dress with very short hair due to cancer
At the North East Braveheart Awards, December 2017, for children of courage with life threatening illness

Conversely, Caroline’s needs probably kept me going during this time. Despite my desire to hide inside, my soul knew that healing lay in nature, so we kept going out. Not as often, not for long and not with much joy on my part but putting one foot in front of the other, believing it was right even though the feeling was gone (and unknowingly drawing on my own ‘wisdom’ and starting in the garden!)

We had a lawn picnic, fed and watched the birds, rescued worms and watched the season unfold.

Blogging Support

Whilst other areas of my life demanded attention, I side-lined writing, my creative outlet. Support was at hand. Sophie at Old House in the Shires provided genuine inspiration with her brilliant #MyGloriousGardens, a timely reminder of how much gardening means to me and how neglected mine has become. A sunny afternoon rearranging pots and clearing the patio was great therapy (despite the same lack of joy) – I knew it was doing me good inside.

Image of two wooden garden chairs on patio with flower pots around and ivy behind
Untended for over 18 months – nature keeps growing! We’re the same really..

Annette at Four Acorns was another great support with her like-minded and inspirational blog based in Ireland. Her spirit of adventure and zest for life kept my eyes on the fact I could and would get back outdoors in time.

Finally, #CountryKids run by the fab Fiona at Coombe Mill, who has been a great source of inspiration and advice since I started blogging, helped to maintain contact with others’ outdoor journeys, reminding me how important Kids of the Wild is to inspire families to get outdoors. The final push to write again was winning a pair of wellies in Fiona’s ‘best post of the month’ for May, with my report of our Cornwall visit raising childhood cancer awareness in Perranporth.

MASSIVE thanks to these inspirational outdoor women writers. You and all my readers kept me afloat in the storm.

Image of rugged country scene with trees, logs and crags and hills in background
A favourite photo from May. There are three children there somewhere!

What Now?

The Wildlife Trusts’ #30DaysWild (a random act of wildness every day in June) came at a perfect time, providing the impetus to get outdoors even for 5 minutes, to focus on nature’s healing power. Here’s some of our random wildness so far..

Random acts of Wildness for #30DaysWild

Little Steps

So life has given me what I need to keep the spark alight! My posts may be less often but Kids of the Wild is still alive.

The summer plan is to slowly write my series on Things to do at the Beach, more focus on childhood cancer, reviewing how to reach families who aren’t already outdoorsy, product reviews, more nature notes, gentle adventures, another giveaway and hopefully the return of joy.

Gratitude

Thank you to all my readers for your support and patience; wild wishes to you all!

Outdoor Inspiration

Find more inspiration to get outdoors or into nature in these posts on Kids of the Wild: –

11 Reasons to Get into the Wild NOW

At home – 17 Ways to Connect with Nature at Home

In the garden – Go Wild in the Garden – 25 Ways to Connect with Nature in Your Garden

Outdoors in the wild – 30 Super Cool Ideas for Outdoor Family Fun