It’s been a massive struggle getting up and running again, I’m not going to lie. When I finally arrived back in Australia from the UK back in March, Third Son asked me, ‘Are you REALLY OK, Mum?’, to which I breezily replied, ‘Yes of course, darling!’.
Truth to tell, and I have only in the past few weeks come to realise this, no I wasn’t all right at all. 2020 was not a good year for anyone; I spent most of it pretty much entirely on my own, and once I realised I couldn’t get The First Vince back to Australia with me, and re-homed her, really and truly alone, drinking far too much, and tbh, rather depressed. Very unlike me – I’ve always prided myself on being resilient and positive, able to bounce back, chin up and belt and braces and all the rest of it, which is probably why I simply didn’t recognise how exhausted and miserable I was.
Looking back, and writing about it now, more than six months later, I’m shocked by how low I actually was – but I’m proud of how far I have come, and I recognise and acknowledge that it has been a much needed period of mental healing and recovery. Typically for me, I threw myself into strenuous physical activity – I have been staying with a family member not in the best of health, who needed help to reclaim the garden and revitalise the house among other things, so there’s been a great deal of digging and painting and cleaning and cooking and planting and re-organising going on, all of which quite probably actually helped me more than him by giving me an outlet for active meditation. Gardening in particular, together with reading, has always been my best therapy, which brings to mind something my wise old Grandmother once told me, ‘When you’re bothered, get your hands into Mother Earth, she’ll sort you out’. True words. And of course, another dog in my life was of paramount importance – Vince MK II has been an utter joy and blessing.
The quite successful Etsy shop, BeckyandVince, that I had laboured long and hard to build into my full-time income turned out to be untransferable to Australia – thanks for nothing, Etsy – I knew I had to start from scratch once again, and it was all too much for me! My stock, my beads, my equipment, all took far longer to arrive here than it should have, and even once it had, I could find little enthusiasm for the huge task of re-building it despite having no income and living on savings. That in itself should have told me I was a mess, and thank goodness for my children who have helped me and tolerated me with so much love while I have dithered and avoided and diverted reality. They’re brilliant.
My first grandchild arrived at the end of July to my enormous delight – but even that was, to put it mildly, extremely traumatic – I was with Youngest Daughter as she endured a lengthy and difficult labour, culminating in an emergency C-section, and followed by two further stays in hospital, delaying the joy of new motherhood for her, and with a lockdown preventing me from being with her to support her for some time after the birth when she most needed me. Thanks for nothing, Covid. All has ended well though, and a healthy, beautiful bouncing baby girl is now a huge part of my life; and she has also been a huge part of ‘kick-starting’ me into action again, bless her.
So, I have dabbled my toes back in the social media pond once again, managed to make a start on reviewing the books I have been reading during this time, and AT LAST, I’ve opened for business on Etsy once more, this time as BeckyandVinceAU. Minimal stock in there at the moment but I am taking it in bite sized chunks, setting realistic goals to achieve each day like adding just one new product to the shop, and playing around with some new plans and ideas – my passion for book thongs hasn’t waned at all, but they began as an up-cycling project, and I want to take BeckyandVince further down that road.
I’ve been sewing for the first time in ages, and finding it incredibly relaxing, especially fossicking around in my fabric stash which dates back years, and while I need to focus primarily on the book thongs and other things I know work, I’m playing around with the idea of perhaps doing a market stall to help me regain my confidence in being around other people, with things like tote bags made using charity shop sourced fabrics – we will see!
For the now, I wanted to try and explain why I’ve been almost entirely missing for the past six months, and thank those of you who have stayed with me and supported and encouraged me throughout, both family, friends, and followers. It has meant more than I can say, truly.
And if you’d care to – do pop into the shop for a look-see – every visit, every ‘heart’ you leave on something, and every person who ‘favourites’ the shop helps me enormously to become visible once again on the highly competitive Etsy platform, and I appreciate it so much!