I read a book which contained the letters and journals of Katherine Mansfield. Written 1915-22 it struck me that despite being an educated woman in those times when women were not always educated, she wasn’t that focused on what there was to be grateful and thank for. Katherine was born in New Zealand, educated in England, lived in France and Italy. She got to write and travel. I can’t imagine what life was like for many women at that time let alone fellow black women and Katherine Mansfield had the privilege to enjoy a career.
The “foolish panic” of a woman with talent is something that resonates with me. I go through my own foolish panic at times – and yes I am saying I have talent (how very dare me!)
11 October 1920
“I send the story. [The Young girl] As usual I am in a foolish panic about it. But I know I can trust you. You know how I choose my words; they can’t be changed. And if you don’t like it or think it is wrong just as it is I’d rather you didn’t print it. I’ll try to do another”
In the book there are moments when Katherine decides that life is great but they are fleeting. Maybe this is a fairly true and accurate picture of the tortured mind of most writers. It certainly resonated with me. To be happy in one moment and doubting in the next.
May 30 1917
“To be alive and to be a ‘writer’ is enough”
All I want right now is for life to be enough for me. It doesn’t mean I won’t go for more but I feel I have had a frustrating 6 or 7 years where nothing has was ever enough and I spent my time reaching for things in the hope of them making me happy. Now, I am exhausted, and I recognise that who I am and what I have is enough.
Today, I was thinking about what I want my mantra to do for 2013. For 2012 my mantra is progress not perfection. It was a reminder that steps towards a goal need to be recognised and remembered.
For 2013 I want many mantra to remind me to be happy with what I have right now. 2013 will be about wanting what I have and the only way to do that is to express gratitude for all that is in my life right now. I choose to be happy in each present moment for I am blessed.