At last, I can move forward with my next novel The Phoenix Hour as I’ve finally received the second part of the edits back from the editor. The self-doubts about my ability to do anything outstanding or amazing has been eating me up over the last few weeks. It sounds crazy, I know, but I guess it’s left over from my school days. Being in the bottom of the class for most things has never really left by adult self. I know all creative people and many others go through the same, and I’m always pleased to see others shine. I just hate the thought that my whole life has been mediocre. I want just one thing that I feel I was good at for my own satisfaction.

I know if I compare myself with others there’s a risk of becoming vain or plain bitter. There will always be others who will have greater and lesser skills than myself. It’s the nature of the beast. My life has always been a personal challenge to see if I can improve myself. Normally, when I hit a low point in my life, I focus on something new.

I have a lot to be grateful for, so I shouldn’t complain. The destruction of Ukraine makes my insecurities fade away. After a quick slap on the wrist, I will pull myself together and focus on finishing my edits. Who knows what tomorrow may bring for any of us.

I’m still alive. My country is at peace. My husband is busy, and happy in his new job and with our new, second hand car after the loss of our old one. Russell had a close encounter with a badger and the car was written off. I live in the countryside, surrounded by amazing places to walk. Yes, I have much to be grateful for, but self-satisfaction is important for one’s well being and mental health, too.

My drive has always been the memory of my grandmother sitting in a hospital ward, after three heart attacks. When I went to see her, she said to me. “I’ve just been sitting here thinking back over my life and wondering how different it might have been if I had made different decisions. If I had taken this route, instead of the one I made.”

I really don’t want to be knocking on death’s door wishing I had tried harder to achieve my dreams and ambitions. Maybe, I have set my bar too high. My schooldays have much to answer for in my self-doubt. Paula must try harder, it often said in my school reports. In my head that read as Your best isn’t good enough, Paula.

Once the edits are back with the publisher, I will have to wait to see what other changes are needed to make it the very best it can be. For now, I must keep on trying to improve myself and stay focus.

It’s a long way down

On a lighter note: Nothing more perfect than an English Bluebell.
The English bluebell is known for its colour, the slimmest of the bell and the fact it tells you the wood you’re walking in is an ancient place.
The trouble is this flower and plant is so delicate if you walk on it and crush its leaves it kills the plant.
The bluebells bulbs and leaf bases are full of a white slime which was used as a glue in bookbinding and as a source of laundry starch. In Scotland it was considered unlucky to pick bluebells. In Devon it is considered unlucky to bring them into the house. However, insects, especially bees find the bluebells invaluable.

The beauty of an English Bluebell.

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