Honey, I Broke The Baby & My Mind.

Sometimes, my mind just gets tired.

I felt hazy in the beginning of last week. Confused, muddled, disconnected, disengaged. Particularly unfocused. Every now and then my mind will try to trip me up. If I’m feeling very happy, stable and calm for too long, the dark and muddled thoughts threaten to come back. Only threaten. I wouldn’t even call them dark. Heavy. They’re heavy and they weigh on my mind and try to take away the positive. The good news is that you can’t take away the positive. Not when your heart lives to look for it.

Usually this means I need some sort of break. How convenient for me that last week was our Thanksgiving holiday.

If you call packing in four days of holiday fun with young kids a break. It was a break for my mind, at least.

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(I wanted to use a photo from Thanksgiving, but this one wasn’t from this year. Why are we wearing short sleeves? Hot house.)

Sometimes I’m in the mood to write, and it flows like there’s no end in sight from the spout that is connected to my brain. Many times, I’m not in the mood to write. It’s like a slow trickle or an annoying drip, drip. That’s always ok, to not be in the mood to write. When it feels forced or my fingers pause more than a few times between typing words, I go and do something else. Mostly though, my hands can’t keep up with my thoughts. I was at 88 wpm (words per minute) when I was in typing class in high school!

When I got in a non-writing mood last week, I was afraid it was permanent, and not just one bad mood in one bad night. Or two bad nights. Heck, a week of bad nights isn’t permanent. Words have a way of coming back. I can be tired and hazy and barely getting these words out, but I can’t stop my heart. Everything I need to say. Every idea I have. Every story I need to tell. They’re all in there and they’ll all come out. I won’t always know when, but what I do know is that they will find their way out.

I am learning this now. This is a post about being muddled, after publishing three posts I wrote DURING being muddled.

That isn’t half bad. It makes me want to dance. So I do. I take a break from writing and I dance. And here’s a video of Des discovering something very important in life. He realized that we can dance if you want to. We’ve got all your life and mine.

He’s wonderful. It’s too bad I broke him last week, during my muddled mind mess. I didn’t give him a nap when I should have and he wound up falling asleep on the hardwood floor. It was fantastically beautiful. My friend said, “You broke your baby!”

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And here’s a cute bonus from when it wasn’t frigid out yet:

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Since I’ve been asked to post more videos..apparently people like my shaky home movies?

See? He’s not broken at all. I didn’t break the baby and I didn’t break my mind. Even now I find myself connecting thoughts and hopes and dreams and videos that I never knew were connected. What’s inside, does find its way out. I can walk away. I can come back. I can walk away longer. I can come back longer. I walk away. I always come back. There’s always a good reason.

There are places I have found magic. There are places I will find magic.

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I hope I always find this inspiration. There’s no magic potion, formula or structure, although I did study writing in college and I apply a lot of what I learned. I also can’t lose the ability to see what’s in my heart and to write about it. Writer’s block, or in my case – Muddled Mind, isn’t chronic. Just not feeling it? That’s not chronic either. It all just comes back at another day or time.

Muddled Mind is recurring, though. That’s what makes this wonderful writing world go round. You have to have the high tides to slow down in the low tides. And you need the low tides to appreciate the exhilaration of the high tides.

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  1. I had a few days of "muddleness" myself! Good to be feeling better and making 13 ornaments in record time! You really bring Des' personality into this blog!

  2. Wow so this is what it is called. I haven't gotten writer's block but this describes what I have gotten to a T. Des is growing so fast! I remember you talking about him not walking like it was yesterday. It walked really far in that video! I know you are a super excited mama right now!

    1. Yes! I have really never had Writer's Block, not the way people describe it anyway. It's kinda like how I never have insomnia. There are no blocks for me. There are just muddled and tough times.

  3. OMG! I love this post! It is so true, there are some days I just wanna walk away… argh, I always come back, though, Muddled minds, love it!! The Celine Dion song is now stuck in my head though “It’s all coming back, its all coming back to me now” Gah, thanks Sweet T! I absolutely adore Des, man!!!! He’s super cool, dude… xo! ~A~

    1. haha! Nice Celine Dion reference! Is there ever a not nice one? Now it's stuck in my head too and I will surely spread the love as I go about my day and do errands.

  4. I feel muddled all the time, especially with writing. Sometimes after a long day of work, I just don’t have the inspiration to write…and I can’t foresee the next time I will ever feel like writing again. But then it’ll just make it’s way out again and all of a sudden I’ll feel inspired and ALIVE. Great post! BTW, Des and my son Zavier must have the same dance instructor. LOL

    1. And that's a good dance class! I kinda want to take it to be able to do those kinds of squats in place.

      Muddled Mind comes and goes for me and it's mostly off, but every now and then, it overtakes me and it's NOT fun. Usually I try to make light of it and go get a coffee or something.

  5. You are not alone and Monday morning this week was hard to put myself back into a writing state of mind and even discipline myself to want to work this week. I got inspiration and stayed up late Tuesday night and yesterday felt like a million bucks (even having lost some sleep), because of it. I think those of us who write get these highs and lows, at least I know I do and can totally shake your hand on this one! And by the way more videos please, because I do happen to love your shaky hand videos of your kids 🙂

  6. That muddled ness feeling usually arrives at night for me, I can't see through it, and I have to go around looking for inspiration. It's not easy!! Thank goodness you didn't break Des! Isn't it funny how they sleep anywhere?!

    1. I bet you get a lot of good inspiration on your morning commute, huh? I kinda envy that. I think watching trees and worlds go by would be great for writing and connecting.

  7. Oh yes, it comes back, it does.

    Just look at this post!

    In the meantime, I am happy to watch Des videos. I LOVE the way he holds his lovey in his mouth while he walks. I love that his lovey is always with him. I love the way he dances. He reminds me so much of my little one.

    1. Yes! I remember you detailing your struggles with feeling blocked and I gotta tell you, I could never, ever tell. You still created honest and great content.
      I wish our little ones could dance together.

  8. I get muddled sometimes, too. For me, the "blogging" sometimes overshadows the writing. Although I try not to, I get caught up in the numbers (or lack of them) and start searching for that proverbial "pat not he back." When I do that, I lose my focus on the writing and I just have to take a break form it all.

    1. Oh, isn’t that how it goes though? You start to want to create brilliant, stats-worthy content constantly. And really we just sometimes have to write from the heart and watch that go over even better. You really just never know.
      Breaks really, really help.

  9. The way you make magic writing, I’m surprised you don’t get blocks more often. Girl, you poor it all out on the blog! I’m exhausted thinking of you sitting there typing post after post. Such a gift! Thx for being open about the writing process. I’m sure it’s encouraging to aspiring writers.

    He looks to have grown up a bit in the blue and yellow shirt photo! Not broken at all!

    1. Well, thank you!! The blocks are rare but can be quite bad when I'm in them. I appreciate you calling it a gift.

      He has grown up a lot! The hair and the shoes and the height. And the fact that he's trying to climb a rock wall!

  10. I've been feeling muddled lately too, especially with writing. There are fits and starts – the stories that want to come out but don't seem to make it onto the page in a coherent way…yet. Maybe it's also because I need to sleep more? In the meantime, I'm going to keep watching Des videos (and the dancing!) and hope that will un-muddle me. PS I've broken my babies before too.

  11. He just loves to boogie down! That's so cute, I have Addy been so tired before that I have left the room and walked back in and she was asleep on the floor. Sometimes it just happens. Funny thing is, both my oldest girl (when she was a LOT younger) and Addy both sleep with their booty in the air like that. So funny!

  12. I hear you! There are times I just sit at the computer and stare…and times where I can barely keep up typing. Here’s the good thing you may not know, we’d never know when you have a muddled day! Your writing is so lyrical and beautiful, we’d never know if it was a toughie to get out or if your fingers were flying. That’s a talent, my friend!

    I could not love watching Des get his dance on more. I’m also wishing I had power in my quads to do a bunch of squats like that. I’m afraid I’d tire out pretty quickly! SO cute!!! And the walking with his blanky in his mouth…ADORBS. *swoon* –Lisa

    1. Well thank you! That helps to know. Sometimes my writing and photography aren't up to par, but I realize they're not up to MY par. And sometimes people can't tell. I imagine sometimes they can, though!

      I need to post more dancing videos of Des! I will! Those squats? He's amazing.

  13. It is so funny! I wrote one in five minutes once, and it was my first post to be picked up for syndication from BlogHer. My first writing paycheck. Over a quickie! And then there are the ones I slave away on that fall flatter. You never know.

    Sleep is great!! He falls asleep in his highchair sometimes too.

  14. I wonder at what age that stops – sleeping with your booty in the air. He does it every night and I gotta say, I can almost picture him doing that forever.

  15. haha! Can you imagine your husband coming in to see that? I once fell asleep at a Broadway play. A loud one. And at a Flogging Mollie's concert. Loud, drunken Irish rock. Well, why did they have to put comfy couches in the place?

  16. As far as I'm concerned, you do put out loads of consistent, awesome writing. I suppose only you know your own ideals/goals, etc. but from here, it looks great.

    It's actually comforting (and maybe a bit selfish?) to feel relieved that great writers I know struggle with Muddled Mind.

  17. The beautiful thing about babies and the human spirit? They’re kinda unbreakable. Even when we silly humans try our best to muck things up, the best in us always comes through. Those pics of Des sleeping on the floor are precious, and I think he created a new squat-style workout in his dance video. Love this, Tamara!! As always!

    1. Hey, no truer words. They’re pretty unbreakable aren’t they? It’s probably the greatest human triumph we have. And love and peanut butter with chocolate and all of that. I think Nellie and Kim need to use his squats in a video!

  18. I can absolutely relate to the muddled mind (and any trip that involves packing and small children certainly contributes!). I've stuck to a one-post-a-week kind of schedule, and that's kind of helped me force myself to write even on those days when I'm feeling more meh than yeah.

    Nice to find your blog! I came over from Alison's.

  19. Yep, I’ve had Muddled Mind for sure.. I think this happens to me when I am trying to stuff too many things in there at once. I once let my baby roll off the bed — not broken either, but definitely felt guilty:)

  20. Yesterday was like that for me. It took me forever to write my post and I posted it really late at night. I just couldn’t focus! It probably would have been better if I had just let it go, but I felt like I needed to get it done. Hopefully it doesn’t sound too muddled!

  21. It feels like more than one radio station playing at once. I get like that too. I think coaching has helped. I'm able to neutralize the noise and have this zen-like calm I see the game through.

    When I write, it helps to have animal crackers nearby.

    As for hoping you always find the inspiration … when you get to my age, you'll realize that inspiration you always seemed to chase and hope for? It comes from within you.

  22. Oh, I know the Muddled Mind and the drip, drip, drip of words where once there was a rushing torrent. It does always seem to come back around, though. Thankfully. I am glad it did for you, too.

  23. It’s amazing because I love everything you write, whether you’re having a slump or your writing mind isn’t working or not. Sometimes the posts that are hardest for us to squeeze out, that take the most willpower and determination, are the ones that are received the best. It’s funny how it works that way.

    You did NOT break your baby! I used to love to sleep on the floor when I was little. It was the most comfortable spot. Granted, I usually chose the carpet, but I support Des’ choice too! Sometimes you just gotta sleep!

  24. You most certainly didn’t break the baby. I love how he just seemed to stop right in the middle of whatever he was doing and decided to fall asleep. Sometimes, I’m so exhausted, I feel like I could do the same thing. Standing at the sink washing dishes? I think I’ll rest my head on the counter for just a second…

  25. Well I’m with everyone who loves the videos. They bring back memories of when mine were Des’ age. It wasn’t THAT long ago … 5 or 6 years. But it feels like forever. So it’s nice to be reminded.

    Glad I’m not the only one who feels the ebb and flow. I so want to be one of those people who just produces loads of writing on a consistent and constant basis. But so far it hasn’t happened.

  26. Your mind may get muddled but your writing doesn't. But I know what you mean; there are days when I feel the words bouncing around in my brain but they won't settle down so I can use them.

    I loved hearing the pitter patter of Des's footsteps as he walked through the house. I'm impressed that you filmed that without falling!

    1. It's the best sound! I was just thinking how much I love the pitter patter. And you can hear him down the hall when he's doing his bunny scoot too. Very distinct sounds!

  27. I am of broken mind right now. I am so muddled, I feel twisted up. That video of him dancing is priceless! I feel like Des right now and want to fall asleep on the wood floor. 🙂 BTW, GORGEOUS pic of you and the hubby! Your smile is infectious.

  28. I feel muddled all the time, but something usually snaps me back. Usually it means that things get clearer on the other side. Also, I love that Cassidy is wearing a Headbanger's Ball t-shirt in that first photo. That's pretty awesome.

  29. I had a spurt of clarity earlier this week. I think I'm on the road back to muddled now. But you're right, always come back. Love the part about breaking the baby. Also love impromptu naps 🙂

  30. Ah, the joys of writing. I’m being euphemistic. Sometimes I kinda dread writing. Sounds bad, eh? But it’s the truth. And other times I can’t wait to write. But whether we’re muddled or clear in our thoughts, it’s what we’re wired to do, Tamara. And you do it beautifully. I always look forward to your posts!

    BTW, Des was getting down in that first video! Go Des!

    1. Not bad at all! I think all writers dread writing and put it off sometimes! I know I always have, and other times when it's just for me, I tend to love it.

      And thank you!

  31. Thank goodness your mind is not broken nor your baby. I love your little sweet dancer. I mean what is better than a happy baby dancing, really? It is like an instant pick-me-up. I've been kind of blocked too. I think for me it has to do with being busy and not having the time to clear my head.

    1. Remember the creepy Ally McBeal baby dancing? I feel like this is so much better. Being busy definitely blocks my head too. So does being NOT busy. I guess I favor that happy medium.

  32. I’ve been dying to check out this post all day so I could watch the videos and they certainly lived up to the twitter hype!!!
    I’m pretty sure I look like Des when I dance. And, he is on to something with carrying his stuff in his mouth – I need to try that since I always have an arm-load!!
    I would never consider your mind (or baby) broken – you have the greatest gift with words – I’m so happy that you share them with us!!

    1. I’m so glad, Kim!! The videos make me happy. I’ll keep posting them. Like today we’re going to a library story group and he wasn’t able to walk last time we went, at least not more than a few steps, so I’m looking forward to him rampaging around the quiet story time circle. Wait..no I’m not.

  33. I’m still drooling about the 88wpm…says the one who can’t type:) I’m impressed that you can still put posts even through your period of disconnect. Even this post about being muddled is good. A gift, I tell ya!
    Des is growing so much. The sleeping pic reminds me of my son, who’s always cuddled up on the bare floor. And his dance is so cute. If I danced like that I’d have really strong quads from all that squatting.lol Love it!

    1. haha! It was my claim to fame. I always say that Psychology class and Typing class were the classes where I learned something that dramatically changed my life. I never knew just how much it would come in handy one day!
      I think Des already has great quads.

  34. Ah sweets. You’re not broken. Neither is Des. I promise swear to you that all of us are terrified that we are broken. That we are breaking our kids. We are, and we are not. Mostly not. Perfect is broken, healed, and stronger. Perfect never happens without healing. Ever ever. Unless you’re a kid, and even then, it’s not how you planned, but perfect anyway.

    1. Mostly not! I am sure I’ve broken them a bit, but maybe only temporarily. Lord knows they both do their own thing anyway, which I secretly really respect.

  35. I definitely have those tired brain moments. I get really cloudy and just cannot focus. It actually worries me sometimes because I think, OH NO, am I ever going to be normal again?!?!?!?! But this comes in waves so I do know I will get back to my USUAL SELF at some point, a break, like Thanksgiving is definitely USEFUL!!!

  36. You are so not broken, you just need a break like we all do. I am so looking forward to mine in a few weeks. I’m almost at my breaking point. I’m so proud of my Des. Look at him go! He’s so grown up now. Madison and him did everything the opposite way She’s now talking and he’s now walking. They were destined to be together. 🙂 You have such a way with words that even when you say you’re mind is muddled your words say something totally different. Sending love your way.

    1. I love that – that they're alike but different. Focusing on one thing more than the other, and now learning the other with gusto. And it's like you never had to wait for it, because it's probably pretty awesome.

      I cant wait to hear her voice!! Ack, she's too cute.

  37. That happens to me sometimes- I went from Wed before Thanksgiving til Tues. of this week without posting anything. Its ok to take a break I guess

    Love your little guy walking, brought a smile to my face which I needed this week. Thanks 🙂

  38. I have those muddled mind days too, although mine tend to come in the form of feeling totally overwhelmed, not necessarily dark and depressed. And even though my kids are sometimes the reason I feel like I’m hitting my breaking point, I’m glad to have them around for cute stuff like Des’s dancing! We’ve recently started playing a new game — jump party! My 3 yr old jumps around like a maniac, I hold the baby up by his armpits and make him gently bounce around, and they both laugh their heads off. It’s sooooo sweet to see the brotherly love developing.

    1. Overwhelmed is definitely more common to me than dark and depressed. Unfortunately anxiety is too. I tend not to get too stormy, but definitely, definitely muddled.
      The brotherly love descriptions are making me smile. Probably because I just signed on here for not even four minutes and my two are yelling at each other already!

  39. I’ve got a muddy brain right now. My dad is having surgery on Monday and I am worried about him. I am also trying to figure out a time when we’ll all be home so we can decorate a tree together. And I’m at work all day when I’d rather be home, but if I were home I’d just be thinking too much.

  40. As hard as we try I don’t think we can ever truly break our babies. They live to bounce back and reinvest their cuteness into our hearts so we have something to muddle about.
    I have been so incredibly overwhelmed with my job, with a new life, with my blog that I am muddled. I miss you my friend. I miss knowing what is going on. I hate being disconnected and muddled. Yet .. we keep going. As always, the words do eventually come. And yours are always beautiful.

    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo

    1. I have missed you too but I totally know you’re transitioning something major, and I’m always here. And you’re always there too! I know it.

  41. I definitely have a muddled mind lately. I’m chalking it up to the holidays and having so much stuff to get done. Shopping, decorating, baking, hosting…when do we get to actually enjoy the holiday???!! Add to it that I have a toddler who does NOT want to sleep! Ughhhhh! Your son is so cute, I love that he decided to snooze on the floor. Can’t we all just do that???

    1. So, so much. Every day in every week has something lately, it seems. At least many of those things are for fun.
      I’d love to be able to sleep on the floor! I probably could actually, but it might hurt after.

  42. I can totally relate to being muddled at times with my writing. You’re so right about it being okay to take breaks…short breaks and long breaks. Your thoughts will eventually lead you back to writing. Des is so cute dancing and walking in the videos!

  43. I felt muddled for a good year and a half, lacking in creativity – something that always came easy to me…I let some negative energy that came from a not-so-nice person affect me more than I should have…as much as you try and let that stuff “not” affect you sometimes you can’t control it…the muddled feeling is gone and I can’t contain all the creativity lately…it’s overflowing and it feels wonderful!

    I love the Des videos!!!



  44. I’ve been stressing out over changing over to another blog that it makes my mind muddy too. Add holidays to that. I’ve broken the kids many times (lol). sometimes, you just forget to do your normal routine. lol
    Commenting from the new blog-hope you like. Still a work in progress though.

  45. It sounds like many folks suffered (myself included) with a muddled mind! Is that pic from Holyoke? Maybe you said….(sorry) sometimes my brain gets muddled reading, lol. xoxox

  46. I think it ebbs and flows…the muddle and the big infusions of energy and inspiration. I'm learning to rest when I feel the muddle and when the energy hits, I ride in that tide.

    1. Oh yes. And sometimes on a tide, I’ll churn out three or four posts at once and just schedule them, or more likely, save them in drafts to tweak later. It’s like squirrels storing acorns for the winter. I store posts.

  47. I'm certainly in a muddled state. I even feel muddled reading. I think it's my mind's way of just saying, "shh. Let it all be". I know I'll be back to less – muddled. I hope:)

  48. My mind has felt broken. I haven’t been in the mood to touch the computer or writing. I haven’t gone to blogs, I haven’t posted much on Facebook or Twitter, I haven’t been myself. I think it’s the winter blues. The sun is hiding and I’m not getting the vitamin D my mind and body needs. Only mine has lasted a long time. I keep hoping it will come back, I keep trying to find inspiration, but right now I’m just blah.
    I hope your muddled week is over!

  49. I wish my kids would nap like that! If ours miss a nap they just get hyper and then melt down. It’s such a lovely sight (yes, that’s sarcasm). Glad to know that your mind and the baby aren’t really broken. Whatever you’re doing seems to be working, because I’ve enjoyed all your posts.

  50. I’m so jealous that you have a kid who can nap in the most random places! I always thought those photos were adorable.

    I feel you on the writer’s block, but like you said, it all comes back if we truly want it to. I had a huge hiatus right after giving birth, and it was hard getting into the swing of things but it’s still possible! And sometimes even technical glitches can draw me away from writing, like if my site is acting funky, I just want to throw in the towel. Thankfully I don’t!

  51. Since having Luca I've been in a state of muddle. Complete and total state of "I can't think right or produce anything of value." Hoping it goes away in a few months. 🙂 I can so relate to this "If I’m feeling very happy, stable and calm for too long, the dark and muddled thoughts threaten to come back." Another wonderful post, Tamara!

  52. {Melinda} Your little guy just keeps getting cuter and cuter. Love the pic where he’s all cuddled up on the hardwood floor. Too sweet. 🙂

    And I know what you mean about losing that urge to write. When nothing comes. I hate that. It scares me. But then the words always return. Whew. Hard to remember that they do when you can’t conjure up a single creative thought.

    Sweet photo of you and your hubby. Beautiful couple.

  53. I totally love Des walking around with his lamb blanket in his mouth. It doesn't get cuter than that!

    I'm so glad to hear that you get muddled mind sometimes. You're writing amazes me. I'm glad to hear that it's not always perfect for you. It just looks that way. Sorry that I see to be reveling in your muddle. That's not what I mean at all.

  54. hi tamara, des is so darn cute!!love the videos. so sweet!! thanks for sharing.

    you're beautiful my friend! love the first photo too.

    all day today i have been very muddled, like i can't concentrate on anything and extremely tired; i think it's because of stress…too much to do so little time.

    hope you have a great rest of your weekend!

    big hugs!

  55. Whenever I read your posts about writing or photography I always find myself nodding my head and saying “yes, yes that’s it!” because you’ve taken a feeling I’ve had and never even tried to articulate and spelled it out perfectly exactly the way I’d want to tell it myself. Kindred spirits.

  56. Muddled – yeah, been there…alot lately…but finding a way back is sometimes easier other times harder but there is away back. And yeah, you can never break a baby – well, maybe you can – I almost broke a very sensitive part of one of my babies when he was only weeks old – the doctors assured me I didn't break him – I still think I did LOL and Des is just the cutest!! Missing that age!! ((HUGS))

  57. They kids can nap in random places – they get it from me!

    I had a huge writing hiatus for about five years. I'm always afraid it will happen, but I can't imagine I could ever let that happen now that I have a blog.

  58. Thank you, Melinda! I love his random naps in random places.

    The words always do return. It's interesting for us all to read each other's thoughts about this because many of you are bloggers who always seem to have endless great writing.

  59. That's Lambie, and next I need to post (film, actually) a video of him calling for her. He has this tone of voice and he says, "Mi-yo? Baba?" I have no idea what it means because he does call her "Lambie" too.

    I'm so glad we all get muddled minds! It's not wrong to admit. We all admire each other!

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