Finding our Purpose beyond Parenthood.

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It seems like my mojo has taken a holiday.

It’s sped off into the wet and grey day in search of greener pastures, sunnier climes, or possibly just some new ideas.

At any rate, my baking mojo is effectively gone—disappeared without so much as a, “See ya later! I’ll be back when you get better.” Things come and go, I get that. Life is fluid and dynamic, but baking, for me, is like a lifeline. I bake when I’m sad. I bake when I’m happy. Either way, I’m in luck when I need to bake.

So there was obviously something deeper, darker, and way more sinister going on. Grief.

My little boy had left on a jet plane to the far, far north of Australia for 12 weeks—to a place so remote most Australians never go there. Most people don’t even know where it is; but they should. Maybe my little man took my baking mojo with him, packed it in his little case, rendering me disabled to bake without him here. After all, whom would I have to bake for without him?

Or maybe, my heart just sank, like the carrot cake last week. It sank deeply and profoundly, beyond repair; in total disgust, I threw it in the bin (the cake that is). As for my heart, well, it still beats and pumps blood but the major artery seems to have been vacated. That’s because it went on vacation to Arnhem Land—I see that now.

You can never really prepare yourself for these heartbreaking moments. I’d been so positive for my boy, telling him how great it would be in Arnhem Land, which is the soul of our country for many Indigenous Australians. I reminded him what a wonderful experience this would be with his dad, little brother, and stepmother—such an adventure for an 11-year-old boy, soon to begin his first steps out into the sphere of men.

My friend said it was like an initiation: going out bush with the Yolngu people, learning a language and culture that only a few of us “white fellas” get the privilege of learning. I felt better, microscopically.

As a single parent for the past 10 years, I know that it is a great opportunity for my son to be initiated into a world of wonder and learning, of good men and good women, of family and new friends, of adventure. His world will be so enriched and he will grow into the man of our dreams…

But what about my world?

In quiet moments, I have the time to reflect on my life, my childhood, my adulthood. It’s a rare opportunity for parents to do at any considerable length—the freedom to really consider our lives, where we’re at, and what the next step might be.

Who are we without our children? It’s a question asked by many parents. I have a pretty good sense of self, but still, it’s more about purpose I’m thinking. I now have no purpose to bake. No little ankle biter to feed after school. No little man to cheer up with chicken soup and a warm afternoon tea cake straight from the oven, drizzled with buttery cinnamon sugar.

So when there is no purpose, what do we do?

I decided that rather than spend time looking inward, I needed to look outward to see what I could do for others. To celebrate Baking our Blues Away, an annual day of good will, I’ve attempted to bake my second cake this week—and so far, so good. It’s a delicious vegan cake known as the Lazy-Ass Cake, so surely nothing can go wrong! I’m pairing it with ooey gooey chocolate ganache and blueberries on top, and my hope is that when I take it into work it will be devoured with love and smiles.

Purpose, I’ve decided, is not only good—it is vital. With purpose, I can bake for others. I can bake my own blues away while starting a conversation to remind myself of my purpose. I can watch the satisfied smiles of those who absorb all the love I’ve poured into this one chocolate cake.

~

author: Danielle Greenwood

Image: Pixabay

Editor: Nicole Cameron

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Danielle Greenwood

Danielle Greenwood lives in a small coastal town, right down in the southwest corner of Western Australia. Autumn is her favourite season—the light, the silence, the desire to cook soup. Creativity roars around in her head daily—words and images dancing, keeping her up at night, banging on her brain doors to get in…and out! Food is a preoccupation—baking, the warmth of the kitchen, the silence. Whilst loving and cherishing the quiet, Danielle knows how to roar, loving good conversation, great music, and the din of creativity. Splendiferous talents abound—writing, of course; photography; gardening, creating mosaics; and reading (a lot). Danielle has done stacks of different jobs to pay for her next book or plant and is currently trying out teaching and copy writing. Follow Danielle on her blogs: Pen to Paper and Sunday Best.

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Sue Bourke Jul 15, 2018 4:16am

A very enjoyable and inspiring piece Danielle - one that will will resonate with many. Great to read such heart-felt words. Continue the creative journey! xx

Damien Becker Jul 4, 2018 10:44pm

This is a lovely tender piece. Thanks EJ, more of this please.

Danielle Greenwood Jul 3, 2018 3:19pm

Yes I agree...especially to the stillness! 😶

Anne Hanks Jul 3, 2018 1:57pm

Thank you Danielle✨, letting go my grown children to live their life ( how dare they!), inquiring about my purpose and life’s meaning now as I question who I am , no longer defined by them or my work or my Aloneness...there is stillness and silence and surrendering to life’s plan. Thank you for your beautiful and heartfelt share. With gratitude, Anne

Lizzy Eden Jul 2, 2018 12:42pm

Danielle Greenwood - indeed as she's moved out recently with one of her lovely friends from school. She was only in her school uniform 6 months ago & now living independantly. I miss her so much but happy for her at the same time. She knows I'm always here and is secure in my love!! Yay a new season for me!! It's an exciting time but does feel strange as I'm so use to mothering her (even when I don't need to lol)

Danielle Greenwood Jul 2, 2018 11:28am

thanks Vickie Yep, more wriitng is in the wings!

Danielle Greenwood Jul 2, 2018 11:27am

thanks Mandy, I'm sure it applies to more than baking!

Danielle Greenwood Jul 2, 2018 11:26am

Thanks mate, those years of our Masters Degree actually made me love writing more Rebecca 🤙🏼

Danielle Greenwood Jul 2, 2018 11:24am

Motherhood mojo! I like it Sally...lets hope it keeps up during these teen years...

Mandy Deany Jul 2, 2018 10:41am

Loved your article Dani, could relate on so many levels. Can’t wait for the next one xx

Rebecca Burchell Jul 2, 2018 10:40am

Great read, Dani. I look forward to reading much more from you xxx

Vickie Greenwood Jul 2, 2018 9:23am

Awesome read dani. Keep the writting mojo going. 🤩

Sally Wiltshire Jul 2, 2018 8:55am

I felt every word of this sad, witty, sharp story. You managed to raise some big questions that even today are a bit taboo. And with true motherhood mojo you found your way forward to connect and give. Thanks for being a great writer xx

Danielle Greenwood Jul 2, 2018 6:34am

Thanks Kelly Watts, Ahhh...quirky, I like that! Glad you enjoyed my sweet piece...

Danielle Greenwood Jul 2, 2018 6:33am

Thanks Vicky, glad you enjoyed it!

Danielle Greenwood Jul 2, 2018 6:32am

Thanks Lizzy! Hope you enjoyed the read. I'm sure you know the feeling of this peice being the awsome single mum you are. xx

Kelly Watts Jul 2, 2018 4:06am

I love this honey. So quirky the writing, so entertaining 😂😍😘 Well done 🌟⭐⚡🔥😎💖

Vicki Moody Jul 2, 2018 3:38am

Wow Dani, what a great read. I look forward to more. Your truely amazing inside and out. 🌷

Lizzy Eden Jul 2, 2018 3:22am

That's my gorgeous cuz, so proud of you matey. Being a writer is amazing - you go girl & hope to see more from you XX