Life Happens

With the cat on my lap, I draw. The power of honoring Mama’s could-do lists

Fintan has finally begun the construction of the awaited natural pond, lately referred to as the Mighty Lagoon.

Meanwhile I have devoted myself to experimenting in cooking, which also includes a touch of meditation in those brief intervals when Camila isn’t wanting to sit on the kitchen counter and shout out all the ingredients she recognizes until I acknowledge them with an over enthusiastic “yes, egg, well done!”

It gets tiring, borderline annoying. Especially because at presents the only ingredients she can say are egg, coffee, milk and apple.

All fruits, in fact, are currently being addressed as apple. She points at each one of them and goes “mami! mami! mami! : apple!apple!” starting the battle of wits that goes:

Mami: no Camila, that’s a melon

Camila: apple

Mama: no, darling, melon

Camila: apple


Camila: apple

and so on until I wish I was deaf.

Then Fintan arrives offering the most precious of offers: “I need to go down to town, shall I take Camila with me?”

Imaginary church bells go off in my head, with the joyous triumphant tune of an Easter symphony.


When this happens, along  with the imaginary church bells, a long list of possible Camila-less endeavours opens up. The catalogue looks more or less like this, in no particular order:

1) get on with my creative writing course

2) lose myself in gardening

3) learn how to embroider

4) follow Shaun T and his punishing exercise routine

5) watch one of those obscure indie film Fintan won’t watch with me

6) paint my toenails

7) have a nap

8) go for a walk with T-Man and take some pictures

9) bake something fancy

The thought of having two hours to myself produces an overwhelming indecision of whether to indulge in my could-do list or to get on with the boring should-do list. I walk around like a headless chicken attempting to start each and all of them at once, putting my alone time to good use.

img_20150417_0001Lately such hesitation has found its solace in the appearance of a weird Number 10 on my spare time list of possibilities: mindless doodling.

Pen on paper, leaving a sign, getting lost in the curls and circles of some fantastic Bibascapes as they appear in my mind, finally pickled in silence. The golden silence, the one without Mami Mami shouts and free of the suspicious “I better go and check on Camila” to then find her pushing pegs in T-man’s mouth or bathing a roll of toilet paper in his water bowl.


Luigi, our independent cat, has been joining me in these peaceful events too, adding some quality purring to the rural symphony of whooshing wind, crowing rooster, mooing cows and tweeting birds that surrounds me.


Luigi thinks he’s a tiger at times

Since Camila’s birth, Luigi is no longer allowed to enter the house and is confined to the overzealous cat-walk led mezzanine Fintan built for him up high on the outdoor patio. But as soon as he notices the front door open, he sneaks in and runs up on my studio-loft and sits on my salvaged swiveling chair which was once blue and it’s now a pastel furry shade of blue, due to his molting hair stuck to it.

I let him be. He doesn’t hurt anyone. He is just enjoying the privilege over T-man to be indoors and to take a good nap in such glorious spot. So I sit on the same chair. On its edge, actually, leaving him tucked behind me snoring like a proper cat should do. Until he decides to find more comfort on my lap. (How I love him on my lap!)

And then I start drawing. It’s like breathing oxygen. Once I let go of the white-canvas fear, I just connect pen with paper and let their romance commence allowing their twirling dance guide my hand. I don’t always like the final outcome but it’s not about that.


I have noticed in me the tendency to experience guilt in many circumstances. Some people had said it’s to do with my Catholic upbringing! Once my abandonment in drawing comes to an end, I feel I missed the opportunity do get some important things done, I should have turned to my should-do list instead and progressed with all the house chores and productive tasks that never seem to get crossed off the list. As if by drawing I have chosen to be selfish and ignored the household needs.

But then I have started to acknowledge the benefits that dipping into my bucket list of enjoyable pursuits has on my emotional state and thought it would be more compromising not to give it the importance it merits. I feel so much relaxed, light and happy, ready to embrace a new dose of toddler demands and hyperactivity after I draw or work out or have done something I truly enjoy.

By honoring that extra dimension that forms who I am, I become alive again.

A happy me is a happy mum for Camila and a happy wife for Fintan.

Indulging in those self soothing hobbies that make you smile is as healthy as carrot juice and as uplifting as Tiramisu’. Treat yourself, you are worth it!


P.S. since it got mentioned… Tiramisu’ is currently in my Must-do list, which is a whole new list altogether…




This entry was published on September 9, 2016 at 4:50 am and is filed under Mamahood, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

7 thoughts on “With the cat on my lap, I draw. The power of honoring Mama’s could-do lists

  1. Those paintings are absolutely beautiful. Outmost resepect! 🙂


  2. Beautiful~ loved the story as always.
    I imagine what it looks like when a ‘headless chicken’ walk around, fhhahhahahha.

    When I had arrived Vilca(it’s almost 7 years ago) I had that ‘things to do’ list. The things that I wanted to do in my whole life but didn’t or wasn’t able to, or couldn’t. One of thing in the list was learning guitar and sing songs and I am still doing it and I am proud of myself that I made that list and have been doing it. Good Luck to you my friend and sister Biba. Love you. Maya


  3. Bill Moss on said:

    Relevance always is a burden: whatever’s relevant, whether it’s active or dormant, enjoyable or odious, is part of the baggage of one’s life. And the only relief is an excursion into the welcome weightlessness of The Irrelevance Zone, whose blankness is the canvas for some coming moment’s masterpiece. –Binday Dondat


  4. Bill Moss on said:

    And why not? “Erehwon” (“nowhere” spelled backwards) has been taken, and but there may be plenty of other pleasing possibilities in other languages–frontwards or backwards.


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