I am not a writer and never have been, at school I did pass most things with A’s surprisingly for my background, but I still have no knowledge or concepts of grammar. I am not sure how this happened, as more than half the people I have met along my path and of my own age do have an understanding. I have in the past pondered on this with people with the conclusion that it was just bad teaching I received, maybe the area I was brought up in, or just education wasn’t as centralised then with national standards. Essays were corrected with the usual spelling mistakes and odd grammar but no explanation of how or why the grammar was wrong. I knew what a vowel was, but was unaware of verbs or nouns until I left school! Looking back it seems a strange concept that Maths taught Algebra etc. which most people never used again in their life, but the basics of the written language wasn’t a priority in our curriculum. More so that most people wrote letters in those days as not everybody had telephones, and also letters were for keeps, often to look back on. It wasn’t until I was 34, had 3 young children, managing my husbands business and living in a house that we were renovating that I discovered that there were adverbs and adjectives! This was because I wanted to learn Spanish, I was overwhelmed realising I didn’t naturally have the understanding, concept or knowing of the basics of verbs or nouns let alone adverbs and adjectives, on top of which, past, presence and future tenses became essential.
My husband did have this knowledge, it was second nature to him so he learnt Spanish much faster and correctly, I bumbled on and learnt basic village language that I picked up just by daily living and necessity, but in the real world of Spanish when I moved to a town, I realised how little I knew. With my life consumed by business, child rearing, visitors, studying anatomy etc. and renovations I often went to sleep at 2 am to be up early the next morning. I never did have the time or energy to study this new language and I still bumble by.
Going back to English, I found myself having to write leaflets and small articles for my Massage business, again without the knowledge of grammar, I did it, it was proof read and all fine. Next came the writing of Courses, I was teaching Massage and Anatomy at this time for an accredited body and I had to write courses for each subject and manuals for all 3 Reiki levels. I am not sure how I did this but all seemed fine and accepted and as I look back at them even today, I feel quite proud that I accomplished them, they still seem professional. Then a couple of years ago I was asked to write a few articles for a massage company, again all fine even if a bit lengthy but the question of my lack of grammar was creeping in.
Writing this blog during lock down each day was a challenge I set for myself, firstly I wanted to discipline myself, give a routine to the day and try to achieve the daily task within a limited time. So after 30 days I ask myself did I achieve this? I have managed to discipline myself as I sit here each day, even on days I am not feeling so good. It hasn’t given me a routine as I expected, yes I start to write around the same time each day but finishing is another story, leading to the third challenge sticking to a time limit. Nope I cant seem to manage it, some days yes but most days not, I need to stop for lunch or my sons routine has held distractions. It can consume my day, having to go back to finish the blog, if it gets to late afternoon when my energy level drops, I still have cleaning and many other things I want to do like watch and join in with online events etc. So with all this time I have in Isolation I struggle with not having enough time in the day!
One of the reasons it is taking so long comes back to grammar. I am good at writing naturally what comes from the heart, as if I were sat having a conversation with somebody, but trying to correct it with grammar takes me hours and am still not finding that professional touch, even using correction programmes. I look around at others writing blogs and am amazed how professional they are, the younger generation expect this, they are educated with information written correctly. I wonder do they see less professionally written articles as non truth in a world of fake information? Do they just avoid reading articles not written in a structure they know, not understanding what is written? Do they trust professionalism over sincerity? (I may not have worded that correctly but I hope you get my meaning). My own struggle with not having solid foundations makes me think of how many things in society are run on weak foundations which is why we never seem to repair the many flaws and injustices we see. Even computers systems need constant patching up to make it run or look smooth on the surface, with a computer programmer in the family I know of the struggle they have to keep our systems running. This is actually frightening as most of our society now relies on computerised systems.
After I decided yesterday to post daily news clips to look back on in the future, a chance to see what was true or not during this period, today I didn’t find any that interested me. So instead I leave you with a Mantra that I have recently discovered, it seems to resonate with me and the sounds are beautiful: Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu. It is a Sanskrit mantra which means: “May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.”
I hope you find your own happiness and freedom within, please stay safe and take precautions to protect yourself and loved ones including taking care of your mental health 💜