December might easily slip by without a note, with no record of what transpired. But today, three days shy of year’s end, I’m carving out some time to mark the month.
And as is often the case, it’s because I’m gripped by heightened emotions. I’m bitter and sad and angry, shaking an imagined cage and railing against my lot. A day’s work, hours of editing on a laptop at the farm dining table with sweat dripping down my thighs and the cricket droning in the background, has been met with alarm and distrust. Instead of a hip, hip, hooray I’ve been greeted with an anxious scramble to get ahead of me, taking over my review to ensure it’s done ‘correctly’.
I wish I could make an impact, have people say ‘wow – that’s great. Thanks for your contribution.’ But again I’ve laboured in vain, editing and writing around the fringes of someone else’s work, tidying an organic lump of web pages with redundant and defunct content, only to have my efforts slammed shut, a spanner thrust into the cogs with an emphatic ‘please don’t do that!!!!!!!’. With seven exclamation marks. Seven.
I’ve written nothing for months except emails. My personal writing has completely stalled. Instead, I sell sport constantly; cheeky, cajoling, caressing egos. I beg people who’ve left the fold to return. I re-draft policies left dormant by past administrators and promote them to disinterested clubs and coaches. Desperate to convince people of my commitment and capacities, I wade into bloated operational protocols with fresh eyes, an open mind and a willing red pen. I reformat tables and edit photos and delete misused capitals. I ask questions, seek advice and offer an opinion when asked.
But it will never be good enough. After ten years in the game I’m still perceived as a newcomer to the sport. And I have no credibility as a communicator. It’s too late in life and my portfolio is too thin.
I think I’ll always be viewed as an athlete’s mum. Good for running the canteen and keeping a Board seat warm for the next solicitor or accountant, but that’s all.
It’s quite deflating.