It’s gloomy and it’s persistently raining outside today. I realise I have the doldrums. It’s not the rain, it’s the nonsense I’m allowing to occupy space in my head.
There’s the room occupied by thoughts about moving my partner’s business transactions to a system rather than using a simple cash book; the jury is still out on that one. Not to mention the endless discussion about the business itself, the building of its website and the many other facets that come with providing support.
Then there’s the parenting conundrums, figuring out healthy boundaries for our kids and how best to support them in their journey; something I contemplate a great deal of my time each day. Yet a pending camping trip to a remote location interrupts my thoughts, it requires more planning than my brain wants to tackle right now and feels downright unappealing with the rain beating on the window and wind howling.
“I don’t like feeling like this” I thought, realizing how occupied my mind had now become with the dynamics of the parents’ social structure at school, second guessing what people think and feel, when the only thing that is important – and the only thing I can control - is how I feel.
“Didn’t I write an article last year about doing only what I had the impulse to do?” I think as it dawns how overrun my life is in this moment by a bunch of stuff that is energy sucking. Yes, yet again, time to take my own advice.
You see, there are two versions of me in the world, just like there are of you, and both result in two very different experiences. There is the version of me that has the dreary, uninspiring thoughts like those I have just recounted, then there’s the version of me that seeks to tune in to the wellbeing that is there as surely on a rainy day as it is on a sunny one.
“Hey, at least I am consciously aware of my doldrums” I think. Yes, that is true. I am trying to find my way back to some space to do the stuff I love doing (to learn, contemplate and write about life) and I am feeling overwhelmed by thoughts that really are not serving me right now.
It’s a handful of days to the end of school term, and I have set myself goals that were too ambitious. Who cares if the gallery for my partner’s website doesn’t get started for another month, in the scheme of things it’s not that important. There really is no problem if the transactions in the accounting system are not showing correctly at this particular minute in time, I will figure it out and - should we decide to ditch the accounting system - we still have our trusty cash book anyway.
The fact we have committed to a camp over Easter weekend that strands us in the middle of the ocean for 3 nights will no doubt spurn so many lovely memories that the packing process will not even factor into my memory when it’s passed, so I just need to start somewhere, anywhere, with packing.
And figuring out boundaries for the kids, and the best way to maintain them, is an ongoing process.
As per always, once I know what I want, I want to have it all sewn up right now. Adjusting to the more gentle unfolding of all these things over the year, rather than trying to get everything done in the first term, is pretty easy really.
While I have what I want to achieve in mind, my experience tells me that what I think I want – and most especially, how to get it – are usually not the same as what I really want. What I think I want usually sits at a task level, what I actually want is much bigger picture stuff.
What this year is really all about for me, I know, is reducing the reliance my family (and anyone else) has upon me. I want my partner to be confident in all aspects of his business, and have the right tools to achieve it. I want the kids to have the confidence to meet the challenges that come with each stage of their development, and anything else (like birth order, personality etc) that influences how they see this world.
By trying to rush about and achieve all that in just a few weeks, in order to free up space for me, I am buying into the old paradigm that I need to sacrifice now in order to have something in the future. When actually, if I just take the space I need and want now, all these other things will all come together in their own way and in their right time anyway.
So there it is, I’m back. I’ve adjusted the lenses I’m looking through at my life, I’m back to the version of me that feels good about the world I’m in, the one that is tune with the bigger picture and not bogged down in trying to make it all happen today.
I feel different, lighter. As I look out the window, I start to remember a time as a young child I sat and watched the heavy rain and wind with my mum, our neighbour’s washing was blowing off the line as the rain came sideways. There’s something cozy about that memory, reassuring. That is how I feel now, reassured, that everything is on track and I can let go a bit and enjoy now. Peace is restored.
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