Finding time to get some perspective

positivityMy aim in life is always to be as zen as I possibly can, take things calmly in my stride and be the voice of reason. Just lately, however, I have had a really hard time maintaining that feeling of inner peace and reason. Certain parts of my life have been really hard to handle, hard to get my head around, but in the back of my mind, like the buzzing of a dying wasp, is this really strong sense that I need to count my blessings.

The trouble with counting blessings is that you kind of need to have the headspace to step back from the damaging central core of what’s going on right now in order to be able to make that list. I feel like I’ve been getting into a negative downwards spiral which is exacerbated by feeling over-whelmed by the exhausting nature of full on parental responsibility.

When the kids are good and behaving nicely it’s not so bad, but when they get the devil in them it feels like I’m being engulfed by a giant wave which is pulling me under, making me panic and putting me directly into fight or flight mode. Take away a few good nights’ sleep and throw into the mix a power struggle at bedtime which inevitably steals another hour of potential ‘me’ time and all I’m good for is the vacant social media scroll – another huge no no given the depressing nature of seeing everyone else’s ‘best bits’ all together in one place, taunting you with their shiny looking perfection.

I have read a couple of things which put quite the negative spin on where I’m at right now (albeit from the honest personal viewpoint of someone else who has gone through similar) and it really exacerbates this fear of the future that comes with the territory. I don’t want to live my life in fear. I don’t want to always be focusing on the crappy bits, the hardest parts, the exhaustion, the lack of any kind of respite. That’s not who I am. That’s not who I have to be.

Taking control of your own happiness is a challenge for anyone, no matter what your situation. Gretchen Rubin has proved that there is this huge appetite for advice on how to best achieve that nirvana state whereby everything you do is balanced, whether you are helping others out, doing what you love, pursuing a personal goal or just hanging out with your mates.

I am an optimist and I do believe that you have to take every day on its own merits. I’ve often found, for example, that one really awful bedtime with my three year old where he has just refused to settle down often leads to his head hitting the pillow the following night with absolutely no issue.

Once again I am reminded that: our lives are just a speck on the time/space continuum; that there will always be beauty in the natural world; that the right music can be a mood changer; that being in good health cannot be underestimated; that writing is hugely therapeutic; that it’s really empowering emotionally to accept change and be prepared to adjust your attitude when it comes to what you really need in life – even if it means scrapping Plan A and moving on to Plan W. Go easy on yourself, don’t give in to the negative voices, fake the positive self talk till you make it a reality.

People have achieved bloody amazing things in this world against massive odds and I truly believe that a positive attitude is a self-fulfilling prophesy.

I guess writing this post is me essentially finding my own time to get things in perspective, which cannot be underestimated in terms of re-gaining a little peace and allowing yourself, if nothing else, a good night’s sleep. Yes I have some huge challenges ahead and no it’s not going to be easy and there will definitely be some very bad and low days but if this weekend has taught me anything it’s that I have some amazing friends who are there for me even if they aren’t here right now and that what I’ve got within my family is the best support network I could ever hope for.


22 thoughts on “Finding time to get some perspective

  1. As ever Sam, very well put. It must be an awfully hard time for your right now, but you sound like you are on the right track. Staying on it will be a challenge, no doubt, but as you say you have great friends and family, so lean on them when you need to. Your outlook is definitely the right one.
    Thinking of you x

    • Thanks Fionnuala – everything got on top of me recently and I did actually begin to feel like I had lost all control of my emotions and that I couldn’t cope but it just takes a bit of calming down and some sleep and a few positive experiences (however small) to turn things back around again. Xx

  2. Beautifully put Sam as always. It must be so tough right now but you are so strong so you will do it. I always have to remember when things feel really tough that it wont last forever and that in the grand scheme of things it could be so much worse! Oh and the social media stuff you just have to remember that there is normality and meltdowns behind those images. I’m with you on the bedtime battles with a 3yr old too by the way. And mealtime battles, going out battles, coming home battles and every random thing battles lol.huge hugs and you know we are all behind you and rooting for you. Xxx

  3. Hi Sam,

    beautifully put, I know how you feel. There are times when it really takes all of your might to put on a brave face and to smile. Sometimes things are tough. Sometimes the toughness hits you when you least expect it to and it knocks you sideways. Sometimes everyone elses life seems idyllic. It isn’t though. Life deals us all a difficult and brilliant hand in equal measure, our challenge is to learn how to play that hand. There is something about recognising when times are a bit tough though and cutting yourself some slack. I cut myself a lot of slack! I am sure my mum thinks the same when she arrives at my flat some mornings to look after cygnet to find the washing not done and an empty glass of wine by my laptop.

    Chin up though Sam. Buy yourself a bunch of fresh flowers – just some daffs or tulips and recognise that this is a tough time and pat yourself on the back for doing a bloody brilliant job. Pen xx

    • Thanks for this thoughtful comment Pen. It really helps to connect with someone else who has been through something similar. I think you’re right – I’ve always believed that life is just one long boom and bust cycle – no-one gets away with all boom! 🙂 PMA right? Xx

  4. *hugs* Oh, I could relate to this so much – it’s so hard to step back and look at all the good things when you’re struggling just to keep your head above water. It’s really important to keep being kind to yourself though, even if it’s just a few minutes out, or letting one thing slide for a while so you can manage everything else.

    I hope you’re feeling better soon, and the good starts to block out some of the bad. x #thetruthabout
    Jess Powell (Babi a Fi) recently posted…Letter To My Teenage SelfMy Profile

    • I’ve heard a lot about this whole ‘letting things slide’ situation and yep, I think I’m there! I’m already feeling better if I’m honest – you can’t underestimate the power of seeking and receiving support – even just words on the page or over the phone. Xx

  5. A wonderfully uplifitng post. Given your present situation life must be very draining at times. It’s great that you have managed to stay positive and still recognise the benefits of a positive mental attitude. Many people wouldn’t. As ever, thanks for hosting #truthabout

  6. The mental drain is often just as bad as the physical drain but it sounds like you’re scrabbling your way back up the down end of the slide Sam. I’ll leave you with this thought: when you get 2 hours sleep one night from little ones not settling or just too much stuff whirring round your head… then you get 4 hours the next night, you feel like a different person! Thanks for hosting #truthabout
    Carol Cameleon recently posted…How to run a blog ~ getting things doneMy Profile

  7. I needed to read this! I know that my problems are nothing compared to yours at the moment, but I have got into that spiral and feel lost. I need to look up and take control of my happiness xx

  8. A very insightful post Sam and it shows that you are naturally a positive person. No-one can be happy all the times, (And admit it, if you know someone in your life that is, it can be quite annoying.) We just have to battle on through good times and bad, and your comments on changing the plan to suit is just perfect. When I was having trouble getting my kids to go to bed, I just looked at the situation and thought..ok, they need an hour to be settled. I’ll give them that hour and never mind about the ‘me’ time I’m missing. As soon as I changed my way of thinking, my attitude changed and they must have picked up on it and they were soon being settled in 15 minutes or less! Sometimes it’s just the little changes that can lead to a more happier circumstance. I really do hope you find you’re feeling much better about things soon.
    Anne recently posted…My Blog Manifesto!My Profile

    • Yes, ridiculously happy people can definitely be quite annoying – hence this linky really – I want to get to know people who have a bit of character and colour in their lives, who aren’t afraid to admit to the bad times as well as the good. I think the whole idea of changing the plan is absolutely key – I guess it’s the cornerstone of cognitive behavioural therapy (as I understand it) too. Being a bit philosophical about how you cope with certain challenges and actually going through tough times and learning something about yourself and something about how you might have handled things differently, is all just a part of the process. And yes, the little things, a tweak here or there, can definitely improve any given situation. Thanks so much for your comment Anne. X

  9. Good luck and hang in there, Sam! I’m rarely ever to get perspective when I’m in the middle of something really difficult, but I suppose it’s an ideal to strive for. Usually I see everything so much clearer when I finally come out on the other side.
    Jenny at Unremarkable Files recently posted…I Blame ChildbirthMy Profile

  10. I hope things start to look up soon, Sam. It’s always difficult to remain positive when you’re looking up from the bottom of the pit but don’t lose sight of the good bits in life and keep on going. Sending virtual hugs x

  11. I can’t believe how similar our message was on this weeks #thetruthabout! You really do sound like my kind of person Sam. I completely understand where you are coming from and I hope things improve for you soon. Take care (and sorry I am late with comments!) xx

    • Ah, that’s one of the most flattering things I could read because I always like to connect with a kindred spirit. I hope things improve for you soon too hon – no worries on late comments, it’s where I’m at right now too! Xx

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