My 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.