“Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it.”
– William Feather, 1889-1981, Writer
Do you find yourself rushing a lot in your life? Juggling kids and domestic chores with clients and endless To-Do lists?
Working on goals, assessing your ‘performance’, judging your life against some perfect blueprint for happiness rather than actually stopping to enjoy the happiness you have?
I am guilty of all of this, despite spending much of 2008 trying to learn to live in the moment and find happiness in the little things. It has been a slow and uncomfortable process, and one which at times seemed pointless due to my eternal lack of life balance and harsh internal critic.
It took a major scare and a week of trying to outrun my fears for me to see that I have a life right here that I love and that I SAY I am grateful for, but which I am too often emotionally absent from.
A life which I am constantly trying to mould into something else, so that I feel good enough or successful enough for the disapproving perfectionist in my mind.
Well, the disapproving perfectionist went into overdrive after the break-in, and finally I got to see her for what she really is.
Critical. Neurotic. Lost. Insecure. Someone I don’t want to be.
I had a lot of trouble sleeping after the break-in and started to feel like even the simplest of tasks required immense effort and a level of focus that I was utterly incapable of.
Every day people seemed to ask me how I was doing, and every day I lied and said I was anxious but giving myself time to feel normal again.
It wasn’t a lie that I was anxious. I was internally shaking and jumpy, my hearing over sensitive, and my mommy strength dissipated. Bunny got sick with a stomach bug for a few days and I was so teary and emotional at the thought of anything happening to him, you’d have thought his illness was life threatening.
But it was a total lie that I was giving myself time to feel better. Inside I was chastising myself for not holding my shit together, for being weak, for being scared, for not getting back into my normal schedule.
The only upside was I soon became tired of pretending when nobody was around.
The charade was up. I was tired of running from my feelings, of trying to be ‘the strong one’. Tired of torturing myself with critical lists of how I wasn’t good enough. Tired of thinking and not feeling. Tired of striving for a vision of my perfect self.
Finally, I lay down on my bed and decided that for one day all I wanted to do was stay still with my life. Not write. Not blog. Not read self-help books. Not analyze. Not give myself pep talks.
Just play with my son, celebrate Christmas with my friends, feel scared if I wanted to, be paranoid and check every lock, and then hole up and watch a stream of Sex and the City re-runs. I wanted to laugh, cry, feel normal, enjoy some mindlessness just for a day.
But then the next day I felt the same. I didn’t care if I never blogged, wrote or worked again. I was just so tired of everything. I decided to give myself another FREE DAY. Then that went into another, and another.
A week later I couldn’t believe how much better I felt. Content. At peace in my home. Sitting still with my life and liking what I saw.
A certain clarity seems to have settled within this mental space and I have thrown myself back into my fiction writing and reading with a passion I haven’t felt in a long time. I’m looking forward to Christmas and enjoying each day as it comes. Right now, I have no plans beyond that.
What does this mean for SHE-POWER?
For the remainder of this year, I’ll only be posting sporadically or not at all. I don’t know exactly. It depends on if I have anything astounding to say.
I do feel bad for taking the past couple of weeks off and sounding so unsure of the blog’s current direction, but I can assure you I am NOT abandoning SHE-POWER. Just taking a much needed time out – enjoying my life, this festive time of year and getting my novel writing back on track.
Hope you all understand and won’t abandon me.
Speak to you soon.
Flickr Photo by Tonyc