Saturday, March 29, 2014

On living under

I am wound tight at the moment.

There are too many stressors and too many things impacting me that I cannot control or even really influence. There are too many needs, coming at me too fast. There is too little time and too little support, and every day feels like a marathon, one I end exhausted and mentally wrecked. Too many of my non-primary relationships, across all sectors of my life, are fractured and fractious, and there are moments where even my closest relationships are showing the strain.

I am dropping the ball far too often - forgetting things or half-doing them, racing from place to place or task to task without even pausing for breath. I'm not very well, without being able to name my malaise - it's a virus of energy vampirism, if anything. I feel jaded and angry most of the time, and mostly with myself; I'm not doing well, by my own standards, never mind anyone else's.

That this is but a season, and will pass, I am well aware. There may not be many advantages to being 40, but here is one - I have enough depth of experience to appreciate that life has its ups and downs, and that what seems darkly intolerable today may ease to nothing tomorrow.

I try to keep self-care in front of mind as I weather this stage. I walk, and I spend time noticing things as I do - the changing sky, flowers on a hibiscus bush, the facades of houses. I read, both my own books and to my kids, and I sink myself into texts as a brief respite from reality. I am trying to eat in a way that best supports my body - which means, for me, more protein than normal, more planned snacking so I don't get hungry / faded in the afternoons, and virtually no dairy, because my body only copes with dairy when it's at peak effectiveness (ie not now!) I do my nails and I take long showers and I plan the purchase of delicious winter boots.

I will sit with this for a while, trying every day to do the best I can within the circumstances I have, and to not allow my suboptimal affect to negatively impact those around me. Fortunately, I have a very welcome break coming up soon: in two weeks, the kids and I will be getting out of the city and away to the beach to spend 5 days with friends, which will be awesome and I am so looking forward to it. I am very much hoping that this, followed by the renewal that always comes with Easter, will help lift me and reset my clock somewhat. In the middle distance, too, looms (in a good way!) our coming Great Barrier Reef holiday, which is something which the whole family is eagerly anticipating. These are bright sparks on my horizon, and I am warming my hands already at the relief they offer.

I won't wait forever before making alterations in my life, though, if patience, time and holidays do not weave sufficient magic. If I have to change things up in the second half of the year to make things better, then I will. Sometimes even minor tweaks can be enough to turn the trick; sometimes more fundamental changes are needed. I am not closed to considering any options if I feel they are necessary to protect my wellbeing. I think my wellbeing is extremely important, not just (in fact, not mostly) because of I, myself, but because it impacts so materially on my girls and my husband.

For right now, though? Right now I'm putting one foot in front of the other, soaking in books, children and the ever-changing sky, eating eggs and meat and dark green vegetables, and tending the burgeoning garden of my life as best I can.

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