I am on the brink of one of the great secrets of life. But I’m not quite there yet… It’s been a challenging couple of days, and I can sense that I’ve almost figured something out – almost. The secret is this: If it’s not this, it’ll be something else.
I know, I know, it doesn’t sound particularly profound. But hear me out. Here’s what’s occupying my mental head space this week:
- I am over-stimulated
It turns out I had one third of a year of resilience and creativity and patience in me, and now that we’ve been in lockdown for 4 months that surprising store has run out. My kids are adorable, beautiful beings, but they are so effing noisy. They sing or hum or talk or whine or cry from the moment their eyes open to the moment they go to sleep. I need a break… Somewhere I can be alone and not talk to anyone.
- We need a new tenant for our flat
It’s a beautiful flat, and we have two interested couples, so this will probably be resolved in the next few days. But in the interim, it’s taking up mental space.
- Arty’s school wants to take an unplanned holiday
Hoooooowee, you must know what this did to me yesterday! Me and all the other moms, actually. The kids are back at school half time (2 mornings one week, 3 mornings the next), which is tough enough as it is. Now the school has decided the teachers are tired and need a break, so they want to close for an unplanned week in August.
And despite this not actually being that big a deal – it’ll be 2 or 3 mornings that he’s home that week – I saw red. This is partly because I feel they’re overstepping their boundaries, to be fair. We have extended so much goodwill and they have taken a week off every time we’ve shifted gears, and honestly, I feel they’re putting the teachers needs above the children and parents. But in the grand scheme of things? Not a biggie.
These three things have taken up an inordinate amount of mental space and energy and emotion over the last few days. I can see that part of the problem is that I don’t have a lot of give when it comes to emotional stressors at the moment – I feel depleted.
But I can also see that if it wasn’t these three things, it would be something else. There’s always something else, isn’t there?
Last week, the thing that was driving me nuts was the fact that we were trying to sell our old dishwasher and it was sitting in our lounge, gathering dust (and toys) while people screwed us around – saying they were coming to get it and not pitching.
Next week, who knows what wondrous irritants await?
My point is that if we can acknowledge we don’t have power over the external, we grant ourselves power over the internal. I’m not suggesting we don’t feel the irritation or the angst or the fatigue, because that’s not possible. But I do think there’s an element of taking it all less seriously that could serve me really well.
Also: Brene Brown’s podcast is amazing. I listened to this episode on comparative suffering twice in a row because it was so profound.
And finally: if all else fails, listen to 90s music and dance around your office. That’s what’s working for me right now…