Posts tagged #remind

Losing Myself

Losing Myself Mama Pyjama

It’s been a while between blogs…and if I’m honest, it’s because I’ve been staring down the slippy slope to Mama Pyjama Syndrome.   It’s been a reminder of how easy it is to let yourself slip.  Before you know it, you’re back in the cycle of letting life happen TO you, instead of actively participating in the living. 

I’ve been under a big chunk of pressure at work.  I remind myself daily that I’m not out there saving lives…but ultimately, I’m still trading forty hours of my life a week for this.  My life: my time with my kids, my time with my husband, my time for me.  It needs to be for something more than just the money.  There needs to be value in the trade-off, because when there’s not, it’s deflating and disempowering.  It just feels...wrong.

I’ve been absorbing so much of the negativity around me that it’s started to grow inside me and is making its way out of me in the form of complaints and judgements.  This is not who I am.  This is not the person I want to spend my life with. 

This is how it starts.  We’re going through the motions; feeling unfulfilled.  We’re doing stuff, throwing our heart and soul into it, and we’re getting little in return.  We’re working ‘round the clock but no one’s noticing.  We’re slowly fading.  Wearing down.  We didn’t have time to do the stuff we like to do last month, last week…and now we’ve pretty much forgotten about it altogether.  There’s no time right?  Everything else is more important, right?

Wrong.  This is the problem.  Whether the current demand is raising our newborn, or running our household of teenagers, or managing our career, or all of the above – the impact is the same.  If we put our ‘self’ on the backburner, all of this will be in vain.  What’s it all worth in the end?  When the demand and pressure lifts …what’s left of you? 

I’ll tell you what will be left.  A shell.  Oh sure, it’ll be a super-functioning shell, and people will no doubt shout praise about all the things you DO.  They’ll say how you “always get the job done”; how you’re “always there for them”; how they “don’t know how you do it”.  But what will they say about WHO  you are?  What you’re passionate about?  What sets your heart on fire?  What would you  say? 

When they ask you what you like to do in your spare time, how will you answer?  … “What spare time?”…Yep, this is the excuse you’ll use to cover up the fact that you can no longer remember what it is you like to do.

So here’s the deal - I can see myself slipping again, but I’m going to pick myself up and I’m going to practice what I preach.  It’s time to redefine my career.  It’s time to put some more colour back into my outfit.  It’s time to smile, to breathe deeply, and to embrace the new day when it breaks.  It’s time to remind myself of the importance of the present moment.  If it’s not working for me, I’m going to change it.  If I can’t change it I’m going to follow the wise advice to “change my attitude”.  We create our own reality.  The challenges before us are there to help us grow, learn, mature, heal.  I will embrace and treat them accordingly. 

There is time for me.  There is ALWAYS time.  I will plan a catch up with my best friends.  I will book in a night out.  I will find something fun to do with the boys that is active and creative, and I will get up and get out of the house with them no matter how overwhelming that feels.  I will achieve the goals I have set myself and I will do it with a positive mindset.  I won’t waste my breath complaining or judging the behaviours of others.  Right at this very moment, someone is taking their last breath.  I’m going to make damn sure my next breath counts. 

Perspective

"Change your perspective"

"Change your perspective"

I remember being eleven years old… trying to find my way…trying to make sense of my world in the midst of my parents' divorce.  I felt many things – confusion, anger, shame, hurt, loss...even apathy.  In short, I felt like my world had been turned upside-down and I didn’t know how to put everything ‘right’ again. 

I have a distinct memory of lying on the kitchen bench of my childhood home, just staring at the ceiling.  Commotion all around me.  I remember my mind suddenly quiet.  I remember how the world faded in that moment and I was filled with the sound of silence - as white as the ceiling, as clean as the paint untouched.

I remember the thought as it was born, “What if my world really had turned upside-down?".  What if I could be the one to walk on this pure untouched ground for the first time?  What if doorways were steps and lights extended from the ground up? What if this whole new, quiet, serene world had been laid out just for me ?  

It was like seeing everything for the first time. Everything looked beautiful and new and pure...everything seemed possible.  I learnt in that moment that sometimes we need to turn our world upside-down just to see it for how it really is. 

There is always a choice - you can face your challenges with fear and resentment, or you can view them as opportunities to experience something new, to shape a better life for yourself, to live the full extent of the life you have been given.  I was in for huge changes in the months and years that followed, and it was tough…but I had hope. 

Through tears, and no doubt some tantrums and angst - ultimately in that moment, I chose to view my challenges as opportunities.  And truth be told, the life that unfolded in front of me was full of light and shade, depth, colour, joy, and challenges….'opportunities' that would not have opened up for me should things have remained as they were.

I have carried this memory with me through my teen years and into my adult life.  There are times I have needed more than ever to remember the clarity I felt in that moment.  I will often lay and stare at the ceiling in times of overwhelm.  It grounds me.  It gives me a sense of calm.  It reminds me that there’s always another perspective - another way to view your world, your challenges and the changes that are taking place in your world. 

It’s so important to have ways to process your emotions in challenging times.  Sometimes I forget, and I realise that my hands are shaking, I’m wearing my shoulders as earrings and my temper is short.  These times have been more regular since becoming a parent.  It’s a combination of many things, not the least of them being lack of sleep, shifts in priority, and the stress of being responsible for another person’s life.  If there was ever a time to focus on managing my stress, it is now.   I try to remind myself regularly to keep perspective, to breathe and to forgive myself when I get things wrong.  And as I move through life and the challenges I face change and evolve, I remain open to new opportunities to grow, and suggestions on ways to more effectively process my emotions and manage my stress.