I don’t cope well with changes, particularly changes in my home environment. We’ve been fixing up our house for the last few years, bit by bit and room by room and we just made the final topsy turvy turnabout of bedrooms before we are done indoors. We’ve got our old bedroom back and once again separated the kids. I have full faith that peace and joy and settling in will be the order of the day once the rooms are painted. Painting’s been delayed and is due to start Tuesday. Snow is due to arrive Tuesday also, so I’m not holding out too much hope for completion this week. The house has been chaotic. Niamh told in her school news last week that she’s moved into her new room and that it has holes in the walls! A lot of the time I have no idea where things are and then some of the time I know exactly where that thing we never used that has been unearthed in the moving is because I’ve finally found it a home.
I find the anticipation of the chaos almost worse then the real event and tend to go into denial about the pending madness before it happens. Then I ease into it and finally accept it at the point where it’s back in my hands to return order of some sort. But it puts me out. I get really tired really easily anyway, but when this sort of stuff is ongoing I burn bright early in the day then fade early. I need serious rest to replenish and start again, so early nights have become order of the day and if I’m tired I stop. This is all new to me. I would normally just keep going and not stop for some rest and self-care. Niamh came down with a dose this weekend and so did I. Yesterday morning I worked (slowly and with breaks!) on stuff around the house, then after lunch I showered and took to the sofa till about 730, when I went to bed. I slept through with one brief waking to reclaim some bed from Epic. I feel heaps better today.
I posted something during the week about self care and it prompted conversations with a few of my friends about what that really means. It’s about saying, “I feel overwhelmed/cranky/sad/ill” when I do and accepting the support and love that comes when you say that. It’s like magic – seriously! It is about slowing down and stopping if I need to. It’s linseed tea first thing in the morning. It’s drinking water, lots of it. It’s taking the time out to look at the good stuff. It’s scribbling for hours in a journal to make sense of something that’s on my mind. It’s fresh stuff – food and air. It’s the beach. It’s a mossy forest. It’s being the centre of a dog sandwich. Music. Chatter with children. Banter with Spud. Snuggling. Poetry. Touching base with all the things that remind me what matters. And yes, it can be a bath or some physical treat like a massage or just looking after my body, but it can also be that extra 10 minutes in bed when it’s too hard to face the day just yet, or that square of chocolate offered by a smiling noodle. It’s different for us all I know but the recurring theme for me is acknowledging that it’s important and keeping that focus.
On Thursday one of my kids had a heavy door closed on her hand at school. Shortly after I made an appointment for my eldest daughter to have her ankle checked, I had to collect the youngest from school because of the hand and the headache and the feeling ill. I dropped her home to my husband, went to work, then met my hubby with the eldest at the doctors to get the ankle checked. They sent us straight to x-ray where a lovely doctor declared a green stick fracture and put her in a boot for two weeks. Bear in mind we have the beast from the east on the way and she’s looking forward to snow time – and bitterly disappointed that she will be housebound for it all. I’m a bit ashamed to say this sort of day would normally knock the stuffing out of me entirely in the past. I’d fine inspiration to remember myself from Aisling Fitzgibbon this week so I had a 10 minute snooze when we got in and a little time to myself and then got on with the day afterwards. I took it in my stride much more than I have in the past because I can stop when I need to look after myself so that I don’t crash and burn. It’s been a really good lesson to me and I hope it’s a good lesson to my girls – one of whom (I’ll let you guess!) goes at things things at full speed herself until she hits the wall (or the stairs!) too fast.
At the back of my mind I have this website and making it the place I want it to be. This too would normally also drive me into overwhelm mode – thinking about the what needs to be done and how to do it and letting the ideas and thoughts take over my spare moments. But that would totally defeat the purpose of making a conscious decision to choose the joy. It would suck all the joy out of the why and the how and the craft of making it. So it’ll be slow but it will be lovingly and joyfully built in calm waters.
In a world where speed and efficiency reign and slowing down is seen as lazy, we need to push back and take our time back for ourselves. Put on the music, make the hot cuppa, get doing what lights you up and look after yourself. There will be days it’s to a minimum, but don’t forget it altogether and you’ll reap the rewards. Everything else will still be there when you’re done but you’ll be better able for it all if you’ve topped up your stores and looked after yourself first.
Have a happy, easy, lazy Sunday! xxx