…is such an important part of functioning as a person in a society where you have to do everything for yourself. Don’t get me wrong, I agree our western world is full of abundance and things to be grateful for, but we don’t use our community like others do. Sharing meals, food, clothing, resources, skills and just generally sharing the load. So everything you do, you have to feel capable of. And if you’re me, you have to feel capable of maintaining a sales job to keep an income, and have the energy to keep up with a 3 year old and if I want a social life, I have to know I will have energy left over after both of those things to make it happen.
Which for a long time I haven’t. So that’s been fine. Winter was here, and no-one likes going out at night when it’s cold and rainy. But now, summer is on the way. Day light savings is here, the evenings are light and I have invites to places again. This week 2 evenings out! And next week, being taken away by work overseas! Outrageous!
Just contemplating those things has been hard and I guess it’s because I’ve become a little institutionalised, in my own home. Not being sure I’d have the energy to do anything for a long time has made me unsure I can do anything.
Yesterday I was disappointed to find myself nodding off by 10am after 11 hours in bed the night before. It’d been interrupted sleep with nightmares and just general unrest but still – 11 hours…And today I woke up at 6:30am and have been awake now for almost an hour before my daughter, feeling ok. Tonight is one of the nights I’m going out, again for a work thing, but still social. I do hope I can maintain the energy to get there. Right now I feel like I can, but it’s almost as if my body is saying I can, but my mind is replying ‘pffft you won’t make it! You haven’t in ages’. I will try and silence those thoughts today and just let myself achieve what I can.
As a team leader, I often used to coach my staff with the phrase – whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right – they never listened mind you, people’s minds are very hard to change with talking, but I have always believed it’s true. How you think about the achievements you want in your life does have an impact on you.
One more thing I did yesterday was book a holiday for next year. Now this is a true sign of optimism on my part, because it’s 6 nights away with my daughter and a few months ago I would have dismissed the idea completely, but now I feel like I can do it ( in 5 months time!)
What is fascinating to me, is that once I booked, my daughters father decided he was going to come along too. You may have gathered that we don’t see eye to eye often. We’re very different people and a great deal of my energy in the past few years has been wasted on feeling anger towards him and his blundering actions. The last trip we did together will be 2 years by the time we get round to this one and it was so awful, I vowed never to go away with him again. But a few things happened… 1, it would be really hard to say to his or anyone’s face, no I don’t want you to come. 2, my daughter wants him to come and 3, I thought back to the post from yesterday about wanting to have fulfilling relationships with the people in my life, and frankly, he’s going to be in my life because of our daughter. I am wary that I have to protect myself from his constant bitterness over his own perceived lacks in his life, but I am learning through this process that I can’t change the people around me, and much less put up with them, I have to accept them as they are. As Andrew Solomon has taught me, accepting people as they are, doesn’t make them right, it just makes you able to not waste your energy.
I know that many other people in my life (probably reading this right now) will groan and react poorly to that news but I can’t change them either so their response will have to be accepted.
I feel that this is the beginning of the process of having the things in my life that I truly want – positive and fulfilling relationships with everyone being key. That and the fact that I told him I was going to do what I wanted and my daughter and I would stay where we wanted and he could book a ticket and work out the rest for himself! 😉
Accepting people as they are also means giving them the space to do things the way they want, whilst making sure you are meeting your own needs and accepting yourself first.
And today (if the only one out of the last 10 months) I feel like I can!