I’ve just returned from a warm getaway to an icy cold house in winter and it’s left me feeling annoyed. I did this a month or so ago and was left with a nicer feeling that I’m trying to tap into now. Perhaps this time it’s just a much colder return? Perhaps winter has just been going on too damn long and I’m fed up?
The first thing I noticed was all the cleaning that needed to be done. All the dust and fluff from drying the clothes in doors and not opening up the house to fresh air. All the parts of cleaning that I hate, like the bathroom and the kitchen sink or around the bin. The washing basket, when was I going to get time to do it? And I’d just have to hang it inside again creating more dust!! How was it I had been home for 4 hours and already the sink was full of dirty dishes? But I began to consider, these are all the little things aren’t they? The daily grind of irritants that should be easily enough ignored? I shouldn’t let this destroy my good vibes from 5 days in the sun.
My last visit to the GP just the week before I went away, was to update my qualification for the Medicare sponsored mental health care plan, meaning I gain discounted access to a clinical psychologist, and considering the one I see charges $180 per hour, that’s quite important. You can have 10 medicare funded sessions per year if you qualify for it and sometimes I think there are people out there who would definitely benefit more from it than I, but I suppose it’s not a meritocratic system and there are not a finite number of places that I’m taking one from someone more deserving? I don’t know. Anyway, I digress… I had to tick some response to questions. Basic ones like ‘in the last week I have noticed my heart racing’ and ‘in the last week I have had thoughts that I am unworthy’ (does the above count??). But the interesting outcome of this very simplified 30 question test was that I am not depressed and not suffering from anxiety but that I am stressed.
Stressed. It’s such an overused word. But I do associate it with someone working very hard, long hours under enormous pressure and I certainly can say that I am not doing that anymore. Since the end of February I have worked less than in the previous 6 months – minus the weeks training that knocked me off my perch – see here – and I keep records of the hours I do to make sure I am not working more than I realise. And yet it still feels impossible to ‘keep up’. I always feel like I am rushing from one thing to another… I get up, get us ready, get the 4 yr old to kindy, work (which is never completed), eat lunch, usually shop on the way to or from kindy, pick up the child, entertain the child, make dinner and put the child to bed. Sometimes with help, sometimes not. And on the nights she doesn’t stay here I don’t feel any less busy. There is always cleaning, more work, writing, planning. It seems so lame to write here but I can’t seem to stop the merry-go-round. Even when I relax, it’s ok I have from 7:30-9 to RELAX, alright go! RELAX NOW! I can’t work much less, because I need some income, plus a job is good for you in many ways. I can’t look after my daughter less because I don’t want to. What can I do? The problem seems to be ME.
Most of the 12 months prior to February were a confusing time of finding my body to be a gear slower than my brain and over time (as I neglected to listen to it) the body shifting down another gear and the brain too. But now, since I noticed an improvement in sustaining energy from the Tertroxin dose being doubled, it’s almost like my mind kicked up a gear again before the body was ready. I somehow have to ‘make up’ for the time I’ve lost being unwell and I know in my heart that I risk setting myself back again if I don’t go a bit easier.
Some people have questioned the 2 holidays in such a short space of time – it is lucky, I know that, but I am a travel agent, so I do work with the deals all day long – but I fell into the trap of justifying. I wanted to reward myself after the bad time, I told people. And myself. And of course that had a part to play in it, but really I just wanted to escape the winter. The 12 degree maximum, grey cloud cover days that go on forever. I just wanted to live in the now and love life a bit with some new-found energy. But instead, I tethered myself to the past again, didn’t I? By making the trip conditional on the ‘suffering’ I’d experienced, gave it a debt that was unfair. So I have to cancel that debt.
What’s done is done. I need to remind myself of the banner that sits above my page – it is what it is. I remember when I first became aware of Eckhart Tolle’s book ‘The Power of Now’ I questioned how it would be possible to be happy in the now, if the now is not a good one. How do people who are suffering not want that to end and look to the future always? And now I think I know the answer. It’s bloody difficult. But it’s all we have. I shouldn’t look to the future as better because I don’t know for sure that it will be, do I? I also shouldn’t look to the past as proof that the now is better, because it’s somehow holding myself hostage to what has gone before, and giving it more power over me, because I then need it to prove that the now is good.
That’s just where I am at the moment. Just when I think I’m getting better… but it’s all part of the journey isn’t it?