Going with the flow
It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters, in the end
Ursula Le Guin
Something I feel like I spend a lot of time trying to teach myself, and failing to learn … stuck in an eternal eddy going round in ever-increasingly stressful circles.
Without fail, *always* my worst month of the year, and this one has been a doozy by any standards. It kicked off with a week of flu, and was swiftly followed by a week of frozen trapezius muscle and total agony of neck and shoulder … both of which have combined to leave me on a really low ebb, with little energy and a feeling of minor panic, as the approaching end of another year overwhelms with the list of incompleted ambitions.
In the midst of all the physical misery, I threw myself a pity party, and wallowed properly in the mire, feeling as though I might as well give it all away, because nothing and no-one was doing me any good. It wasn’t good. I felt rotten. I couldn’t write, I couldn’t sew, the children were almost feral, my husband was grumpy, and the house looked like a bombsite. I just wanted to hide in bed and have someone take care of it all for me.
The trouble is, once you’re a grown-up, that’s not an option. In the middle of it all, I realised that if I wasn’t going to look after myself, then no-one was going to do it for me.
It’s been a long haul back up from there, but it’s been good that I’ve been able to call on all the learnings of the past few years to give myself some handholds – the crash still happened, but it hasn’t lasted as long or got as bad as it has done in previous years.
Even some simple stuff – like the flylady routines – have helped me get back in control of things. Just being able to pick that back up, and work my way through day by day, so that day by day one job, then another, then another gets done … and the house is back in order, chaos retreating – and amazingly quickly, too – clutter hotspots cleared makes a huge difference to inner stress, vacuumed and mopped floors means tidy floors, dusted surfaces are also clean and clear … and hey presto, job done. And with physical clutter cleared away, mental clutter is too. Space and time for the children, and finding that by going with my instincts and treating Rumpus as if he has ADHD his behaviour has improved, and without him causing chaos, things are better for and with the girls, too. And with the household calm, my husband is less grumpy too … and it probably helps that I’m calmer and functioning, too.
And so I’m going gently with the flow, not pushing myself, and not letting myself get caught up in anxiety over the things I “ought” or “should” be doing. I’m sewing again … working on Christmas presents and projects for myself, the children, the house, and I’m happy that those are my priorities, and I’m comfortable with the level that I’m working at. I’m not pushing myself, and I’m not forcing myself to stick to strict timetables and routines.
I’m not writing.
But I know I will, and soon. I’m starting to get the itch to get back to it, and after such a long break I’m looking forward to starting it up again. The intention remains, and that is enough for me right now. It might not be until the new year, but that’s OK.
It’s good to be in a place where I feel that I can accept that everything will happen in its own time, in its own season, and I can let things pass me by without needing to worry about them – if they’re important enough, then I’ll catch them in time, and if they’re not important enough, then letting them go doesn’t cost me anything.
I’m just going with the flow, and letting myself enjoy the journey. I don’t know where I’ll end up – but I figure that by concentrating on the things I love best, that the destination will be worth it when we get there.
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Tags: comfort, difficult month, going with the flow, reflections, routines, stress, struggling