I am a new(ish) woman… In the past, the stresses and strains of the last few weeks would have broken me. I would be a crumbled and incoherent wreck; beating myself up about the things I didn’t do; and exhausted from saying yes to more things than I could handle.
Instead, I said no to some things; I forgave myself for not getting around to others and I quietly accepted that some things would just have to fall by the wayside as I focused more energy than I thought I had on the overload I could not escape.
I was able to take my tool kit of lessons learned and apply them to my life.
I managed to get all the essentials done: moving all the furniture to the locations it needed to be in, making up all the guest rooms that needed making, cooking all the breakfasts that needed cooking, clearing my studio, the garden and our public areas for people wanting and expecting (and paying!) to use and view them. I kept on top of my emails; liaised with the most immediate celebrant related clients.
I fitted in showering (!), eating relatively healthily and getting enough sleep.
I forewent my 15minute exercise routine in the knowledge that lugging furniture up and down 2 flights of stairs; shifting a piano, raking the garden, and reorganising my studio could counterbalance that part of my routine. I didn’t keep the journal/logs I would normally keep but was mentally mindful of their content.
I joined my weekly doula training session from an armchair rather than a desk and listened more than interacted, until the community of fellow trainees and the mindful approach revitalised me. It was an emotional session and I allowed myself the space to regroup and reflect.
I let things go! Put somethings safely to one side to be dealt with at a later date. I have, over the last 3 years, developed processes and filing systems that would ensure these were not forgotten. Instead of trying to hold onto all of them and dropping most, I carried the essentials and delivered them safely. Without overloading myself I remained unbroken, only a little bruised from the heavy load, but not collapsed from an overload.
And now, after taking a breath, I have gone back to pick up the rest, they are in tact, as am I.
The overwhelming guilt, disappointment and sense of failure and dissatisfaction that would have floored me in the past, has not punched me to the ground this time.
Whilst I have spotted a few pangs of guilt popping in, the overriding feeling I have is pride. I am pretty goddamned pleased with myself. With the load I had piled up waiting I could easily have been sunk. Look back at past blogs and you will see. But instead, I accepted that I was about to have a physically and mentally tough 10 days and I pared it back to the essentials, more than was ideal but not so much that I wouldn’t recover. I accepted the pains as passing and wallowed in the success of completing what I set out to do, and built in the space and set aside a realistic amount time to recover.
It’s a constant learning curve. At fifty three and three quarters I feel I’ve reached a place of self acceptance and awareness that will steer me safely into the coming years. I’m bound to make mistakes. It’s part of being human, but in my efforts to remain totally warts and all authentic, I will keep you posted.
Meanwhile, despite my ‘diet’, I believe there is half an Easter egg, waiting in the kitchen with my name on it 😉