Happy New Year!
I hope your holiday season was fun and festive!
I am slow to return to the grindstone, but thats OK, because slow is ‘sorta’ my new thing.
My husband says starting something new or giving something up on January 1st is not a good idea. It is destined to fail because the pressure to succeed is just too great. Personally my new year is in September when the children head back to school and routine and organisation are welcomed with open arms after a summer of ‘anything goes’.
But this Christmas was a little different than other years. My usual excitement was clouded by sadness. The worst part was, I had no idea why.
We have a warm loving home with wonderful family, friends and community. We are all healthy and achieving our personal goals, or certainly working towards them. We work hard and earn enough money to buy what we need.
So what happened?
The only thing I was doing different was slowing down.
I declined invitations, I deferred inviting people to our home, I went to bed earlier, I sleep in until 12 midday, I sat with my children and watched movies. I played cards and board games, not thinking of what I had to do next, except figure out if it was ‘Miss White with the dagger in the drawing room?’ or “Professor Plum with the rope in the kitchen?’.
But how could slowing down make me sad?
I am used to entertaining large groups of people, baking for the christmas fair, bringing food and desserts to family gatherings, creating homemade Christmas gifts, working in the city, helping family and friends, running two businesses and studying. Adrenaline was my steady diet. But then all of a sudden I found myself smiling and greeting everyone with a chorus of jingle bells, when inside I wanted to throw yourself on the sofa, eat a large bag of doritos and marathon watch re-runs of Downton Abbey.
Have you ever done something that scares you and get an adrenaline rush? Then a little while later your legs turn to jelly and you feel like crying? People say, ‘it’s OK, cry if you need too, its just the adrenaline’.
Well that was me, jelly legs and crying.
In other blog posts I spoke about being pumped for Christmas and I truly was. But then…WHAM, it all stopped. Slowing down was not intentional. I just burnt out and couldn’t do it anymore.
As the shock of waning adrenaline subsided, I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. The guilt I felt for not doing, helping and entertaining is fading. I am waking up feeling fresh, with a positive vibe and with focus.
For the first time in my life, I felt comfortable not doing, not committing, not offering.
I felt relief.
A new start!
When I worked as a practice nurse, mothers would present their baby and explain how they were not sleeping through the night or were unsettled. The first thing I did was look to the mother – how was she feeling? How we are functioning as parents has a direct impact on how our children react and feel. They watch our every move, hear what we say and observe our body language.
It makes sense that as parents we must have our own needs met, so we can be the leaders of a loving, harmonious and highly functioning home.
Ok, blank piece of paper, pen at the ready…how do I make sure my needs are met? Where do I start?
Phone younger sister for advice: “You are someone who needs to be stimulated by people and places that interest and inspire you. Right now you have wandered off the path. You are going about it the wrong way and looking for it in the wrong people.”
2017 Goal – to be the best version of myself.
This version is the one who walks every day through the beautiful park beside her home, who visits museums and exhibitions, who is curious of whats around the corner, who treats herself, who travels, who makes bunting and bakes, who knows its ok to say no, who takes warm baths, who does not take herself or others too seriously, who knows that its OK to let someone else fix it, who knows its OK to put herself first, who knows to rest, who knows – “I am doing my best, and my best is enough”.
For a little while I felt alone looking around at all the people who seem to have it so together. But clarity (you have to get some of this), helped me realise I am not alone. This could be about you. I know some of you give too much, extend yourself too far, worry about problems that are not yours to worry about and who put others first when it should be you.
It’s time to hit the big red emergency stop button.
It’s time to be the best version of yourself, because your best is enough. ❤
Want to stay connected? Subscribe to The Simple Owl to receive blog posts directly to your in box.
In between blog posts I can be found on social media sharing lots of pretty stuff. Don’t forget to like and follow!