Feck off Slump

I’ve fallen into a slump.
We have just been racing around all week, getting to all our groups, visiting, doing favours, attending family functions and staying on top of housework and I just tripped and fell into it, stupid slump.
Now it’s Sunday, a day of rest, much much needed rest.
Instead it was an early start, cranky, overtired kids, a great idea to go out for lunch with cranky kids, a leaking sink, an absent husband (didn’t I tell you I have to be gone by 3?) and people due for birthday tea.
Who on earth is in charge here? Surely not me again? Not when I want to go to bed and cover my head and not get up till the morning?
Feck off slump, I’m too busy for you.

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Changing the world.

I used to want to change the world. I was naive of course but still it’s true. When I was a teenager I told people this when they asked what I wanted to do. I didn’t know how I would achieve this but I knew that it would be spectacular.

When I did my leaving certificate didn’t get my first choice, Psychology, in the first round offer. Instead I got offered a degree in Communications. However on the third round of offers I finally got offered Psychology. This gave me one of those “forks in the road” moments in my life. I received the offer on a Friday and could start whichever course I choose on the following Monday. I had an interest in both. On the Sunday at mass, as I drifted in and out of paying attention trying to pin down a decision in my head one of the Prayers of the Faithful read as follows; “We pray for those who help others out of the darkness”. My light bulb moment. I enrolled in Psychology on the Monday morning.

And I did. I helped people who were walking dark paths. I made changes in their lives. I did a post-grad in Education. I taught children to write and read. I played with them and sang with them. I impacted on their life-long learning. I brought two children into the world and my lives and those of my family are immeasurably changed because of them, for the better. I have seen sides of my siblings that I have never seen before, they adore them and spend hours playing with them. They brighten up our home and the homes of our families. They will continue to brighten peoples lives as they grow.

We all help to brighten the world. We all help other people out of the darkness. We are all changing the world, every day that we are in it, and some amazing souls change it even after they have left. Do not underestimate your impact on the world, look around you and at all the lives that yours has touched. I am changing the world. It’s not in the dramatic sense that I once thought I would. I haven’t cured cancer or ended hunger, but I will continue to change the world, one day at a time.

Mindfulness.

I have a friend who whenever something is going on, stops, takes time out and listens to herself and her body. She goes for a walk or for lunch alone and just contemplates on whatever is bothering her.

Inspired by her I decided to give it a go, and I am finding it impossible. I have discovered that I rarely, if ever, listen to myself. My mind is mostly listing things I need to do. It is keeping track of daily life, my kids, my husband, our future. It is making plans and getting information.

Most of the time my mind is dealing with what is in front of it. Does she need her nappy changed? Does she need her potty? Did I defrost meat for the dinner? What time is it? Does she need a cardigan on with that top?

It’s reading a story, cutting toast into triangles, putting on the washing machine, driving the car, doing the shopping.

And in it’s quiet time? When the children are asleep for the night or napping, am I catching up with myself? No, I am reading blogs, writing, scrolling twitter, catching up on the news, watching The Wire, reading a library book, anything at all to keep my mind busy.

I don’t contemplate decisions, I almost always go with my gut. I make decisions quickly and stick with them. I know my likes and dislikes and so I don’t have to think about them do I?

Except that I want to. I want to be mindful. I want to know myself. I want to listen to what I really want instead of always storming ahead. But my mind is so used to being kept busy, it doesn’t know how to be quiet and listen.

Kindness

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I consider myself to be kind, I look out for others, I help them, I listen to them and I champion them. When I was thinking this year about plans and resolutions I read something online, on the Daily Mail.

Firstly, ok you got me, reading the Daily Mail online is a guilty pleasure of mine. The headlines alone are massively entertaining. This time however I read the article, and a line in it got me thinking.

“In 1973, a Scottish welder named Sydney Banks was living and working in British Columbia. He was struggling in his marriage and insecure in his life.

In the middle of a weekend encounter group, a psychotherapist said to him: ‘You’re not insecure, Syd, you just think you are.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2890698/How-make-2015-happiest-year-PAUL-McKENNA-S-life-changing-series.html#ixzz3Nhj0u2gt
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By giving yourself a label of “insecure” in a way you make it so. You tell yourself internally that you are insecure, you act in a way that reinforces your insecurity to yourself.

This thought is incredibly freeing if you think about it. If you can cause yourself to be insecure by thinking of yourself as an “insecure person”, then how about flipping it and making it a positive. I made myself a new years resolution. To be kind to myself, to tell myself that I am all the things that I want to be; I am kind and attractive and fun and a good mother.

I tend to worry a lot. I worry that I’m not doing my best, I worry about how others view me, I worry about the future and the past. I am also, having thought about it, unkind to myself. I call myself unkind things, I tell myself I’m not worth it, that I’m not good enough, things that I would not say to someone else. I deny myself things, I tell myself I’m not worth it, that the money should go on the children, that my time should be spent with them and not on myself.

This is not doing me any good. It is not doing my children any good and it is not doing my husband any good.

So this year 2015 I am being kind to myself. I don’t mean that I am going off on foreign holidays and having spa breaks every weekend but I am going to continually remind myself to treat myself kindly.

On day two of my kindness journey so far I have;

  • Drank a glass of wine without worrying that it was my third day to have done so.
  • Got my haircut (for the first time since last Feb) and accepted a latte in the hairdressers (this probably sounds strange but I usually refuse one because I’d be putting the hairdresser out by having to go and get me one)
  • Didn’t berate myself for putting on the telly this morning when the babies were out of sorts and I was tired.
  • Wore what I felt like wearing without telling myself it showed off my baby belly.
  • Counteracted each negative thought I have had by repeating “be kind to yourself”

Now it might all sound like mumbo jumbo nonsense but so for I have felt both calmer and happier. I’m finally treating myself with the kindness that I usually reserve for others.