I was out of reach for a while. When I’m not in a good place, I tend to disappear or hide. It helps me mull over whatever is bothering me and then get back to the world with a smile on my face to resume where I left off in public life. The smile means I won. Even if I didn’t get what I wanted in any sense of the word, the smile is there because I’m over it and I’m moving on.
When I’m ‘off air’, I read. A lot. In my previous life of development worker, in blue times I’d immerse myself in work because I always believed that work is the cure for heartache or a headache. So the recipe for ‘getting over’ things was work and books in whatever ratio worked best.
Now, as a stay-at-home mum, things are different, better in certain ways. That being so, I don’t have my work to hide behind so I am pretty much forced to talk things through and deal with them better and sooner. Sooner being the key word here. Before, I’d let things simmer down to the point where they become insignificant so there is no need to talk them through. For me, that is. Looking back now, I realise that that was quite selfish of me because maybe that other person or persons would still have found them significant. Maybe or I hope that they forgave me because I don’t remember losing many connections over time. I may be overthinking this a bit too… There’s my new NY resolution: don’t overthink.
We are more than half of 2016 down the road and after a short break, I thought that this would be the right time to revisit some of the 2016 resolutions. Well, the four most important ones.
The first most important NY resolutions was to talk things through and as I was saying, I have less space now to deal with things so I have to deal with them in a very practical and tangible way, in order to get back to my everyday life as quickly as possible, because a three-year-old and a four-and-a-half-year-old will not wait and I’ll give you a clue: their concept of patience is next to nonexistent and even if there was one they don’t find it as important.
So, when I hit the blues I talked things through and it felt great because it took me way less time to get back on track.
I also read. Books are a constant in dealing with everything and anything and they are there for better or for worse, so whatever the mood there is a book that matches it. However, I still don’t manage to read as many books as I want, which leads me to the second one of my 2016 resolutions – read 50 books. (I know, I know, but I’m a slow reader and not very good at time management). Nevertheless, I am proud to say that I am well on track and I feel great about it mainly because my mental state is way better than before for two reasons. First, I save myself from unnecessary stress over current world affairs, mainly terrorist attacks, immigration and Brexit, but also because I learn more and get inspired.
The third most important New Year’s resolution was to reduce the time spent in front of the TV and on social networks and you know what? It works perfectly on many levels; not only do we as a family focus on each other more and spend more time together playing, learning and exploring but I also get more time for myself to read, write, learn new things, start new ventures and (re)connect with some old and new friends.
To be clear, I follow the news as I am news-addict, but I have time slots allocated for that – twice a day, morning and evening for about 20-30 minutes and I am still on my social network profiles, but again within my self-imposed timeslots. It started with the decision that every time I was about to reach for my phone to check what is new on my Facebook feed I would actually reach for a book instead. It wasn’t as easy as it sounds, I had cold sweats, hands were shaking and all that, but I won!
The last most important resolution was to eat less cake. I consistently add the resolution to the list and I consistently fail it and that is the only successful moment about this resolution. Consistency is good, I keep hearing, so maybe it’s all about the perspective…
It feels good and also right not only to reclaim the time that I so foolishly gave away for the TV but also to reclaim myself. And cake. Always claim the cake.