No More Excuses

It’s been a tough few weeks. Not tough when compared with those experiencing real problems like floods, loss or life changing illnesses, but tough in a frustrated mum of 3 way. I know I over grumble, but for the last few weeks life has felt overwhelming and I don't feel like I am managing anything very well. It’s mostly thanks to an endless stream of illnesses in the house and even worse sleep. Why does illness tend to strike when I'm busy or I feel I am getting on top of life? It’s like a punishment for not appreciating what I had.

A pebble beach with grey skies and 2 rowing boats upside down on the pebbles

I have been reminded of the Julia Donaldson book: a Squash and a Squeeze (affiliate link). If you aren’t familiar with the book a little old lady lives in a small house and asks for advice from a dodgy/ wise old man about what she should do. He suggests she invites a hen to live in the house and guess what? It still feels too small. He advises her to take in a whole series of increasingly large animals until she has had enough and he tells her to get rid of them. Suddenly the house feels enormous. I had been feeling increasingly fed up about the lack of me time and bad sleep and like a timely reminder to appreciate what I have I’ve had even less time.

Right now if an unexpected guest descended on my house they would be horrified with the piles of washing (clean and dirty) that is everywhere and the surfaces that are piled high with bits that need to go away, but at least they can't see my extreme back log of life admin. One of our cars has even been sitting on our drive for the last 2 weeks with a puncture I haven’t arranged to get sorted, thank goodness it’s our little car that I can’t fit all 3 children in. 

Comparison is the thief of joy and all that jazz

I often find myself feeling jealous of what other people have. I recognise that social media shows a glossy view of people’s lives, but it’s incidental parts of the images and comments that I pick up on: people with healthy bodies, more spacious homes with great furniture, nice clothes, children that actually sleep, the freedom to go out and socialise, the money to do all of the above. I find myself wishing for other people’s lives.

While I tend to ignore the news because it’s too depressing I’m not ignorant of those who are worse off than me; all those affected by flooding, those who can’t afford food, the homeless, persecuted etc. Knowing I am actually incredibly lucky to have what I do doesn’t make my problems feel less significant, yet others having more highlights what I don’t have. How does that make sense?

I am starting to question if I can actually enjoy the moment, if I know how to be happy. As soon as I get what I am aiming for I immediately start focusing on the next goal, constantly searching for what I don’t have. An example is that not being married bothered me, but while I was focussed on having a third child it was just a frustration, now it’s become a major issue.

Do I even know how to be happy? 

I’m a goal driven person and I’m torn between whether I should focus on learning to better value what I have or to keep aiming to reach my life goals (except marriage because I have to accept that is never going to happen). When I do think about what I have a little voice inside me tells me I am undeserving of it all and I am petrified (thanks anxiety) of losing what is important to me. My 3 children, my partner and even having a roof over my head are so precious and I am truly grateful for them. I also appreciate just how lucky I am to have both my parents still alive, as well as my partner’s parents, sisters and a grandparent who is stronger than I think she believes. I know I wont always have this and it feels like I am on borrowed time.

I smile, I laugh and yes there are moments I am genuinely content, but if I push the anxiety and small moments aside I have to admit that I am also incredibly frustrated by my life and the feeling is growing day by day. The frustration often comes out as anger, being short tempered and generally grumpy. So what do I actually want?

I need more me time. I need the time to indulge my creative side, my passion for photography and writing (the blog posts that bring in the most traffic to this site are not the ones that have been the most enjoyable to write), I need time to exercise, to get stronger and to be with people that inspire me.

No more excuses

I’m stuck in a rut and I’m unfulfilled, but you know when it’s going to change? Whenever I pull up my big girl pants and make it happen.

Ok there is a whole load of things I have no control over:  Baby Boy is unlikely to sleep better and independently any time soon, we’re not going to suddenly have a load of money and yeah I can’t help the germs either, but I can make better use of the time I have.

Instead of waiting for something to happen to me I can make it happen with Unleash Your Potential. I can be the change I want to see, be more grateful for what I have and not complain about everything. I have written a list of everything I am jealous of: from those with healthier bodies to those with more successful blogs and they have become my goals because really I guess the answer is a combination of both: I need to have gratitude and to reach for better.

I’m not religious or an alcoholic, but I’m reminded of the AA Serentity Prayer. Originally by Reinhold Niebuhr it now has multiple different wordings so I have no clue what the original is, but the key point is: I need to accept what I cannot change, have courage to change what I can and wisdom to know the difference. 

***This is a collaborative post***

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