Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Old stories

As I stand on the precipice of a whole new life, I notice that a whole lot of old stories are holding me in their thrall.

They go something like this:

If you want something done properly, you have no choice but to do it yourself.

If you want a thousand things done properly (and let's face it: you do, every day), you'd better just suck it up and get on with it, no matter how exhausted you are.

People who tell you that you really should be resting and that there's no point trying to be a "superwoman" are well-meaning but frankly don't know a thing. Because basically, there's no time to rest and actually you DO need to be a superwoman if you're going to keep all those balls up in the air.

Some folk will always find a way to let you down.

Shut down. Shut out. You're angry and there's not much point, so just clam up and get on with it already.

I see that there's not a lot of joy to be had in these stories. I also see that shutting down and shutting out leaves no room for any form of joy to be savoured at all.

And they don't leave a whole lot of room for other people and the contributions they are able to make.

But mostly, these stories reinforce the ancient attitudes that I am on my own.

One of the things that I regret from the time when my daughter was born was that I don't remember just sitting down and holding her a whole lot. I just recall running like a Very Busy Person, making up errands, trying to do the right thing by everyone else and trying to be the Perfect Mum. It was five years ago and it was a foggy, intense time so the "truth" has been buried in the sands of time... and by that, I mean that I probably did sit and just savour my beautiful baby more than I remember doing.

My therapist and I agreed, many years later, that my ability to sit still and enjoy my baby would have required a great deal more support than I actually received at the time. In preparing for this baby, I have tried to open up to greater levels of support whilst setting boundaries that honour my comfort levels with this.

Perhaps all these old stories just come with the turf: I've done all I can and I've done my best but now I don't have a choice but to go with whatever happens. And part of that is probably a bit of healthy anxiety.

Whatever the case, I want to thank those old stories for trying to protect me from disappointment and spurring me on to do my best for my family.

But, sincerely, I see that it's time to let them go.


  1. That old British work ethic needs to get tossed right out the window. We are not what we produce. We are not rocks...islands unto ourselves. We are social beings living in communities, relying on each other for our existence.

  2. Gosh, Kat, it sounds like some big things are changing for you (I tried to catch up what's going on by reading back in your blog, but I'm still none the wiser). Anyway, I can completely relate to your inability to stop and smell the roses. It's all my own fault, but I am driven to keep going for what and why I don't know. It's just the way I am. And, therefore, no regrets. It is what it is. x