Tuesday, September 9, 2014
The trouble with intentions
I've been setting intentions at the beginning of each month, with the assistance of my superb Tranquility du Jour Daybook. If I'm to be honest, I am not using the book exactly as suggested by the layout: it's more of a To Do list keeper cum scrapbook. But the practice of setting intentions each month has been transformative, even if I haven't done a very good job of keeping them.
For the month of September, decompression was high on the agenda. Picking up the Desire Map thread was one goal. As was resuming a lapsed craft project. It seemed to me that some gentle introspection and a dose of crochet were just what the doctor ordered.
August was a pretty hardcore month. There was August Moon, of course. And a massive letter-writing parcel-sending postcard-penning project. There was the Melbourne Writers Festival. And the necessity of completing my tax return.
Then there was the stuff of life: play dates and birthday parties and the book week dress-up parade for my little 'un; helping out at her school; checking in on friends going through a hard time; helping my parents shift some furniture; working on my aching back; trips to Ikea; resuming swimming; amping up the breastfeeding effort after bambino decided to refuse solids for a couple of weeks; and so on.
Somehow I rode the crest of all this activity with clean, uncomplicated and seemingly endless energy. Most of the above felt surprisingly easy. And joyful.
And then, for some reason, it didn't. There was still the relentless pace and the ticking things off the To Do list. But my days took on a manic quality which started to unnerve me a little.
Looking back, the triggers are a little more obvious but at the time it felt like I was being sucked back into the vortex of anxiety and I was confused as all hell. I inhaled sugary treats from the minute I woke up until then minute I went to bed. I was short tempered and bad humoured and very very cynical. In short: a joy to be around.
There's much I could say about the vortex but the truth is, I am not yet on the other side of it. I can see the triggers a lot more clearly though. It's largely to do with the day job I am on maternity leave from: the organisation I work for is undergoing a massive restructure such that my job and the unit I was in no longer exist, and the opportunities for me are not yet clear.
Obviously, this is problematic for a vast number of people and the risks for me are insignificant by comparison. I am part time and not the main breadwinner in our house: if I were not re-employed then we'd manage.
So it should be relatively simple. But there's something else going on for me. And this something is requiring that I articulate what I want for my future and why. And it's been surprisingly difficult.
Getting certain words to travel from my heart to my brain then out of my mouth has been a scary and exhausting task. Even though the witnesses to these words, when they finally surface, are routinely unsurprised and perennially supportive.
So what is it that am I so afraid of?
Understanding that, right now, is my work.
This post is my response to Day One of the August Moon reflective writing challenge. You are most welcome to share your own response to the prompt in the comments below.
Otherwise, the next opportunity to connect is Reverb in December. Join us?