Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Please don't thank me

Today, the idea of being thanked grates against my heart. Being thanked seems to me inseparable from giving. And, right now, I am struggling with the way I give.

I suspect it's because I am feeling depleted physically, combined with feeling supremely disorganised. The latter is a new and unwelcome development.

Thankfully there are people in my life who will give me space without question and will postpone or reorganise commitments without a moment's thought. (These friends tend to have children of their own and can empathise completely.)

I find myself wanting to take a huge step back. It feels important to make space to consider: how can I fill my own cup first? 

There are some things that don't feel in any way in competition with this. The love and attention I give my family. The time and energy I devote to my craft.

Then there's the range of things that take my time that I consider "transactional" i.e. my domestic commitments, keeping on top of emails, monitoring school requirements and all the things I do to keep my family humming along smoothly. I don't always love this stuff but I feel it needs to be done and feel so much better once it is done. And I know it won't last forever: things will change as my children grow older and more independent.

But once this is all said and done, it doesn't leave a lot of room for much else. We're not doing so well on the night-waking front, so I tend to flake out by 9.30pm. I've managed to schedule two timeslots where I exercise each week. My husband and I have a "date morning" when he works from home and our bambino naps and good coffee is a priority. I'm slowly building a routine where my mum and mother-in-law spend time with bambino so I can write.

[Siphoning a day job into all of this would be a whole new thing. Thankfully I don't have to think about that right now. How people work full time, I'll never know... even though I did it for the majority of my working life. It feels like a lifetime ago and something I just can't relate to.]

So as I enter into a new phase of my life, I'm not sure I can be the one who gives once all the stuff I've outlined above is accounted for.

And, to be honest, I'm pretty sure I don't really want to be that person any more. She just doesn't feel like me.

It might look like I'm withholding -- or passive aggressive -- but the truth is, it's felt so crowded in here, there's barely been room for me.

Time to stretch my wings a little.

This post is my response to Day Twelve 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?

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