I’m sorry I’ve been neglecting you.
It’s not intentional, and not that I don’t love you, nor appreciate how you’ve been there (here) for me when I most need.
I could blame having no time, or being tired when I come home. Stress or too much on my mind. Or a whole bunch of other stuff that pretty much amounts to excuses.
It is all of these things and none of these things. It is something that, perhaps, these things have contributed to, or merely been a symptom of somethiing else.
You see, life can change in but a moment.
We generally hear this little snippet of advice when someone has died; tragically, after a long illness, when the person in question is young.
It’s associated with a deep sadness, a loss, a tragedy.
It’s not always like that. Sometime, that moment is blase. Sometimes it is accompanied by a small smile, or even extraordinary ecstasy.
Life can change in a moment for an range of things.
Mine changed because I signed a contract, to perform some work that I love, that gave me an income, that removed some stress from my husband, and that went a considerable way to making the worklives of tens of thousands of people much less stressful, and much more effective and efficient.
In effect, it will significantly reduce workplace stress, and reduce the rate of dissatisified customers of which, I’m fairly positive, a great number of our readers, Diary, are of this organisation.
So it took up lots of my time, it threw my plans and routine into disarray and, without a re-plan and establishment of replacement routines, well, my plans and routine were – are – in chaos.
The last few weeks, quite frankly, with this job have been shit. Incredibly stressful, confusions, conflictions, confrontations and a couple of tantrums (mine, mostly).
I could point fingers and say a heap of shit, but the fact is, I know I cannot make people listen or undersand, I understand completely that others have their own views, for a great number of reasons, and sometimes they forget to let me in on their perspective so I understand more completely.
I know I cannot make people perceive things the way there were intended, and if they choose to see things a different way, then that is there choice. I can try, but I can’t make.
Knowing, understanding and accepting all of these things doesn’t stop the storm – a cyclone in this case – from coming. What it does is enable me to weather my way through it. To dance in it and with it. It doesn’t stop the sterss or tears, but it does mean there is sunshine and rainbows and, apparently, completely wanky terminology at the end of it.
Sorry ’bout that.
What being in the midst of a storm also does, is teach me more about myself. Mostly where my passions and care lie, and what I’m willing to stand up and fight for.
It doesn’t even need to be the upheaval of seriously inclement weather. Just having a reduction in ‘free’ time, pressures (even the good ones), a need to really think about my priorities; even that draws things to the surface, an oozing of revelations and realisations from the sub-conscious into the conscious.
My time is restricted. Not just in hours in the day, but each day I sit in a state of unsureness is a day of my life I lose. Another day I did nothing, and another day of “being useless and unworthy and a failure” that is stored away and feeds my depression and anxiety.
Which, I might add, is well and truly beaten to the far corners of my mind, locked away and not bothering me at all now. I guess I know what Depression can be like, and now it can sometimes find a way, quite unsuspectingly, quite sneakily, to slime its way to the fore.
For now, I’m feeling fucking awesome. I feel good.
This Life Change (no, not menopause, just my daily routine being all CHAAAARRRGGGGHHHHHOS! right now, that’s what I’m talking about) has made me really assess … stuff.
I’ve been doing, as you know, this blog and Real Mums for ten years. I have changed lives, I have inspired, and I have given people hope and empathy.
I have also fucked up quite a lot, and let lots of people down. But lets focus on sunshine and lolly pops and shit, okay?
I’ve seen a rise in “mummy/mommy bloggers” and a whole heap more people blogging about the realities of parenting. Quite a lot of the same as what I started doing ten years ago, and this ‘new’ open honesty has surged in the last five or so years.
In this, what I see is how much has NOT changed in ten years. And if I’m being truly honest, I can say it has been the last 500 years, or thousand years, or ten thousand years (although I really don’t have much to go on back that far).
If I want to make a difference, or continue to make a difference, I can no longer carry on as I have been.
I need to take a further step, to make my way out of what is now the ordinary, and not just Be the Difference, but do something more that will actually make the difference.
Sure, I’m not curing cancer. I haven’t started an orphanage, nor doing something that’s going to get a kid a much needed wheelchair.
I know what I do pretty much makes life a little easier for the White Middle Class woman, or family, or whatever.
I don’t really understand why this is my ‘caring’, my passion, my calling, whatever. It just is.
I can do nothing about it (trust me, in the depths of my lows, I have tried). It is just me. I was born this way.
I don’t know why I care, but I do.
And I like to think that my caring, and the little action I have taken, has made a difference to people.I like to think it has contributed positively to family wellbeing, or mental health, or postnatal depression, or people eating better or … I don’t know, just some small difference to someone.
It would really suck having this uncontrollable, innate drive for it to have no impact at all.
Anyhoo, the upside is, I know me more. I’m sure there’s loads and loads more about me that I don’t know.
I do know that I need to cut back. I need to focus, and I need to rethink the way I’m going about things… and what I plan to do in the future.
I plan to carry on this contract I’m on for as long as they need me – as non-cancer-cure finding, non-orphanage building, non-wheelchair funding as it is.
Cos someone has to set a bad example, right?
Oh, wrong quote …
Cos someone has to be the one to do something about all these things that fall outside of these realms, right?
Someone has to care enough to want to make a change, right?
Because unless someone cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to change, it’s just not.
And I think high stress levels, and postnatal depression, and obesity, and poor nutrition, and sedentary beings, and mental illness are things that are worth caring about, and each of them could use someone caring enough to make a change.
And yes, I’m also well aware that these things can also lead to cancers, orphans, and the needs for wheelchairs.
My mum was, and still is, a nurse … I spent much of my childhood hearing stories about people who needed to be ‘fixed’. To be operated on, to be cured, to go through years of rehabilitation, only to realise they could not be fixed or cured and would need to spend the remainder of their life in a wheelchair.
I was surrounded by people who were ‘sick’ to one degree or another.
If they couldn’t be cured or fixed, or accept life with wheels instead of legs, then I heard about their autopsies.
Everyone expected me to follow in her footsteps; to be a caring, compassionate nurse who helped people.
I chose to go one step further; I don’t want to cure people.
I want to stop people from getting sick in the first place. I want to lessen their pain, so that they don’t end up so sick they need to rely on the health system.
Sure, it’s not dealing with the underpriveleged, nor does it pull the heartstrings that a serious illness or injury does.
But it’s what I care about and what I’m capable of doing.
I’m regrouping, reassessing, and rejigging my routine.
Please bear with me whilst I make some technical changes to Diary – which is not going anywhere! – and refocus on what is important.
And thank you for still being here for me … all of you x