Ever stood back and taken stock of your life?
If you’re anything like me, then not really. Maybe a bit here and a bit there but nothing that is going to induce some sort of life-altering epiphany.
I wonder why we don’t. Are we too scared of what we will discover if we have a long, hard look at ourselves? Are we too busy? Too apathetic? Or is it simply that we are content with our lot in life and who we are?
If anyone can work that one out can you let me in on it please?
So in the spirit of “making time for self” that I vowed to have a crack at, I am beginning a journey of self-discovery (sorry for the use of the reality-show-inspired “J” word). Now I am pretty sure that unless I discover myself to be completely shallow, this may take a while. That’s OK though, I’m not in any particular hurry.
But where do you begin?
It’s like standing on a road that branches off in many different directions and trying to decide which one to follow. Do you take the road most travelled (but wouldn’t that indicate that you’ve probably been that way before and there is nothing new to see?). How about the road that looks like it’s full of pitfalls and potholes...perhaps a little bit of remedial roadworks-for-the-soul will be required to reach the end of that one but does that make it any less a deserving route?
So here I stand, wondering which road to take. Just put one foot in front of the other...come on you can’t stand here forever, move. Yep, ah-hum, sure. I’m on it..... Aaannnyyy minute now.
OK let’s not rush in to things here. Why am I doing this? What is it I am trying to achieve and why do I feel like Marco Polo of the psyche, heading off to discover a brave new world or something equally as exciting (terrifying)?
Simple. I want to be the best I can be my children, for my husband, for my friends. For myself. I want to stop existing and start living.
Our lives can so easily get away from us. Our time taken up by every day existing and minutiae that before we know it we’ve lost our way.
In the morning I get up and go through the motions of preparing for the day (thankyou coffee), get my children ready for school with the inevitable time spent looking for lost books, misplaced school shoes, wayward lunch boxes. Darl have you seen my keys (why don’t men use handbags?). In to the car, race to school, battle the traffic to work, struggle to get through the morning’s work, throw down some lunch, try to get through the afternoon’s work, rush back for afterschool care pick up, try and rustle up a dinner that is nutritious and yet will still be eaten by everyone when nobody seems to like the same things as anyone else. Nag them to shower. Remind them to do their homework. Prepare lunches for tomorrow. Prepare clothes for tomorrow. Find out what all your friends are up to on Facebook/Twitter, because they all seem to have more interesting lives and a little bit of vicarious living can make you feel better about things right. Ah nuts, forgot to feed the cat. OMG look at the time, have get up and do it all again tomorrow. Tumble in to bed exhausted.
Slow down! I want to stop racing through everything. I want to work out what I can do differently so I am making time for the things that really matter. I want to make sure I have as much time as possible. Ah-ha! I think I just picked the road. My health, lifestyle and spirituality.
As much as I still feel like I am 20 years old I have to be honest. I am officially middle aged. I am not getting any younger and I am so far from treating my body like a temple that it’s only a matter of time before someone comes along and calls my temple derelict and slaps a “condemned” sign on it.
I eat too much, I smoke, I probably drink more than I should, I don’t get enough exercise (hell I don’t get any exercise), my knees are knackered, I am going grey, have wrinkles and old lady hands.
I also feel like I have a purpose that at the moment I just can’t quite put my finger on...I can almost see it, like a sprite flitting from tree to tree in the woods but never showing itself clearly enough to identify. I catch a momentary glimpse out of the corner of my eye and then it’s gone.
So, I’m off. Not sure where to but I am certain it will be anything but dull and I can’t promise that I won’t want to come running home to my comfortable routine. I enjoy company, so anyone who wants to join me is more than welcome. Don’t forget to pack your sense of humour, I'll bring the wine.