Sensational title much? I guess it’s only missing “Beauticians hate her!” or some other ridiculous catchy phrase, but it’s true. This is my life (but not the beautician part, unless they hate me because I don’t have a beautician or something). But I digress…
Over the past few months, I’ve learned a thing or two about the whole “being alive” thing. Things that I thought I knew, but didn’t quite understand have now cemented themselves in my mind and my heart and have changed me. Here are the big ones (mostly number 3 – the really, really, hard one).
1. Writing is HARD. So is dealing with all the STUFF.
Despite my good intentions, I’ve let the blog fade away from my priorities. At first, it was due to simply being boring and not having much to say about the daily grind, having photos that weren’t “blog worthy” (hello Ikea catalogue image! #sorrynotsorry), not being interesting enough to read, being too interesting in the bad way to be blogable, then the longer the blog sat idle, the worse I felt about it and the more discomfort I felt around writing. Just opening a word document was hard, nevermind actually writing anything. It’s this loop that makes it worse and worse, which is almost laughable, considering how much better I feel when I’m writing, or doing those little chores (ie, dealing with STUFF) that I put off. Instead of just doing these enjoyable enough activities, I choose to worry about them. How is it that one thing that will take about 60 seconds of my life and be so satisfying (like finally getting the lint off David’s old jacket) can be such a massively huge, overwhelming task to contemplate? Why is it that I choose to do zilch about it?
2. I really, really, really dislike STUFF.
This one really did take me by surprise. I’ve always been a consumer. I love stuff, right? Well, no. I love acquisition. I love the feelings, future memories, and ideals I place on the things I acquire. I love the way I let myself believe they are going to “change” my life. It could be a bag of flour, a perfume, or even raiding the $1 op-shop for a new pair of fashionably daggy “mom” jeans. Picking up an old abandoned dresser from the side of the road while dreaming of starting an antique business, buying a packet of popcorn while fantasising about the picture perfect movie night. And the kicker? Refurbishing a set of chairs because in my head, if I can morph my broken old victorian repro dining chairs into that gorgeous milk-painted set I saw once on Pinterest, my life will change.
I won’t be the dowdy unkempt, broke 30 something year old mum that avoids the lint shaver like the plague and hides when the door bell rings. If I can create those chairs and that table and maybe that whole beautiful Pinterest dining area then somehow my hair will be always done, my cakes will never burn, and I will find joy again in being a SAHM. I will find my purpose in preparing beautiful school lunches, fit into all my clothes again (but magically, they will be new and shiny and always pressed and smelling like sunshine). I’ll laugh merrily while sipping sparkling water from a martini glass while my sweet children play in the garden surrounded by joy and comfort instead of whining about screen time limits and refusing to eat dinner or go to school in the morning. No one will ever get sick, we will all live forever, and unicorns will eat flowers from my hands.
Okay, maybe I didn’t expect the unicorns.
Just like that idyllic reflection of the home and family that I found captured on Pinterest, my life will be perfect. More than perfect. Because with just a little paint, my wayward mind believes it can fix all the things. Every little acquisition is a grasp at a fantastical ideal of life.
For those that are interested, those chairs are less than half finished and apt reflections of my life, discarded when the dream was no longer believable. I still tucked them under the dining table though – it seems people are rather fond of sitting down and eating.
The moral of this rather long winded self assessment? See beauty in imperfection, change the things that matter (ourselves), not the things around us, and for the love of all things good and holy, COLLECT LESS STUFF.
3. Mental illness SUCKS bollocks and all things unpleasant in a fiery pit of doom (but I’m the one to blame)
Yes, like many others, I deal with depression and anxiety. Yes, I have a whole lot of nasty crap from the past that has changed my perception of the world. Yes, my depression (even at my best) makes it hard to do just about everything.
But I can’t blame the black dog for everything wrong with my world.
Doing stuff is harder for me than many others, but it’s doable. I CAN do it, I just choose not to because it’s easier to not to. On days when it feels like you’re being weighed down by a truckload of bricks and even brushing your hair feels like a mammoth task, it can be easier to stay there and sit in your very own brick pyramid rather than dig yourself out be. Digging is HARD and scary. Some days it may seem impossible, but it’s never impossible, just really, really, really bloody hard. And lets face it, no one wants to be buried like that – it’s its own level of hell.
I can choose to claw my way out, one lint roller at a time. One hair brushing experience, one supermarket expedition, one game of Pokemon with JJ , one adventure with household surfaces, Mr. Sheen and a microfibre cloth, one date night with David that I choose not to cancel.
And instead of berating myself because it was hard and it “shouldn’t be”, I can choose to be proud of that seemingly tiny achievement. Today I opened a word document and actually started typing and that’s AWESOME. Nice job Ellia past!
Forget bubble baths that I always put off having (because again, too hard) and 100TC sheets that feel too slippery to be comfortable, THIS is real self care.