Monday, 11 June 2012
A couple of nights ago, as I was drifting off to sleep, I felt frustrated because although I had started working on a few topics (actually, I have 5 different documents currently open on my desktop!), I had not finished a piece of writing in a week! Now, you might wonder why I was feeling that way seeing I am not on a payroll, nor is there a employer-imposed deadline. The thing is, I have self-enforced targets. I have to do this in order to have some sort of discipline and momentum with my writing, otherwise, it would be far to easy for it to fall by the wayside as life gets very busy with the everyday.
Anyhow, the internal conversation went a little like this:
“Argh! I feel so discouraged nothing I’ve started writing has taken a life of its own.” “Its okay, be patient. You’ve been away for a few days with Matt and then busy with the girls’ end-of-school-year stuff ..” “Argh! What am I going to cook for tomorrow’s dinner party? 11 adults to cater for with all sorts of requests. No mushroom. No prawns. No pork. No softshell crab. Hmm, what about scallops? I wonder if I can be brave enough to make a soufflé for the first time for this party?” “Argh! What am I going to write about next?” You get the picture. Of course, come next morning, my refreshed brain had figured out a rough menu and also what to write about next!
As a younger person, I often let things get me all tied up and twisted inside but becoming a mom made me realize a couple of things:
1. I needed to set a good example to the girls as I didn’t want them to grow up to be stressheads like me, getting all wound up over silly things
2. a lot of these ‘problems’ were only as big (or small) as my perception
3. when it came to big problems, sometimes, the best solution was to ‘sleep’ on it -- to get a fresh perspective and better problem solving skills
And so, I resolved to change. It was very hard at first. Not freaking out at everything that wasn’t done “perfectly” or whenever things didn’t go to ‘plan’, not jumping the gun with my responses and learning that not EVERYTHING needed to be ‘action-ed’ immediately - trying to rein-in behavior and impulses I had inherited from my past. It felt so unnatural.
I had to learn to let go of trying to control everything, realizing in the process that ‘total control’ was impossible (as well as damaging to myself and everyone around me) and importantly, in the big scheme of life, what was critical today may become trivial tomorrow. And what a weight off my shoulders that realization was!
Although I am still ‘light’ years from becoming adroit at leaving the complicated until tomorrow, I am learning that sometimes, stepping back from difficult situations can make perceived problems magically become manageable (or disappear) because of a fresh perspective and therefore new approach. And the best part? I see the girls get the benefit from this changed approach as they follow in my example and learn to deal with challenges in a healthy and more positive way.
Now… what am I going to write about next? Not sure yet. But tomorrow is a new day and maybe the answer will come to me then.