No child comes with a manual, just as life doesn’t come with a how-to guide. By way of our reference groups, opinion leaders and our own experiences we learn and adapt to the hand that we are dealt with through our journey on earth. Some days, it’s good and smooth-sailing whilst some days are tiring and just plain hard to get through. You crawl into bed wishing you had more time to finish all that needs to get done, and yet, you also wish for more time to just enjoy the small pleasures of being human and the joys of being alive and well. 24 hours just doesn’t seem like enough, yet you feel exhausted beyond words in all that you’ve managed to achieve in one day.
It’s mid-November and there are officially 5 Tuesdays left until it is the week leading up to Christmas…. This statement literally scared the living daylights out of me. Whilst most people seem to revel in the excitement that the festive season brings, I cannot help but to find myself swirling into a panic when thinking about it. Why, you may ask? Well, it is because of the amount of things that has yet to happen, be done and ticked off my list before then. It is the first year that I cannot join the festive feeling of the holidays and it is that I find myself completely and utterly overloaded and beyond tired. I don’t even want to mention the fact that I’ve not yet started any Christmas or holiday planning yet.
Needless to say, the last couple of weeks have been hard – physically and mentally draining. It makes it quite hard to see all the good that I have in my life and I tend to see the negative, or rather potential negatives, like:
- Studying as a full-time student whilst being a working mother and doting wife has been harder than what I’ve anticipated and as we’re nearing the end of the first year of studies I’m feeling mentally drained, leading me to struggle with creativity – something truly required when working in the communications industry. Yet, I know why I decided to go back to studying and am trying my best to stay focused, I cannot wait for the year to end and my mind to get some much needed rest.
- Work’s piling up as I’m on study leave making me feel even more anxious than usual. I absolutely hate letting things drag or stand over – unfortunately with studies I need to prioritize to what’s urgent at that specific moment, and studies are simply top of the list during this time.
- We’re relocating to a new area closer to my parents as we’ve bought our first home and whilst I’m beyond excited about it all it is also a very daunting experience. My thoughts keep running between Caitlin starting at a new school and our neighbours who seem to have an aggressive dog that could potentially be a big problem for us.
- The current house we live in seems to be in a state of never staying clean. There always seems to be dirty dishes in the sink, toys laying around everywhere and overflowing laundry baskets. The mess makes my head feel like a mess and I simply cannot concentrate within such surroundings, making me wish moving day comes quickly. But wait, I haven’t started packing yet either…
- It’s almost Summer and whilst I wish I could be one of those mothers that simply skip, jump and hop into a beautiful swimming costume I cannot even begin to comprehend the embarrassment of wearing a dress or short pants. This past year I’ve not been very good when it comes to my health and general self-care – all of which has taken its toll as I’m now left with clothes that are too tight, or don’t fit at all. I keep looking back at the pictures of when hubby and I were young – jeez, how I wish to have that body back again!
- My hair, nails and skin are looking dire, most likely due to a bad diet and self-care, making me feel even worse about myself. I’m sincerely hoping Santa brings me a full-day spa package at a luxurious retreat as a gift this year (hint hint…)
All of the above clearly paints a picture of a stressed-out, tired woman. Yet, it is in times like these that we need to put aside all the negative thoughts and place focus on what we can be grateful for.
I recently saw a post that went along the lines of this:
I am grateful for…
- Early wakeups = children to love
- House to clean = safe place to live
- Laundry = clothes to wear
- Dirty dishes = food to eat
- Crumbs under the table = family meals
- Shopping to do = money to use
- Toilets to clean = indoor plumbing
- Lots of noise = loved ones having fun
- Endless questions = kids learning
- Getting into bed sore and tired = I’m still alive
When reading through this list, it makes you feel better – grateful for all that you have to celebrate in life. So here’s to finding our blessings and being grateful for each and everyone of them. And to Christmas preparations and celebrations in true South African family manner.