Last week I wrote to my newsletter subscribers about how I was determined to start showing up for myself during 2018 and why. It must have struck a chord as a number of people reached out to say they felt the same way. So I wanted to write about it a little more in today’s blog post. For the past 44 years I have failed to show up for myself time and again. I have an innate tendency to put everyone and everything ahead of myself. What I have come to realise is that on a deeper level it is a form of self-sabotage. And it is also due to fear.
My second least favourite question (after ‘aren’t you sad you don’t have children’?) is ‘what are you doing for Christmas’? Apparently my answer of ‘nothing’ isn’t socially acceptable. Or so it seems. The person asking the question inevitably tilts their head to the side, and looks at me as if I’m a puppy that needs rescuing from the pound. At this point I silently pray they don’t invite us to spend Christmas with them and their extended family.
A couple of weeks ago I shared an article on my Facebook page about Emotional Labour. I had heard the author of the article, Gemma Hartley, being interviewed on a podcast. After listening to the episode I read her article (which I have linked to at the end of this post). While I agree Emotional Labour exists, I think it’s one of those topics that women feel they have to be united on. In doing so I believe we’ve turned a molehill into a mountain. And I fear we have started a war that men will never be able to win.
A couple of weeks ago I shared with those that receive my newsletter how I am prone to self-sabotage. It started when I was 16 years old. Six weeks out from trailing for a New Zealand gymnastic team, I 'retired gracefully' from the sport. Since then self-sabotage has played out in various ways in my life.
Do you remember a life without social media, smartphones, apps and notifications? This time in life is what my generation refers to as ‘the good old days’. When you had to get out of your chair to change channels on the television. Weekends were spent riding your bike around the neighbourhood. And if you wanted to speak to your friends you rang them using the phone attached to the kitchen wall.
As I start to write this post it’s 4pm on a Sunday afternoon. I’ve got half an hour before feeding and walking time at the Longley Zoo commences. I could have chosen to spend this time scrolling through social media. Or checking my emails. Or flipping through a magazine. But instead I decided to keep chipping away. The concept of chipping away is something I touched on in my last article. It’s something I’ve always done but have never had a name for. But thanks to my friend Carol I now do.
I had a moment last week. One of those moments when I felt overwhelmed by all I had to do. For a second I wondered how I got back to that point. The place I swore I would never be again. But then I realised that while I was busy, I wasn’t actually in a place of overwhelm. I just didn’t feel organised. And when I don’t feel organised my life feels cluttered. And when my life feels cluttered so does my mind. So to get myself back to a place of feeling calm, I knew I needed to sit down and sort out my schedule.
Over the past nine months we have been intentionally creating a place that feels like home. Not just to us, but also to those that visit. In one of my earlier articles I talked about how stability was one of our core values. It's one of the reasons we chose to buy, rather than continue renting. We have definitely felt more settled this year. Having our own home is definitely the main reason for that.