It’s definitely time for another holiday.
Early 2018, for a very brief moment, I felt some frightening emotions. I wrote about it here. The flood of texts I received in response to this post was overwhelming. Some were expressing concern, but predominantly people were expressing gratitude. They were grateful to learn that I don’t have it all as together as they thought. Grateful because it validated them not feeling like they have it together. I was shocked by that and didn’t really know how to respond. Confused. Why are people grateful I am struggling? Pleased. My vulnerability had a positive impact. I realised though, I never want other people to feel lesser because I appear to have it all.
Almost two years on and my old life full of flexibility coupled with financial instability is almost unrecognisable as I have totally recommitted to my teaching career and loving it.
I still very much enjoy working at capacity and aim to always have my cake and delight in eating it (what’s the point of cake if I can’t eat it?). But this year I’ve managed to almost always leave room for the incidentals. My load is full, but if it cops a knock here and there it doesn’t spill. I may swerve, but I will not lose control.
These past few weeks have seen my mind busy with the various facets of my life colliding rather than intertwining. I generally don’t believe in the concept of work life balance. Work is part of my life. Not the biggest, not the most important, but a big and very important part. At various times, I prioritise different aspects of my life and give them more attention as they require it. It’s been difficult to prioritise lately. Those dark and hopeless emotions I was feeling almost two years ago have not returned, so maybe I’m getting better at stepping back, finding perspective, and looking after myself. I also continue to surround myself with people who are willing to both validate my feelings and provide much needed perspective.
This evening after a number of conversations with important stakeholders in my life, after being given a dose of understanding and a swift kick of perspective, I’m back together.
The world might be privy to what we do, our achievements and celebrations. Rarely do we advertise what we let slip in order to do it. I never want people to look at my life and feel lesser because of how ‘together’ my I appear. So, just so you know, in order to keep it somewhat together… I don’t bath my kids every night; I only iron for formal occasions; I never do school drop off, school pick up, or volunteer; I don’t do more than remind my kids to do homework; I don’t let my kids play organised sport before they’re 7 and they don’t switch sports in the off season; I don’t clean my floor nearly often enough; I don’t reply to texts for days; I rarely shave my legs; I struggle to exercise more than once a week; I often do and say things I’m not proud of, and the list goes on.
Nobody does it all. No matter how it seems.