Something weird has happened in the last week or so; I feel like I’m growing calmer and more content. Not consistently, there have been the usual ups and downs and moments where anxiety has crept in and tried to take over. But there have also been more moments of calm than usual, and a new kind of calm at that.
So just to bring you up to date; Yes, my oldest friend moved miles away and for the first few weeks it actually did feel like I was grieving. I was raw and emotional over everything, there were a few tears shed behind sunglasses on the bus to work on a morning, I couldn’t listen to certain songs because, well we’d known each other so long we had “our” songs and “our” films. But now things are settling and I’m getting my head around it, we’re messaging each other quite regularly and I’m hoping I’ll be able to go down and visit at some point in the not-too-distant future. I’m enjoying reading how she’s busy turning their new cottage into a home, getting a vegetable patch established, she sounds so content and her future is full of promise and possibilities. Put simply, I’m really happy for her.
I’ve kept up the exercise but in a much more balanced manner, most weeks I swim and do a yoga class, and I no longer have a psyche myself up to do it and march myself over to the gym before I can talk myself out of it. I’m actually quite content in my local leisure centre and I’ve come to really enjoy my little lunch time swim. The most interesting side effect though has been that rather than losing weight, I’ve stopped even trying to. I haven’t lost any but instead I feel more comfortable in the skin I’m in. I feel stronger and fitter and actually that’s better than skinnier. I wasn’t anticipating that! I’d still like to improve on my eating though, I’m spending more time off the wagon than on when it comes to that, but it’s okay, I’ve made an important realisation: It doesn’t matter how many times you fall off the wagon, so long as you keep getting back on it. I’ll keep trying.
I’ve become less crazy over housework too. The other weekend we were having friends over and I’d had a humongous meltdown that morning, a really horrific one that left me feeling dreadful. The result was that it took all my strength to get dressed at all that day, making myself and the house look nice wasn’t within the realms of possibility. Something seemed to shift in my head, I usually push myself for things to be perfect (I tell myself it doesn’t matter, there are more important things, but the urge is too strong and I can’t relax until the to-do list is fully ticked, which is never…) but with time and energy against me, I actually granted myself permission for things to be good enough instead. What a revelation! And it has actually stuck. I really don’t understand why, but it’s like I’m not as obsessed anymore with having EVERYTHING done, I’ve stopped ironing everything and just do the school uniforms instead, I’ve stopped tidying and cleaning ALL THE TIME, I just do what’s really needed and try to put things away at the end of the day. Why was I making more work for myself? Somehow I don’t have that urge to reach the top of the mountain anymore, it doesn’t matter.
The birthday party craziness around my daughter’s imminent fourth birthday has receded. 20 people have accepted the invitation so I’m no longer petrified no one will show up, maybe that’s behind it. But I there’s also the fact my son attended a birthday party for a friend of his from school, another autistic boy, the other weekend. The family had only invited around 4 other kids from school and were relaxed about doing things their own way rather than following the “done thing”or trying to impress anyone, they didn’t even feel the need to explain themselves to anyone which I admired sooo much. Too right I learned a few lessons that day, things I already knew, but they actually sunk in for a change. Ever since I’ve felt more relaxed about the whole birthday party subject in general, just focus in on your child and what their perfect time would be and do that, unapologetically, you don’t owe anyone else anything.
Generally speaking it’s like there’s less busy-ness going on in my head. Is this the yoga effect? Or gardening maybe, I’ve been doing loads in my garden to make it lovely again after the neighbours took my privacy away last year by taking down a massive tree on the border. I’ve generally been loving watching spring blossom around me, it really warms my heart.
Whatever this is, I hope it lasts.