I feel this blog post could have a whole host of titles: things I’ve let go of as a mum of a now toddler or while I stick to the long winding path of job hunting. Ah, sigh.
If anything this time has put in the forefront the things we value most, how we chose to use our time and what we spend money on.
This isn’t about constant social media usage though I let go of that 6 months ago. Here they are:
Bye-bye journaling for now
I don’t journal every day like my life depended on it – The truth is, up until a few weeks ago I was hot on journaling. I’ve been journaling on and off since I was 11, I would almost always recommend it to others, I would profusely explain my journey of doing it, Julia Cameron’s morning pages etc. Though after reading Pete Walker’s book. I took a step back to realising it may have been more of a coping strategy than solace.
In having time away from writing in it I’m better able to process my feelings and talk out loud, I feel in my being as an adult like never before. I’m not saying I will never put pen to paper again and it is a great tool to express and relax before creating something. Though I think it stops me from feeling how I feel in the present and communicating in the now. I’m doing much more of that and I feel I’m growing for it.
I closed my ongoing writing practice writing ‘Ok journal, thank you for being here and I will write in here again when I feel to’. I feel like I’m growing out of the skin I was in writing in my self-conscious teens, desperate twenties, and even the confused hopeful thirty years old me now.
It illustrates something that’s been coming up, one size doesn’t fit all – though marketing, media, authors – anyone will tell you it does. This is my first act of letting go.
Exercising almost every day
I’ve always enjoyed exercise, I’m one of those semi-rare people that do. Movement and I have been on a journey through these lockdowns. I started by doing tons of Kundalini Yoga, in teaching it I practiced the set throughout the week. I moved to do Pilates classes after I fell down a flight of stairs injuring my coccyx and did so almost every other day.
This I feel, is a great lesson my daughter has taught me so far – no matter how much of a routine you have, things change and the quicker you quit complaining and blaming people for your lack of meditation, exercise, or whatever activity, the better life will be. There’s nothing like a child waking up with teething pain to remind you to let go of your attachments and this is a moment, a bunch of moments, not the rest of your life.
I am a huge believer exercise is one of the best tools for mental health – move a muscle to move a thought, comes to mind. There have been times through COVID, being cooped up with my husband’s family that thirty minutes of exercise has felt sanity-saving. However, like turning to a journal it’s all too easy to turn to exercise as a form of fixing. I’m slim in build and rushing exercise can affect my whole day in a negative sense as I haven’t had time for a cool-down.
I am now doing thirty-minute pilate classes once or twice a week, I am letting go of the pressures of a need to exercise and listening to my body more.
A life less rushed
An obvious one to many who have found life a la slowed down this year, I have found I have let go of rushing on a new level. I have let go of rushing to please other people, to follow the suit of friends who are making children’s crafts, buying great clothes, reading a book a week, to watching the newest talk. I am less inclined to rush our child through potty training, to talking, to doing things herself before she is ready, and to go to the park almost every day.
It’s as if time and limited resources have inserted a pause, it has not gone unnoticed this time. I rushed to find work and nothing happened then as I slowly surrendered to life as a stay at home mum, I looked again and went a different and even slower route has opened up. I have rushed all year to find a solution that brings peace to where I am in life and where we live. In the Summer I gazed enviously at flats and made harsh remarks about wanting to live near the fields and forest and spent many mornings wanting to move home to familiarity and away from the drudge of East London.
Then I read this:
Home isn’t necessarily a place is it
The above line is from the fabulous book The Boy, the fox, the mole, and the horse by Charlie Mackesy.
I have been through a myriad of emotions this year, the past 2 years, living with my husband and his mum. There are pros and cons, there always will be. I’m not sure I will ever feel relaxed here. This artist’s work helped me acknowledge I feel homesick often. I don’t know if a home is there, here or where I will be in the future. I get caught up in it all till I feel I have no home at all.
Home isn’t necessarily a place that reminds me to let go of the what-ifs, the when, the endless questions and plans my mind churns up, to let go and trust more. It’s easy to say and hard to do day to day though I have some more inner work to do and faith that as I know better I can do better in the now.