In attempting to ”have it all”, we deprive ourselves of what is truly important, which is peace, tranquillity and harmony, and the opportunity to be present in our lives. This then begs the question, do we actually have ANYTHING?
So, as hard as it is to believe, I have not always had this not so sunny disposition! No, I was always a placid person who wanted and needed very little, other than peace, harmony and tranquillity. In my early days, and more especially the days where major life decisions and my future had to be considered, I was just a shy and humble girl, who had absolutely no ambitious aspirations AT ALL!! I just wanted to live in a state of mental and emotional balance and calm. Perhaps this is everyone’s life story, bar a few, who have the desire to be rich and successful from the time that they have been nappy trained, making this their goal, which ultimately they achieve. Me….nope….just moseyed along trying to stay peaceful and harmonious and all.
Then I was presented with the world that we live in, where peace, harmony and tranquillity were not totally enough. But subconsciously, I did just enough that I needed to in order to survive, in order to maintain the desired peace and harmony. Just like those people that I have called….well…idle, lazy, irresponsible, unmotivated, unambitious ……need I go on….for the last hmmmph years. This is NOT to be confused with those who I have called (and still call) ‘’the spongers’’….you know, people who feel they are entitled to freeload off others to get the things that they want, but are not prepared to work for them. They quite happily sponge off anyone falling within their sponge meter’s radius. There is a major difference between these two, which took me many years to realise.
Then I had children!!!!! As with most parents, we want to give our children everything of the best. We want to give them everything their friends have. We want to give them everything we did not have at their age. Not sure if you have just realized, as I have, why we are surrounded by such a self entitled and spoilt younger generation. Nevertheless, we pretty much all fall into that trap.
So slowly but surely, the ratio of manic need to be a gazillionaire to the need for peace and harmony…..well changed!! This mindset slowly rears its ugly head without any warning, until one day, you realize you have been sucked in. So there you are, creating a lifestyle for your children, that in order to sustain, necessitates that you become a raving intense lunatic, who works harder, plays harder and lives harder.
It is undoubtedly true, that some people thrive on this type of lifestyle, but inherently I am totally not that person. That just destroys my soul, my nerves, my entire health and well being. But there I was……..
Once my husband died, this life that we had worked towards became unsustainable, and decisions had to made, things had to be prioritized, sacrifices had to take place, but all I wanted, was for my children to feel they were as ‘’normal’’ as possible. This ‘’normal’’ I speak of, is, I am ashamed to say, ‘’privileged normal’’. To some, ‘’normal’’ is living on the streets, not knowing where their next meal is coming from. So, please, do not feel sorry for us, as our ‘’normal’’ is something some children will never have in their lifetimes.
In order to do this as best as I could, I have had at least 2 different sources of income at any given time, sometimes even more. But the bottom line is, that I promised myself that I would do everything that I needed to do, in order to ensure that my children, who had tragically lost their father, would not lose anything else.
A little over ambitious I realized in retrospect, when years later your expenses have quadrupled, and you are not quite able to keep up with the life you are trying to achieve. However, the good news is, that as your children get older, you realize…..well to be fair…. they tell you……because you have eventually become a run down, unhealthy, angry, frazzled and grumpy old witch…..that certain things are not as important to them as you thought they were. Actually, only your health and well being are what they care about. Special hey? Well, it would have been waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more *&^%$ special if they had told me that all those years where they wanted this and wanted that!! Does not help me much 16 years down the line, when they are now on their way to starting their lives….that I made possible……. BY BECOMING A RUN DOWN, ANGRY AND A GRUMPY OLD WITCH in the process!!!!!! But hey….at least they finally see what is important in life!!
Anyway, besides the fact that the choices I made were entirely on me, and I really cannot go blaming my children for them (out loud), I have slowly begun the journey of desperately craving peace and harmony again.
The City in which I live, is where I was born, is where I grew up and is where I remained. It is the hub of the Country….a rat race, fast paced and mental existence. If you live here, chances are slim that you will be able to lead a calm and peaceful existence. Many years ago, when I was having a ‘’running around like a chicken without a head’’ day, due to work, kids and everything else, I was in the car with my two sprogs, and I said out loud, ‘’guys, don’t you wish we could just pack our bags, get into the car, and go live somewhere calmer?”. To be honest, it was more me thinking out loud than a legitimate question, but their horrified response put an end to whatever thoughts I had in that moment. But I do remember that day vividly, which leads me to believe that, perhaps I wanted that more than I realized.
Over the years, I have had these thoughts, pushed them aside, and argued that, of course EVERYONE has those thoughts, but they are not realistic. I vividly remember another day, after waiting at the school exit having dropped my children off, running late for work, feeling anxious and manic. I looked around at all the other anxious and manic people in their cars. People angry, rushing to get to work, hooting, impatient….thinking it just is not meant to be that way, surely????? So, over the years, these thoughts have resurfaced, and I have pushed them right back under the surface, arguing that, of course EVERYONE has those thoughts, but they are not realistic.
Then….COVID!!!!!! It made me realize what I had done to myself for the last 20 years. When you are living that life, day in and day out, you do not even see the madness. You just wake up each day and swim to avoid sinking. You think it is ”normal”’…..sadly it is ”normal”. For some, it is acceptable. For me, it is not.
So with what I will hereafter refer to as ‘’COVIDisation’’, which is yet another COVID realisation, I am now consumed by these thoughts of finding my peace and harmony again. I have always been a strong believer that we cannot run away from ourselves. When I hear that people are going ‘’to find themselves’’, I want to throw up! If you cannot find yourself where you are, you will not find yourself where you are going either! For me that is just a way out of dealing with life.
This is different. I do not want to find myself. I was never lost. In fact, if anything, I have found my original self through this experience. And indeed we have to find ”inner peace and harmony”, but we need the right environment to do so, surely???
So for me, I want to be the person you always hear about. That person who packed up everything, moved to a smaller, calmer and more peaceful location, and never looked back. Live where you can breathe, know your neighbours, see the blue skies and sunsets. The slight glitch in my plan, is that I have become an anxious, A type, over thinking OCD person, who does not have an impulsive bone in her body. I do not think ‘’those’’ people we hear about had all that to deal with as well? Or maybe they did.
Be that as it may, for the first time since my husband passed away, my future has a picture. Perhaps this will suffice for the moment.