Life can be so demanding, its not always easy to take a moment to do something for ourselves, and many of us wish we could do more for our families and friends and can’t even entertain the thought of doing whatever it is we fantasize about doing with this mythical ‘spare time’ that might arrive sometime on the horizon but is yet nowhere in sight. Unfortunately, and I’ve learned this the hard way, the universe doesn’t hand out spare time just because we deserve it and have had a rough trot and need to slow down and relax for our own health and happiness. The time is now. The time is now, because we are not guaranteed a later. Sad but true. And even if we are unreasonably certain that we “aren’t going anywhere yet” we can’t be reasonably certain that our problems, demands, and stressors will be going away anytime soon either. I was in that trap.
When I came back to my hometown and shortly after joined facebook – I had the chance to reconnect with many old friends. I dearly needed this contact with my long lost friends because, well, all my current friends were not living in my hometown – so I was going to a place where initially I would have limited social contact outside of my immediate family. And I worked from home (so no built in work mates to meet and greet after hours) zero social life was my lot in life. Especially since, and get this – I was single (so no partner to go to work and come home with a load of mates to introduce me to and be absorbed by defacto into a social circle) – and looking after my two senior citizen parents through some very rough years of code blues, fractured hips, heart valve replacements, and cancer. I had the chance to reconnect and I postponed. I said to my friends, it will be easier for me to make dates with you ‘when this is over’.
When what? When THIS is OVER. When my father was no longer awaiting a much needed heart valve replacement (number two for him) and that sucked up a year of my life. Then mum needed surgery. Then when I was ready to hand over some of the cooking and cleaning duties to her, she gets Ross River Virus… oh the joy! Then I started my etsy business…. and no wonder I did not do well that first year, I was not disciplined about learning how to run a small business, take better photographs of my work, do my own successful online marketing, build a social network and following, improve my designs, and improve my product photography (I’ve said that twice because it was so important!). I sold 3 items on etsy that first year. Because I thought, that I could be more disciplined and dedicated after THIS is OVER. When 9 weeks of commuting to another city to see my father in traction and then later recovering from a code blue, and then after that a hip replacement and rehabilitation. When that ‘settled down’ I would go out for coffee, get my hair done, and make that overdue appointment at the dentist. After the 9 weeks passed and Dad was home, and I was starting to have to do ever so slightly less in the cooking and cleaning department, my mum confessed that she had a problem she had to see the doctor about and hadn’t mentioned it until the very same set of circumstances was OVER. Mum had noticed blood in her – um, stools? (funny word for it… sorry I’ve tried this with a number of equally horrid terms) and then we found out that she had CANCER. So you know, after that, I would go to the movies, get my hair done, and maybe finish writing my novel.
And guess what Mum was completely treated successfully for the cancer through surgery alone. Yay! But then has needed a lot of follow up, has developed IBS and food sensitivities, and has also had her thyroid removed, is awaiting surgey on her eyelids, will need surgery for cataract and oh yes, now I remember, Dad has two hernias in his left groin that will need to be surgically corrected too. Since I have not been to the movies since the release of The Pursuit of Happyness, and I went an entire year without getting my hair cut not once, but two years in a row, I am not postponing my personal needs any more. I will go out to coffee now, because there is no end in sight. I have been getting my hair done every two months this past year, and I might even break the cinema drought and go see a flick. Because I was arrogant to think that the demands on my time would dry up and that I’d be gifted with a period of free and easy living.
The sun doesn’t ask the seed if it feels like growing now, the sun shines, the seed either responds or it does not. It doesn’t get a rain check.
And if you can relate to this in any way, I hope you’ll tell me, so I know I’m not alone!