Lessons from a Moonboot

Lessons from a Moonboot

After a hectic 6 weeks of school holiday juggling, an act most working parents know all about, I was finally looking forward to some headspace last week when my 9-year-old cherub returned to school. Working from home has its advantages and its flexibility especially in the school holidays, but like anything there is usually another side. Working from home implies flexibility and no need to outsource child care or school holiday programs. However, the reality of working from home tends to look more like squeezing an hour of work in whilst Minecraft blares from the Xbox in the next room, all the while feeling wracked with guilt that your kid is sitting playing computer games on a gorgeous summer sunny day, just so you can get your emails done. When the guilt becomes too much to bear, off we go to the beach and the skate park and somewhere for lunch just to salvage some part of the day and sense of holiday fun. In fact, what happens is a great exercise in compartmentalizing. Being present in front of my emails in the morning or late afternoon, then completely forgetting I have quotes and clients to respond to whilst I jump around in the sea, then back home to two loads of washing, dinner, till a time when I can log back on to my business, which usually tends to be around 8pm.


It’s a big challenge but one that I choose because in a way it still allows me to be somewhat present during the holidays and the school year. But it might also explain how much I was looking forward to getting back into the school routine and the headspace it allows me.

With 23 days to go before I leave for my next Women’s trip to India, I have a list of things to prepare and organise. On Wednesday night I wrote my list and woke up Thursday morning ready and rearing to go.


And then I stepped out my back door. As if it were in slow motion I stepped out on my right foot and rolled my ankle and instantly recognising I was going to fall, threw my weight to the left foot which also rolled, ultimately ending with me tumbling to the ground. My first thought was “India!” Not ouch, not “oh shit” … but “India!”


This trip is my passion, my dream come to life, and just for a moment I faced the possibility that something might stop me going.


Lesson no 1 – I love what I’m doing right now. These trips I have created are what keep me interested and creatively inspired. I love taking women away to experience places they have never been, and I hope I can do it for as long as possible. I’m proud of myself for making it happen. For having an idea and making it come alive.


Fortunately for me and for the participants of my next trip, I didn’t break my ankles – yes ankles plural, but ligament damage has meant I am confined to a moonboot for the next week or so and a weekend of bed rest with my ankle raised. Reluctantly I will follow these orders because it would take an act of nature for me to not board that plane and experience this trip with 12 wonderful women.


Lesson no 2 – I am not good at staying still.. In 3 days I have realized how much I do in a day and that I am the classic example of a “doer.” I don’t stop. If I’m not out doing something or seeing someone, I’m walking around the house, tidying, doing washing, sorting out cupboards, playing with the new puppy, playing with Charlie, but I very rarely sit down until after dinner when I tend to collapse in a heap of fatigue. I think until this weekend I’ve viewed this as industrious, a hard worker, but I’ve had a rethink today, and it has made me realise that maybe I’m not being as productive as I thought I was and I could maybe build in a little more rest time. I can’t remember the last time I sat down at home and read a book or a magazine. Or made a cup of tea and just sat in a chair. Last year was one of the busiest years of my life and I can’t help thinking that maybe divine intervention threw me out that back door and forced me to roll my ankles, so I could learn this lesson. I think deep down I have a fear of being lazy. Of stopping to the point where I will enjoy it so much I can’t get up again and do anything. That’s a quality I don’t admire in others but maybe the reality is that I need a little more of that in my life.


Wow…big lesson.


So, on this beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon Mark and Charlie have gone for a swim at the local beach and I’m stuck here at home, feeling a little trapped and a lot frustrated. I’m a capable person. I’m the one you can rely on in a crisis. I’m the one that can organise a group, create an event, manage a situation.


Lesson no 3 – I hate feeling helpless and vulnerable. I use the word hate. It’s a strong word but it’s required in this situation. This is unusual territory for me. I’m a person that helps others, that comes to the aid of those that need their kids picked up from school, or a meal cooked when their sick. I’m not comfortable with not being able to take care of myself or my family. And yet I’m thinking today that a little vulnerability is ok. We all feel this at times and if you can express it and confide in this to others, doesn’t that just bring us all closer together. However today my vulnerability has seen me burst into tears several times and now I’m just feeling drained and fatigued. Something for me to think about and ponder is how I can feel vulnerable and safe at the same time? How do I express I need something without feeling helpless?


I suspect that the answer for me lies in Lesson no 4 and probably the universal purpose of this experience.


Lesson no 4 – Let go of control and trusting in others to take care of me and those I care about.

Did I say that out loud? Just writing this makes me shudder a little. I like to be in control. I think it makes me feel safe and strong. It lets me feel like the wheels are in motion and moving in the right direction. But when we think about it are any of us really in control? Isn’t the only control we have, our response to what happens in our world? Ultimately, we can’t control the events, the situations the happenings in our lives. Life cannot be controlled. I know this, but I can see today that I still work tirelessly to control my environment and this little divine accident as thrown the organization of my life into chaos. For the last 3 days I’ve sat and watched my family move around me. Mark has stepped up and has taken on a lot of the stuff I do around the house. Although I’m grateful he is here and can do those things, I’ve become angry and frustrated with him and myself, as I bellow instructions and directions from my bed. The house isn’t quite as tidy as I would like, and Charlie has had a little more computer time than I would prefer but seriously, since when did everything have to be so bloody perfect and balanced. I’ve never fully got the concept of balance because that implies everything in life coming at you in equal measure, and not sure about you, but that has never been the case in my life.


So, every time Mark has asked me if he can do something for me today, instead of trusting and relaxing into that, I’ve become angry and frustrated. There’s been a bit of yelling in my house today and obviously this is a huge area of growth for me. To learn to rely and depend on others to take care of me. What will it take? How do I change this behavior?


Well like anything it starts with awareness, and perhaps again divine intervention makes you trip out the back door, damage your ankle ligaments and learn the lesson, the hard way. And maybe a little bit of therapy is required!


Surely there is an easier way?


As I sit here in bed on this lovely afternoon I’m going to make a promise to myself. To relax a little, ease up on myself. Allow a little vulnerability into my life and every now and then pick up the phone and ask someone for help. It won’t be easy, like anything new it will feel awkward and unfamiliar.


But once the awareness of a problem is there, I find that momentum for a solution starts to appear.


Each year I think about a theme I want to focus on. Something to carry forward into the new year. Not quite a resolution but an attitude or a focus. It might be February already, but I feel like it’s only today that I feel a sense of what this might be for 2018.


It feels something like,

Trust, that all is well.


Love and light

Jo

xx


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