Chinese New Year Resolutions I think I can keep.

Parenting & Musings

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a lovely holiday season and haven’t been to harsh on yourselves for breaking your new year resolutions (sorry, a bit cynical, I know).

For the first time in a long time, I didn’t make any resolutions on December 31, 2013. No lists of things to do or who/what to become. I’m taking the pressure right off to be perfect. You know, the perfect size/weight (although I would like to get back to my pre-holiday season shape, but not a size 0), the perfect mother (shoulda seen my yesterday with M), the perfect wife (I think I lost that resolution almost five years ago, and what does the perfect wife even mean? Sex on tap and acquiescence till death?), the perfect daughter (I think stopped being one when I was no longer virginal, but probably it was when I didn’t make it into James Ruse High) or perfect sister (Amazingsister, I’m so sorry for the times I made you cry).

photo

A bit more of this and some long soaks in the bath, please! via deliciousmother

Let’s face it, all those efforts didn’t see me being anywhere near ‘perfect’, and only ended up with severe angst, tears and lovely ol’ anxiety about it. And let’s not forget the shame fuelled sugar binges.

Oh no. I’ve come to realise finally that, trying my best is enough. I am enough. I am bloody, frickin’ enough. It’s all well and easy to write and say that, but sometimes it’s really hard to believe that when challenged with a toddler who refuses to nap, and pees/poos where it’s not appropriate. On a day like yesterday a hundred “I love myself” and “It will pass” mantras would not do the trick!

So now that I’ve had a bit of time in January to think and observe myself (in thought and in action), I’m going to make a few Chinese New Year Resolutions that aim not for perfection, but for more joy.

1. Make a daily mantra: I am enough!

2. Be more mindful of waste: take carrier bags when shopping, buy bulk, use up my cosmetics/make up before adding to the mini apothecary I already have. etc.

3. Take care of me first. Do things that relax me, bring me joy, slow me down and make me feel better. Whether it’s yoga, a run, journalling, writing my novella, saying no (a challenge for a people pleaser like me), letting Amazing M watch a bit of telly while I take a half hour nap, or going out with my gorgeous girl friends (without child).

See, not a perfecting resolution in sight!

Also a loving shout out to Miss AJK. Miss you loads and your text came at a very handy time. Love you long time!

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All I want for Christmas.

Parenting & Musings

If you took a brief look at the facts of my life, there is nothing I need more of, physically speaking. I have a gorgeous and very forgiving husband, an equally wonderful daughter who never gets sick of calling my name or favouring me to anyone else in the world (I did well with that kid, I must say), a beautiful flat that has spectacular views of the Thames, the ability to purchase most things* I want without a thought, as well as a loving family and friends to boot. Some could say I have it all, minus the career (I’m busy hiding behind the role of motherhood for now, but this job require a lot of energy). So why the recent discontent, deliciousmother?

Christmas time in London via deliciousmother

Christmas time in London via deliciousmother

 

Perhaps discontent is too strong a word. It’s hard to articulate how I am feeling, but it’s as if I’m on the brink of real contentment but somehow my mind or thoughts are pulling me back. I’m wrestling with the habit of worring about the future, or drowning in regrets and memories that bring back feelings of shame. It’s as if I’m a thinking-too-much-really-useless-shit junkie.

The recent anxiety and panic attacks have motivated me to get to the root cause, hence the therapy and sharing my experiences and thought processes with my fellow deliciousmothers in London and well, I guess now on the world wide web. Part of my therapy is to practice more self compassion, as I am my worst critic- spawning from the trait of perfectionism. And so far so ok. The self compassion muscle has atrophied and I’m rehabilitating it. But it’s not so easy at times. And the old me would have thought I am not doing enough, but the ‘new’ me is relaxed about it. I am not even chastising the voice that says, ‘Get over the past, already!’ or ‘Why are you worrying about that now?’. I mean, they are good CBT exercises, but the last thing I need right now is a critique of my critique. Instead I just sing out aloud or in my head the line from Funky Town,’Gotta move on!’ When I do sing out aloud, Amazing M looks at me disapprovingly and says, ‘No, mama. Jimoree!’ Which means: ‘No, mama. You only sing this at Gymboree!’.

So, back to the title of this post. What this deliciousmother would really love this Christmas is not more presents, but more presence. To be free from unnessary thoughts and worries, or at the very least, a better ability to move myself back to the present without losing myself in the painful stories I needlessly create. And this is something no one can buy, and only I can acquire myself.

* not everything but you get my drift

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas.