I've been working very hard on living lately.
Having discovered what it is like to live in the deepest and blackest of holes, I'm pretty keen to keep as far away from it as I can. It seems to me that the best solution is to climb as far out as possible, to find instead the dizzying heights and cool breezes of the mountain tops. When you're prone to falling, you have to work hard on your climbing.
I'm very curious about the concept of goals and dreams. I had plenty when I was younger. They revolved around seeing the world and changing the world, creating a family and building a home. For some of these, I came up with some very specific and detailed plans.
Back then I could dream big and wide. Nowadays, I'm more interested in dreams that fit my life. Ones that are achievable, given the aspects of my current life. This may sound limiting, but they don't have to be any less great. They may be narrower, pushed together by the practicalities of day-to-day life, but they can still reach to the sky.
What are they? What can I dream of in these long, exhausting days? For me there are some dreams that are beyond my control. Locked away tight, they're dreams of things taken from me that I would like to have again. There are (can you believe it?) change-the-world dreams still; the old ones sit low and deep, and new ones are forming, near and high.
I've learned that the only way to tackle big dreams is to cut them in to small pieces. In a good way. To divide the pieces up, arrange them in order, and find what can be done today. What can I do right now to get this dream on the road? It feels good to start the ignition.
And then, for me, there are the small dreams. Actually, I think they are the most important, the most challenging, and perhaps the biggest after all.
How do I want to live my daily life? The one I have right now? How do I want to spend each day, each hour? These dreams for me involve things like peace, patience, gentleness, kindness (golly, I've heard this somewhere before), creativity, quiet, fun, laughter.
Maybe I can change the world one day, but right now I can be (way) more patient with my children. Maybe I can agree with lots of nifty quotes online, but today I can get on and be kinder to the people around me. I can spend time looking at inspirational images, or I can tidy up my home to bring calm and order to all who live here. I can spend my money and energy on how I dress, or I can spend it on looking after my health.
Both of my children are out of the house a lot these days, and I spend a lot of time faffing around. It can be hard to change gears. I regularly hover on the brink of depression and unspecific anxiety. On these quiet mornings, or these miraculously-the-dishes-are-done evenings, it can take every ounce of strength I have to spend my time the way I really want to - within the limitations that have been given to me / that I have chosen. When you're prone to falling, you have to work hard on your climbing.
To have a sparkling bathroom instead of another wasted morning (now there's a dizzying height!). To let my children enjoy watching me paint - and give them a turn - rather than pretend I have important things to do in the kitchen (even the real ones can wait). To sit down with a pencil and paper, or a book, under the glow of an evening lamp, rather than sliding in to the blue-glow vortex of the internet.
Speaking of which...
Good night x.