Where has the time gone? Where has the year gone? Like most years life gets in the way of me following the exact path I had in mind. But you know what? I’m ok with that. A slight detour or a major hurdle, perhaps it’s all in the universes plan of teaching me what I need to learn and improve upon. Who knows?
For us we spent a lot of time (as I have written here previously) prioritising family life and time on what we value as important. A big hurdle came in the way of family illness and staff changes, this toppled with a very dry season on our farm (and most of Australia unfortunately) and it felt like overnight we had returned to the stressful times we were trying to avoid.
But despite the fact that I have become overwhelmed and scared that life will revert completely back to the stress and my depression of the past, somehow we have ‘held’ it together.
On reflection here are the things I implemented or will implement soon to hopefully keep my depression under control and our family running smoothly while we ride out this bumpy period.
- Settled on house not being as tidy as I would like and prioritising on clean clothes and food in tummies when life got too hard. I can get to the rest when I get a chance.
- Knowing my limits and not overcommitting myself.
- Seeking company from friends for trips out of town that I have had to do for the children that Simon could not attend.
- Ring up my Mum in Adelaide and ask if she could come over for a weekend and help me catch up on jobs and rest.
- Delegate. For shearing and birthdays I am now not embarrassed to buy food already made.
- Our kids are 10, 7 and 4 now, and we don’t want them to grow up entitled. They can help and really should, it is just as good for them as it is for me.
Now we are well and truely into the last half of the year and once again I am challenged. I don’t know why I always get surprised by these challenges, life is always evolving and changing. However, I have hit a hurdle with the children, challenging issues they are facing as well as social media issues.
When this occurred last week (for their privacy I can’t elaborate) I immediately went into guilt, blame, over react and stress mode. The challenge of this technology heavy world we are raising children in is so fast it is virtually impossible to stay on top of. However, I think I handled it better than the old me would have. I began by chatting with Simon and we agreed that this can not all fall on my shoulders to deal with, so a joint approach was determined. We then prioritised life and focused all our energy into giving the kids the attention needed. Finally now a week on I know this will just be one of the many more kid dramas to come and they will each bring their own level of complexity. But I am taking it as a lesson for how we want to handle these issues in the future and a learning opportunity for the kids.
But the biggest lesson for me is once again to check that I have my life balanced by the priorities that I value the most. I know what I want at the top of my list:
- Look after me
- Be connected with kids and husband
- Maintain close friendships and family relationships
But I really need to work on so many more such as:
- Start exercising again
- More time for Bookwork for Business
- Find my love of healthy cooking again
- and then this list could go on endlessly
However I think the most important thing to take home from this is we are all so similar. We all think things will go one way and then we get distracted or have doors slammed in our faces. Yet, just as quickly as the bad can happen we can be wonderfully surprised with a windfall of epic proportions.
When we look over the back fence and see the grass greener (or the crop taller and denser for us farmers), we really have no idea what that person has gone through to achieve what we desire. We have no right to think their life is any easier or less stressful than ours. The healthiest approach I have found is to acknowledge the accomplishments of others and not let it bring you down by feelings of inadequacy. You will never know what lengths they have gone to in their success. Put your blinkers on and refocus on you. What have you done that you’re proud of today, this week or this year. I challenge you to sit down and start listing the positive changes you have made this year, however small or insignificant you feel they are. Often it is those small steps that lead to the greatest growth.
Much love and peace.
p.s – My article part 2, on getting help in regional areas is still coming. Unfortunately, it is not easy to get help and I am still hopeful that I have missed some vital service that I can share with you……But I promise, I am still working on it.