Lately, I don’t feel like a good anything. I have been working overtime at my day job. I freelance as a musician and sound designer. I teach part-time on weekends. To carve out some “me time,” I’ve taken up the violin… but rushing to my lesson, paying for my lesson, and trying to practice regularly for my lesson all contribute to my stress. I haven’t had a haircut in 18 months and I am too ashamed to take my socks off in front of other humans because I can’t even stay in the shower long enough to use a foot file. My mother is currently in chemo, my mother-in-law, who does not live in this country, is having some issues with her recent move and we are unable to assist from a distance, my aunt just had surgery, and my baby is going to have surgery in the next 6 months. I’m exhausted and cranky. I feel alone, neglected, and ignored. My family seems to only notice my increasingly bad moods and last night, I picked a shameful fight with my partner because my life stress is so out of control that I got out of control.
I don’t know how to have fun anymore. I recently went to a 5 à 7 for audio engineers and wound up feeling like poop. I planned a date night, secured childcare, but by 8pm, I just wanted to go home, and we never made it to the movie we were going to see. My boss invited me to a yoga class, which I hate, and she also hates, so might be fun for comedic value and bonding (maybe). It is free for staff, and I keep (oops) forgetting to bring my yoga clothes. But I should go, right? She says the instructor is great and she’s enjoying the class, even though she is also a (former) lifelong hater of yoga. It’s more about the social aspect but what’s the point in mingling when I feel so blah?
My 6-year-old has been struggling some at school. I feel like a terrible mother. My kids never get to bed on time. In reality, they don’t have a set bed time and, my partner and I are horrible at schedules. Maybe this particular child needs greater structure though. Maybe this child needs more sleep. Maybe this child needs me to be home and present. Maybe this child needs more help with homework. Maybe I would know what this child needs if I were available more often.
Two of my childhood friends lost their dads recently. I was unable to fully support them because I work all the time. I work on Saturdays and miss funerals. I also miss my old friends’ birthday parties, sledding in the park with my parent friends and our kids, concerts that my musician friends perform in, plays that my theatre colleagues write, and speeches that my academic friends give. I have been an absent friend for the past year, and I hate it. I feel guilty.
This is what happens when you don’t put your life-jacket on first. My life has become cluttered and chaotic. I’m unhappy but I have felt too overwhelmed to make the necessary changes. Now it’s time. I need to do some hard work on myself, for myself, so that I can be a good worker, a good musician, a good parent, a good partner, a good friend – a good PERSON.
My first act will be to eliminate something pointless and unhealthy from my diet: alcohol. It makes me feel gross now that I’m older so, even though I have labeled myself a beer enthusiast, we’re breaking up. My partner makes kombucha so I’m thinking I can become a kombucha connoisseur instead. My second act will be to work on our family schedule. Since we currently do not have one, and never have, this should prove an interesting challenge. I strongly suspect my 6-year-old needs this and I will not underestimate the power of my intuition. My third act, will be talking to a Life Coach. I must admit, I don’t REALLY know what a Life Coach does, but I’m committed to trying new things and I need some help and support that is JUST FOR ME. Just for me! Just for ME! I can hardly believe it. Something JUST for me.
I told myself when I finished audio engineering school that I would say yes to new things. This has led to some amazing and unexpected experiences over the last several months but now it’s time to say yes to me.