In the last few weeks I have been feeling a bit grey on the inside….not depressed as such, more overworked and under rested…at times like these it is easy to be hard on yourself. When the washing is piling up and you have a hundred things to do and just can’t seem to get on top of things, we sometimes start focusing on the negative rather than the positive.
Saturday was the tipping point for me, after two months of a miserable wet winter we finally had a lovely warm ( well warm for winter anyway…) sunny day. Unfortunately I was stuck inside getting everything ready for a community bonfire that I had been helping plan. After two postponements due to wet weather and a location change due to a boggy paddock, it was going ahead, rain, hail or shine…Thankfully it was shining…but I was not. As far as I was concerned there was nothing but grey skies all around…I couldn’t see a rainbow or silver lining no matter how hard I tried.
The kids were super excited about the bonfire, they were looking forward to playing with their friends and getting out of the house. I was looking forward to just being able to sit for a while and stare at the fire. Their excitement meant that they wanted to go to the bonfire NOW…as in at 7am…they could not understand why we had to wait until 3pm to go. This meant that by Midday we had had about 247 tantrums, fights and tears as the excitement was just too much to handle, and Mummy was about to lose it….
Fast forward to 5 pm we were at the bonfire, the kids were running around happily and I was just about finished helping get things set up. I needed to use the amenities and excused myself to go and use the bathroom at the house of the lovely couple that had volunteered to host the bonfire. As I entered the bathroom I was struck by how beautiful their old house was…it was just perfect in that shabby chic ‘I have made all these wonderfully whimsical decorations myself’ kinda way….and then the thoughts started of “This couple have five kids and their house is perfect, Why cant I keep on top of things like that, Why cant I create (and maintain) this kind of perfect home environment, Why, Why, Why” You know the kind of thoughts I am talking about, we have all had these kinds of conversations with ourselves at some stage.
I was feeling pretty down on myself, luckily the kids were occupied and I got to eat my dinner and enjoy a nice bottle of cider, surrounded by good company. After I had finished my meal and opened another bottle, I sat quietly by myself and stared at the fire for a while, deep in my own thoughts. I was going over the last few weeks and examining why I was feeling so melancholy on such a merry occasion. I came to the realization that everyone has these periods of grey and when you compare yourself to others they seem to magnify. Everyone has moments of “Why cant I be like that, do that or have that” even those people that seem like they are that , do that or have that….and I wasn’t doing myself any favours by comparing my bowl of apples to their plate of oranges.
At this point in time I am Mum to three small children, 5, 3 and 1 years old, I have a wonderful partner who is usually hard at work or hard at rest. I have lots of commitments within the community and most days I do actually get a lot done. I spend a lot of time with my kids making sure they are clothed , fed, bathed, nurtured and loved. And at the moment their mental well being is my first priority…so even if I haven’t managed to get to the bottom of the washing pile, or vacuumed the floor today, if my kids have a smile on their faces and belly full of food my important work has been done. We all compare ourselves to others at some stage in our life, these comparisons are not only pointless, they can be downright harmful to our mental health. Sometimes all it takes is a few moments to yourself to realize that you do have rainbows around. When you spend time doing the things that are important to your life’s narrative you are allowing yourself to appreciate the beautiful colours of the rainbows you have inside.