The past few weeks have been tough for me. Actually, scrap that. The past few MONTHS have been tough. No, scrap that too. The past YEAR has been tough! A combination of unfortunate life events has made it a very stressful and difficult time and my emotions have been all over the place. My husband’s ongoing unemployment, financial stress, missed opportunities, family worries, the recent death of a very close family member, uncertainty around life direction, and that’s merely the short list. It has been a turbulent and uncertain time. And I don’t like uncertainty. I rather like to know what’s coming next. Stability. Structure. Purpose. Direction. This is where I am most comfortable. But sometimes life throws you some curve balls and you have no choice but to sink or swim. Here are three things that help me to stay afloat when I feel like I am drowning:
I am a fairly open person and tend to wear my heart on my sleeve for the most part. When the shit hits the fan I am quite comfortable telling my closest friends about it. Talking through things with a great listener is such a therapeutic experience. I am lucky to have people around me with whom I can bare my soul and I find this very reassuring. While there are many things that friends can’t “fix” a warm, attentive listener reminds you that you are not alone and there is great comfort in that. Here, on the blog, I am fairly open too. I share a lot of my challenges and troubles but naturally there are things that are too personal and private to disclose.
At night I love nothing more than to disappear into a gripping novel, preferably to a place and plot that removes me temporarily from my own. It is escapism and it is wonderful! Particularly over the last month as I have had trouble sleeping, I have sought solace in reading before sleep and it has helped settle my mind. A life without books would be terribly empty and I am so grateful to be a book lover. And because I feel like sharing some book love, let me recommend two books that I have found utterly absorbing recently: big little lies by Liane Moriarty (a character-rich page turner, full of twists and turns with a very satisfying ending) and Still Alice by Lisa Genova, a mesmerising and heart-wrenching story about a Harvard professor’s experience with early onset Alzheimer’s disease.
It is simple. Nature nourishes my soul and puts me back together again when I feel broken. I walk or run every single day and mostly I prefer to do this alone. Solitude allows my mind time to breathe. And heavens knows it needs it! It is noisy in there! Being alone offers me the quiet space for reflection and self-exploration, something that is impossible to do in a crowd. I understand myself better in, and for, these quiet moments. And quite frankly, it’s simply lovely. There’s a lot to love about connection, but great company can also be found in solitude. How do you stay centred? What things do you do to help you manage life’s challenges, worries and noise?