Being nicer

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a nice person. Sure I can be nice, but I’m not a nice person. Apart from suffering from social anxiety, I’m also an introvert, and a very sarcastic person. This is not a good combination

My tactlessness has caused a great deal of discomfort to my family over the years, add the social anxiety on and you really have a problem! I’ve decided to work on being a nicer person in 2021. I have no idea how I will accomplish that but I’ve put it on my “to do list”. That fucking list is so long already, one more thing won’t really matter. Well, that wasn’t nice was it? I can see that I will have my work cut out for me!

Where do I want to be at the end of 2021

Happy. I just want to be happy. Not content or complacent, but happy with where I am in life and what I have achieved. I want to be proud of myself and my achievements. I struggle to be proud of myself, I find it hard to admit when I’ve done something well. I find it very easy to see faults and shortcomings. In 2021 I want to acknowledge my achievements and learn from my failures. I guess I want to more well rounded, I want my life to be more balanced and not feel like I’m on a tightrope all the time, scared to fail, scared to take chances.

I want to be brave. Take chances, take risks, face the outcomes whatever they may be. I want to pick myself up when I fall and carry on fighting. I want to be the hero of my own story, I’m tired of being the damsel in distress. I guess I want to be the protagonist for once, and not feel like a secondary character.

I want to be healthy, in my body and mind. It’s a lot to ask, considering that I’ve been struggling with my work-life balance for a very long time. 2021 is going to be the year that I let go of things that I have no control over. I cannot control the actions of others, only how I react to them.

Proudest moment of 2020

2020 was an interesting year. We spent most of the year inside, worried about the pandemic, worried about our financial situation, worried about the economy, worried about our kids, worried about family, worried about our health. There was a lot on anxiety and worry. But somewhere in all that worry and anxiety and stress, I decided that it was time for me to continue my education. So I enrolled in an edX MicroMasters programme. I have no idea what prompted it, maybe it was the months of feeling useless and bored, or it was because I felt stuck and didn’t know what to do. Either way, I enrolled and I passed my first course. It doesn’t sound like much, but I haven’t actually studied in close to 13 years.

Of course, me being me, I completely stressed myself out about every aspect of it but looking back, I had so much fun! Which is why I’m getting all my supplies together, ready to start my next 2 courses on Monday. I’m really proud of myself. I set a goal and I achieved it. I am great at starting new projects but terrible at actually finishing them. Honestly, it was the best thing that happened in 2020, I started something new and scary and I actually completed the first step. I still have quite a few more courses to do but I’m not worried, I know that I can do this

Happy

Today I woke up and realized that I’m happy. Content. At peace.

It’s a strange feeling not feeling stressed. I’ve been under so much pressure for so long that I’ve forgotten what’s its like to actually be relaxed. Not be concerned with work and responsibilities. Just living in the moment.

It’s a long run ing joke on our house that we are always planning holidays and never actually going anywhere. This time I actually booked our accommodation. I didn’t just look up nice places and then decide that we lost probably wouldn’t get leave or the kids would have activities. I made a booking and paid. And now we are here. A little slice of paradise.

COVID fatigue

I am officially no longer scared of COVID. I’ve been so scared, anxious, and tired for such a long time that I honestly just don’t care anymore. Not that I’m going to do anything to put anyone in danger, but I’ve just reached the point where I don’t have the energy to be scared of COVID anymore. There are too many other frightening things happening in the world right now. My scare switch has overloaded and has tripped.

Now I’m just sad. Sad and tired. It’s an all encompassing tiredness. It’s kind of like being in mourning. I’m mourning the life we lived before. I miss the freedom and choices we used to have. And I’m worried that we will never have those freedoms again. The freedom to make plans and just do stuff. Not worry about curfews, finances, social distancing.

I want choices. I want to be able to make plans and choose to cancel those plans cause I would rather stay at home and watch tv. I don’t want to be forced to cancel my plans cause of lockdown. I want to be able to run and line up at the staring line with other runners and hug and give high fives at the finish line. I want the kids to be able to go to their ballet classes, and have play dates, and sleepovers. I want date nights!

I miss the person I was before. I miss the innocence of our lives before the pandemic hit. I feel guilty for not enjoying spending all my time with my family. I feel ungrateful because we still have our health, jobs, and each other. How can I feel so sad if we have all these things that so many other people no longer have? I’m just tired. Tired of being tired.

Growing up

The kids are growing up too fast. Both of them have restarted school this week. I think it’s been harder on me! They are being so brave, facing obstacles on their own. I wish that I can step in and protect them from the big bad scary world, but I can’t. I hate it. I know i cant protect them forever, I just thought that I would have a little more time to prepare myself.

Another fun thing lockdown has done.

The kids have been in lockdown since mid March. Once of the things that this enforced togetherness has highlighted is that The Husbeast and myself have very different parenting styles.

Our kids are good kids. The are well behaved, respectful, kind, loving… like I said, they are good kids. But they are kids, they don’t like doing chores so they will do anything to get out of doing “work”. Before lock down, we had such busy lives that we all had our specific chores that we had to complete and if we didn’t do them, we spent most of Sunday afternoons catching up. A lot of things just didn’t get done, especially when it came to cleaning.

Since we’ve been stuck at home, I’ve spent hours in the internet reading blogs about how to increasing my productivity and decrease my stress. I’ve downloaded pages and pages of worksheets, flowcharts, checklist, all designed to bring order back into our chaotic lives. Needless to say, none of it worked.

The main problem is that I leave the house and go to work everyday, The Husbeast works from home. He closes the bedroom door and is glued to his phone and laptop the whole day. The kids have realised that he doesn’t check up on them as long as they are quiet. They have to complete their school work but other than that the day is theirs to spend as they want. I give them instructions and expect everything to be done when I walk into the house in the afternoon. I’m pretty lucky, when I leave work in DONE with work. No after hour phone calls or emails. The Husbeast is not so lucky, he still has to answer calls and emails.

And that’s where the conflict comes in. I walk into a messy and chaotic house and then FREAK out. If the girls don’t do their part, I have to complete their chores before I can start doing what I need to do. If they don’t pack away the clean dishes, I can’t wash the dirty dishes and clean the kitchen and start cooking and and and and … You get the picture.

So I’m upset cause I feel like I have to take on all these extra tasks over and above my normal daily work and the Husbeast is upset cause he feels like I’m calling him a bad parent and implying that he doesn’t pull his weight in the house.

When I ask the kids to do something, I tell them exactly what I want them to do (like clean their rooms), and by when I want them to do it. If I notice that they haven’t started their task, I will remind them of it. If it doesn’t get done, I will get upset with them and insist that they complete the task or I will do it myself while loudly complaining that it was not my task to complete. The Husbeast is different. He will ask them to do something once. If they don’t do it, he will ignore it. And that just drives me insane. He will see that something isn’t done and just leave it for another day. I have learnt, we can’t leave things till later cause we just wont do it at all.

There is no easy solution, we just see things very differently. We’ve started having little family meetings on Sunday afternoons, where we divide up the chores for the coming week. It’s not a perfect system but it seems to be helping.

Random moment of clarity

Sometimes your best isn’t just enough, it’s all there is. You have no more to give, there is no room for improvement. And that is a hard lesson to learn. Sometimes we are just ok, not spectacular, not the best. But that’s all you have to give, so you just have to deal with it and move on.

I’m tired

I’m tired. I’m tired of having to stay at home, I’m tired of wearing a mask, I’m tired of having to slather hand lotion on my hands cause all the washing and hand sanitizer has made my hands crack and peel, I’m tired of being scared. I’m also tired of having to listen to people bitch and moan about how COVID isn’t a real thing and we should not be scared, I’m tired of having to explain that I’m social distancing at the moment because I work in a hospital and I’m trying to protect them. I’m just so fucking tired of being brave and reassuring all the time. I’m tired of being strong. I’m done.