Lately, I’ve not been feeling too great. Not that I’m sick or anything, just out of energy. I’m feeling empty. Everything that I want to do seems to cost me more energy than usual. You would expect that after going on holiday, I would be reenergised, but I’m not. My eczema is back, my annoying cough is back, I find it almost impossible to cook, clean, or make choices, so I guess I must be stressed. But why?
I was baffled by this reality for a while. It could not be true, right? I had just relaxed for two weeks, so I could not really be more tired. Something must be wrong somehow. I must be fighting a virus or something. My husband was sick last week, maybe I was fighting the same illness?
Anyway, it also was my birthday last week, and I turned forty. A real milestone birthday, so I decided to celebrate it this year. Usually I have a low-key celebration with my extended family, but this year I decided to invite my closest friends to a high tea.
Unfortunately my husband was feeling too sick to go, but the rest of us had a wonderful time together. Not everybody knew each other, so it was fun to get acquainted. I was feeling very loving and grateful to have such great people close to me. It was so special that we could dive right into the good stuff, despite not everyone knowing each other that well.
They got me some nice and thoughtful presents, and we talked about life and everything else while sipping tea and eating delicious treats. It was awesome. I was really happy that I had organised a small but meaningful party this year.
I walked back to the train station with one of my friends and my low energy came up. I told her that I was so very sick of having to do things. Keep the house clean. Work. Make healthy eating choices. Stay fit. Do fun stuff. Yes, even fun things are not really fun at the moment. It was all too much and I felt as if I couldn’t drop anything because it was all so important. And I had no good reason for feeling this way.
She made me realise that no, I don’t have to do it all, and that I can choose to do whatever I want (or not). That it really has been a busy period, even if I didn’t realise it.
Who cares if the house is spotless (it really isn’t and I doubt it will ever be, haha!), and going to yoga may be fun most of the time but if I have no motivation, I should be able to just not go without feeling guilty. Last week I pushed myself to go and it only brought me frustration. My friend opened my eyes to this and I’m so grateful for that!
I have had a busy month, emotionally, with my worries about Freya, the dental stuff, and more. I went away with my husband, my parents and my brother’s family for a long weekend last week, which was nice, but exhausting as well. I had to work again the next day. My knee has been aching a bit and since yesterday the kneecap is not moving smoothly (again) and it’s causing me pain. We went off daylight saving time and it has become cold and dark. I haven’t sung or played the piano in months, which doesn’t feel right. I’m being rubbish at chatting with people on WhatsApp. My sewing machine is lonely, what about all those sewing plans?
The message is clear: I think I have to do all kinds of things, then life throws some crap at me, but I don’t adjust my expectations. I still expect to do everything that I originally planned in my head, despite the changed circumstances. I don’t even realise that it is draining my energy until I properly think about what’s going on instead of fanatically trying to keep all the balls in the air.
So I’m giving myself permission to slack for a while. See if things change. It seems to be a recurring theme: I can have high expectations and little kindness for myself. I’m also not very conscious about the effect of what I experience on my mood and energy yet. It’s something that I’m working on, but it can be hard to see things clearly in the moment, especially when I’m tired.
It’s kind of scary to let go, because I don’t feel very fit, I’ve gained a few kilos, work is busy, and the house is a mess, but I’m going to try this anyway. I hope that I will regain my inspiration if I follow my gut for a while. I’ll try to imitate Freya a bit more.
I think there are a few things that I should keep doing, though, for example, sitting with my feelings. I’m quite an emotional eater, and if negative stuff is going on, I feel like eating to make myself feel better. I also should take care of my knee problems, so I’ve already contacted my physiotherapist. Finally, I should go to work (but I will not expect 100% anymore).
Darn, this stuff is hard. Every time I think that I’m getting a grip on this, I stumble and realise that I’ve fallen into the same trap again. But hey, at least I’m seeing it now, albeit a bit late. I am getting better at this, at catching myself. I’m lucky to have friends who help me see it if I don’t. And I’m trying to not go for perfection anymore, so this is a good opportunity to practice that too…