This lockdown lark is at turns wonderful, terrible, exhilarating (yes) and depressing. Yesterday was such hard work. Family life isn’t easy at the best of times, and lets face it, these are not the best of times.
After almost a whole day of active parenting (for which read, toleration, argument, discipline, apologies, heart to hearts…hugs) i have been reflecting on the nature of change and its effect on us and how we can manage it well (or not). This follows on from the last post. It certainly feels as if the thinking that has led to this post is linked.
The last couple of years have been emotionally draining for us all chez Stitch. I have been blogging for many years now . When i started this site i was married, i had one very young son, a successful and dynamic professional career, an old house and garden, one old cat and a thriving interest in quilting and other sewing type things.
Scroll forward to now. I am divorced, I have a new partner, two growing boys, no ‘real’ job, no professional career, an MA in Fine Art, a leased art studio and gallery business, two young(ish) cats, a smaller, 70’s terraced house, an allotment, a few quilts and lots of art materials.
Healthwise i have taken a beating. I have advancing Parkinson’s, a painful foot following an op last year for which i am waiting another operation, a funny brain for which i am receiving treatment soon (more in due course, when I know more), a sore hip caused by the compensations i have made to deal with my foot, and god knows what else.
Each of these changes have carried positives as well as minuses. Even the foot op hasn’t been a complete failure. Fairly horrific but not a complete time waster. And i have a healthy new relationship, a partner who stands by me and shares life with me. I am so grateful for the second chance. It’s unbelievable i got that.
But, back to my point. We all have change. We may not acknowledge it as it is happening but if you look back 5 years say and compare lives what do you see? Do you see static existence or do you see fundamental changes? I predict you will see the latter. The question is, how did you respond? Were they passive changes or did you instigate them? If you actively recognised a change did that mean that you got more out of it?
For example, i was made redundant. That was a passive change in that i did not make it happen. In happened to me. What did i do in response? Well, initially i tried to cancel out the change. I took a similar job straight away, i ignored the health problems that PD was increasingly giving me, i ignored my inner voice that was saying i needed to change direction, i allowed myself to be coerced. But, ignoring the real change (my move from a focussed professional to a more domestic purview) was ultimately damaging. Instead of accepting that something had really changed i tried to hold it all together in the old way. Of course, i failed.
Looking at this all, from the other side, i am still proud of how i have coped. But i also think that if i had been more honest with myself i would have saved myself and my family a great deal of angst, uncertainty and, yes, pain. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but it is also a useful tool for learning about oneself.
As i sit here, in my eerie, looking at th skyline far away i am thinking about how, in this new environment, i can get the most from all these changes being thrown at me and mine.I cant pretend to have answers. But i can say this time i am going looking for them. This time i wont allow things to just play out. Passivity gets you precisely nowhere imho. The status quo might be the best route but you wont know unless you explore what is possible. So that’s what I will do. Wish me luck.