Happy New Year! I hope that 2019 so far is being received in fine fettle. I hope too that the tail end of last year was on form.
This time of year, with it’s wintery cold and definite need for hibernation has brought about a period of reflection for me.
At the end of last year, I was blighted by some horrible lurgy which literally knocked me sideways.
It was worrying. At times it was dramatic, thinking at points I was going to die! The aperture on my windpipes was so small I could barely breathe.
Friends offered to take the little man so that I could properly rest; a new concept to me.
I was beside myself, feeling like a failure as a mother, how could I really do this ‘single mum’ thing? There was a definite sense of Imposter Syndrome happening.
At times too, I felt like I was losing my marbles again. I was delirious. Barely stringing a sentence together and sleeping/waking peculiar hours.
It started not long after my last blog post, then when I started to feel a touch better, I pushed myself again. I went on a course, went to Paris, rearranged the flat, prepared for Christmas.
I just couldn’t let go of the rope, of the “I can do this” and “if I just get this done”. Actually, what is “needs must” anyway?
The lurgy hit me hard. Though it taught me a huge lesson. Rest, don’t burn out. Prevention, as ever, is better than cure.
We’re all guilty of it I know. Literally, the guilt of doing nothing when there is busy-ness to be had.
It took me a bit of time to get into the notion of relaxation. I couldn’t cope to begin with, even though I was exhausted.
‘Only Fools and Horses’ came to the rescue. I really had to pay attention to just lying still and being absorbed by a TV classic.
Then I got into the idea more. Going so far as to turn off the wireless, even the lights and lie in total darkness. In bed. Really appreciating my duvet, linens and memory foam mattress.
On another occasion, I had a bath. The longest one since having bubba almost two years ago. It was amazing, I fell asleep.
I painted my nails whilst properly listening to Iggy Pop’s radio show. All great methods of self care and gentle relaxation.
I can’t tell you how much I appreciated and valued this time to myself, to restore.
Last year was spectacular on so many levels that it really isn’t a surprise I became so poorly at its end.
That being said, the valuable lesson that I learnt at last years finale was rest. The gift I was given by friends was time. Time to rest.
Recently I’ve been pondering on the Italian expression ‘la dolce far niente’, or ‘the sweetness of doing nothing’.
Allowing space to simply be. It’s something that the McDuff household will be embracing far more of in 2019.
Here’s to a happy, healthy and balanced year.