Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Clearing up my Life

I’m on a mission. I am not sure exactly what it is, but it is definitely to do with bettering my life, which feels once again like it’s spiralling out of control.

I mentioned last time that it’s about time I did another good decluttering around the house and I intend to be as ruthless as necessary. Maybe then I’ll find it easier to tidy up on a daily basis, rather than look at stuff that’s lying in places very obviously ‘wrong’ for them but unable to do anything but stare, trying to think where on earth this or that should go. Now I do not have one of those clutter-filled homes like you see in programmes about hoarders but I do need some more order.

However this is more than just about decluttering the house - it’s about decluttering my life. Once again. Because I did this already around three years ago and the effect was one of peace. At the time I was reading a lot about minimalism, which suggests you should say ‘no’ whenever you don’t want to commit yourself to something. Now my husband says I’m very good at saying ‘no’ and he’s right - I say it way too easily as a rule (I can be very difficult, I know). However I have lately found myself taking more than I can handle.

Some commitments I can’t remove from my life due to necessity, like for example my job. Despite worrying constantly about babysitting problems that do coincide with the three days that I am at work, I can’t exactly quit as the bills still must be paid. So regardless of how much more serene I’d be if there wasn’t that constant nagging feeling in my mind that tomorrow, next week, next month, I would have to see how on earth to present myself at work when there seems to be no one to care for my child, I cannot exactly make my life easier in this.

Some other commitments I sign up for willingly. This includes writing. Regardless of how many hours of research and film-viewing go into each one of my articles, I wouldn’t give it up for anything.

However with some other commitments, it should not be difficult to say ‘no’. So no matter how much it breaks my heart to not be able to provide my son with more play dates, more fun, more outings, I must admit that when I overload myself and try to be superwoman, I usually only succeed in making myself into a sulky tired woman with a headache to boot. Maybe I should give some of these kinds of opportunities a miss from now on? (Add trying not to compare my home to that of the non-working mothers whose homes I've visited on play dates as obviously mine is more usually in a mess or not in complete order, even at the best of times).

Meanwhile I will follow what Gretchen Rubin, in her happiness books, has revealed: that whatever is fun for you is not necessarily the same as your expectations of what should be fun and that you must always strive to be yourself, no matter what. So the next time I feel dismay in my stomach at an invitation, I will politely decline it. Sometimes I’ll be able to tell the truth, if I think the person in question would understand. But just in case you ever invite me to something, anything at all, and I do not turn up, then please do note that we’re talking here about me getting some time off from the world.

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