Burning out and burning bright, my family’s in a Change Rocket, hurtling through spacetime, much outside too blurred to see.
I’ve known for years that when the kids started talking futures I’d have to already be in my next chapter, lest I helicopter-parent or self-destruct.
I’ve also seen as the kids mature they need, more than ever, emergency contacts ready for triage as well as strategy. Sometimes that’s rotated over weeks. Other times, it’s all in one afternoon.
The current combination’s a tall order. It’s temporary, too. Calm will follow.
Read more about #52and40 here.
I’ve been unitasking. I like that this sounds like unicycling but actually involves zero circus fuckery. Unitasking’s simply doing one thing at a time. I can multitask but I make mistakes, get stressed and then there’s frustration about rushing or being a bitch to myself or some poor bystander along the way. So, no more lunch while checking emails and walking the dog. Now I’m just having lunch. Then checking emails. Then walking the dog. Hardly miraculous, but I’m certainly happier and this way feels pragmatically zen and paced for the times.
More about #52and40 here.
I read thirteen books this year. I’m happy about re-establishing reading after years of total drought. Some say it takes twenty-one days to form a habit. It’s taken me nearer twenty one months. At first my concentration was so poor I had to read every paragraph repeatedly, forcing myself to put down my phone for twenty minutes at a time. Then, slowly, I began relishing phone dumping; books morphing into pacifier and portal; a way to slow down time and accelerate perspectives.
How long does it take you to make a change?
More about the malarky that is #52and40 here.
I love the odd day in Glasgow. As familiarity grows, I’m beginning to link the city up with maps, memories, family folklore and reference points in the past, present and future. I like the break from Edinburgh’s tourism too, when I’m off west. Interactions with people and the pavement feel markedly more real and more easily connected in a context where showmanship’s less prevalent. I trust myself and my reading of stories I’m collecting better without a backdrop of pressure on a place. I’ve always been easily influenced; mood is infectious, too.
More here on what the crack is with #52and40.
My mental health’s gone off kilter recently. As a health-conscious veteran of PMDD, postnatal and antenatal depressions, I know when my neurochemistry’s recalibrated in an unhelpful direction. I’m lucky SSRIs work well for me and I feel positive, mainly, about medical interventions. I like my life in full, balanced colour. So, while the palette reloads, I’m taking things easier.
Meanwhile, I’m heartened by the stigma around mental health honesty eroding. I see people responding with less shock when someone owns a decline. This rise in empathy and emotional courage really helps.
My nephew moved in with us a few months ago, all the way from a Pyrenean idyll in the south of France. It’s really interesting seeing someone discover Edinburgh, it reminds me of all the compromises we’ve made along the way as well as the rewards of the move. It’s also interesting living with a ‘new’ person full-time. It holds a mirror up to everyone’s personalities and quirks and asks whether you’ll each change or grow the things about yourself that are suddenly more visible. Mostly, it feels like an excellent challenge.