For the first time in probably three or four years, I feel like I’ve got some fight back in me.
I don’t think there was a singular event that caused the change (not even Trump getting elected!) but more a culmination of a multitude. The work-life balance, the relationship with my partner, the stresses of friends and work colleagues in their multifarious situations, family pressures and the want of grandchildren, and probably most significantly, the pressure I place upon myself. I’m an arse, what can I tell you?
I am my biggest advocate in the same way that any man is: born with an innate self-belief that given the time, tools and some luck, I can achieve anything. Where this originates I cannot even fathom, as it’s clearly utter bollocks! And yet men approach all new tasks in the same optimistic fashion, pondering that as it’s raw elements, how hard can it possibly be? There isn’t a scintilla of a brain-cell that chimes in with common sense as a man grabs a hammer-drill to sort out that aching tooth.
Being Your Own Worst Critic
Coincidentally, I am also my biggest critic. For the last few years, the optimistic knave gets shouted down, and the black devil jumps on my shoulder and whispers ruinous nothings into my ear. The spring in the step wavers, the shoulders lade. The mind starts devolving from the I can to the what if I cannot? The questioning, the second guessing, and the gradual wilting of hope and self-belief.
The vehicle being shipped in the last week and my housemates moving out at the end of December mean that I’ve had some solitude, and it has been utterly refreshing. The breathing space enables me to think again, to start questioning again, and start naked Tuesdays again. Perhaps it’s the body readying itself to travel once again (not the naked bit): the mind has to be alert; to question everything that its being told; to problem solve on the fly; to duck and weave to reach the prize; to have faith and believe in oneself.
Reaching for Calm
It dawned on me only recently that the escapism I felt whilst travelling – sitting atop a volcano; mounting a temple summit to welcome the new dawn – were exactly the same as that when trying to focus on mindfulness at home. Taking ten minutes to simply sit and reclaim the calm helps keep the voices away, although it doesn’t keep the travel bug away just yet.
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