There’s nothing worse than that restless feeling you get when there’s something you feel you just have to do, but you don’t. The jitteriness that gnaws at you and the ‘do I/don’t I?’ debate that ends up looping round your head for days on end.
For me it was the growing urge to write a blog post. It’s been building up over a couple of weeks, ever since I started spending part of my work day researching bloggers and finding myself dipping back into the blogosphere.
So to put the restlessness to bed, and because there’s an extra hour in the day, I’m back putting fingers to keyboard and wondering what, after all this, I have to say, or actually want to share, with the one or two people who will stumble across this post.
As it turns out, not a lot really. Life is bonkers busy in an exciting rather than a stressful way, and moments of calm at the weekend are now savoured.
Life with a teen means I have a gorgeous, witty companion I adore and who is a pleasure to come home to each evening.
Except during those times when homework is remembered at bedtime, when the entire weekly food shop disappears in 3 days, or when all questions are met with a shrug or a grunt.
Or those times when clearly, in her eyes, I am ‘cringe’ and out of touch with all things ‘modern’. And apparently I have no clue how to navigate a computer.
I’ve discovered that having a teen in your life takes you on a journey of feeling slightly old and out of touch, to finally accepting it’s totally okay not to fully understand their world, and that, actually, my world is pretty good thanks very much. In the interests of transparency, there’s a middle part that takes a good couple of years!
I’m happy to swap her marathon WhatsApp sessions for a long leisurely read with a good book, her Overwatch battles for a relaxing soak in the bath, and her Roblox challenges for a slow walk in the woods. And I’m totally okay with that.
I’m actually okay with a lot of things as it happens.
The last few months have seen a monumental shift for me with some big life changes, and, even at the age of forty-something, a little growing up.
I’ve discovered that time is too precious to be wasted doing anything you don’t want to be doing. Apart from your accounts, which apparently can’t be scanned across to your accountant on the day they have to be submitted to HMRC.
Well, they can, as it turned out, but it all gets a tad stressful.
And food shopping. It’s best not to overlook that either, or you risk having to dash into Burger King more times than is acceptable to pass the ‘good enough’ parent test we all occasionally take in our heads.
I’m crediting a lot of the changes to Mindfulness, amongst a whole lot of other things. If you’ve walked past those Mindfulness books in Waterstone’s but never really delved any deeper into the subject, do. It’s well worth taking a short face-to-face course, especially if you’re prone to worrying and over-analysing things.
I studied for eight weeks at The Mindfulness Project in London. As a result I now spend a lot more time living in the now, worrying less and appreciating the little things in life. It’s easy to forget that the past is gone, the future is uncertain, but what we do have is right now, this minute.
And here you are reading this.
But don’t believe your teenager if she agrees to join in with your ten minute Mindfulness practice. While you’re sitting with your eyes closed focusing on your breath and letting thoughts simply come and go in your mind, she’ll be dancing around the room and pulling silly faces behind you.
I’ve also discovered the importance of being yourself, playing to your strengths, and how much happier you feel when you’re in an environment that’s the right ‘fit’. That said, I’m very good at shopping, love Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren. It’s not spending your day shopping in Selfridges I’m talking about here.
So I’ve learnt a few life lessons in recent months. There are some definite advantages in the passing of the years. It’s a funny old journey, life.
On that, I’ve always been a little envious of those people who seem to know who they are and what they want from life at a relatively young age. They choose the right career path and seem to know what choices in life are right for them.
But then, I do quite like the longer, winding, unpredictable road the rest of us take with all its ups, down, road blocks and dead ends along the way, because once you find that right path, and you’re on secure footing, there’s nothing better. Pick up some solid friendships along the way, and, together with family, you’re pretty much sorted.
And once you’ve accepted, in my case, that you’ll be walking that path with frizzy hair that will never look sleek no matter what you do with it, and that you’ll need that pair of comfortable shoes you always frowned at and looser fitting clothes, you’ll discover life is good. Very good.
Photo 1: Jon Tyson | Photo 2: Brenda Godinez | Photo 3: Patrick Hendry | Photo 4: Tim Goedhart | Photo 5: Nicholas Kampouris