I’m much better since the recent procedure I had but it’ll be a while before I’m back to best. I was getting frustrated with myself at how long it was taking, my sleeps all over the place, i’m spending a lot of the early hours awake and my energy levels are quite often in the drain. I booked an extra appointment with the Dr because I’m not known for being the best of patients and when I’m told to take it easy I start to get immediately antsy. At my check up it was made clear that three operations within six months is a strain on the body, especially when becoming a new parent. Luckily for me, my Dr knows me well and knows that telling me to rest up and take it easy is just as useful as talking to me in Latin, I don’t really understand! So he took a different tact, he knows I’m a writer, he knows I need to keep myself busy so he suggested I make sure some of my projects can be done from home. The message was altered accordingly, rest my body, sleep when I can (Scarlett allowing!) and then I’m allowed to occupy my mind!
And as I walked out of the GP surgery, it felt like a massive relief, a massive relief for my husband as well who has been an absolute rock but for all his influence on me, hasn’t been able to get me to slow down! The first thing I did when I got home was make a list (you know how I love a list!) of what I was going to do over the next couple of months, most of which I can do from home. A list to stop me going stir crazy.
- Watch my beautiful little girl develop – she changes every single day, she is turning into a confident, beautiful, funny and clever child and being her Mother is one of the highest honours I have ever been bestowed.
- The Anti Bullying campaign, there’s meetings to be had and that does mean getting out and about but it means a lot to me and I have some fantastic people on my team helping with it, so as much as possible meetings will be in cosy coffee shops and as local as possible and I will *gulp* delegate as much as possible when necessary and understand that that’s ok…!
- Work on completing the second children’s story, whilst getting the first published. This can all be done by the comfort of my iPad and computer.
- Take care of my own health even half as much as I care about Scarletts. Tests showed I was still quite dehydrated and three days in a row I had coffee for breakfast whilst cooking multiple things to ensure the freezer was stacked with homemade baby meals. The organisation will now include making sure I am also getting all my nutrients and vitamins; this includes my husband, we have a lot of fun cooking together but we’re going to make sure that that doesn’t just involve our evening meal!
- Quality time with my husband. We had a surprise date on the weekend and we had such a fabulous time. We laugh together every day and enjoy our time with Scarlett all the time, but we’re parents every day. And when we get childcare, we have time as husband and wife and it’s amazing. When Scarlett goes to sleep there’s always emails to respond to or tidying up to be done, but I’m more in love with my husband every day we’re together so I’m going to make sure we have some time to enjoy being husband and wife even when we’re just at home.
When I made that list, I instantly felt lighter. All of a sudden, I didn’t need to stress that I wouldn’t be able to get stuff done, I didn’t have to worry that I didn’t have the energy to do things. I had a concrete list of things to concentrate on, priorities to attend to. I’m not being forced to stop, I’m able to heal whilst still moving forward!
It does put certain plans on hold, I was planning a big 30th birthday bash, not to mention some of the 30 before 30 list items, there was also a play I was going to be part of, I was joining a choir and I had started back at netball. All things I can no longer realistically do at the moment. It pains me to say it but I cannot do it all. Don’t get me wrong, I do NOT plan on giving up on those things, they remain on my ‘to do’ list, but they’re now on my ’to do slightly later’ list. I won’t finish my 30 before 30 list by 5th February, it’s a week and I’m ambitious and a dreamer but I’m not a complete idiot! However, I will spend an entire year being 30 and so I’m giving myself some more time. Think it’s a cop out? Think I’m breaking the rules? Yeah I am, but I set the rules, so now I’m changing them. What are you going to do, ring the life plans police?! Don’t get me wrong, I stressed myself out because I wouldn’t be completing it in time, I’m not so good at failing, but it’s only by my own benchmarks that I was doing it in the first place. The only difference between whether I succeed or fail is how I look at it. And why would I look at it as a failure if I had an alternative way of seeing it?
I had a day of feeling low that my 30th wouldn’t be extraordinary, I wanted something really landmark, it’s 30, it’s a big one! And for me personally it’s an important one. And then I realised that I have an extraordinary life, a wonderful husband and the most beautiful baby. The two most important people in my life who I will wake up with that day. And by the sounds of things, I certainly won’t be doing nothing, I’ve been told to keep certain days/evenings and afternoons free, my Dad’s coming down so I’ll have all my family around and so it will be landmark. And hey, next year, if I manage to stay out of the operating theatre for longer than a few months, I’ll do something big, we’ll fly to New York, we’ll host a fancy ball, we’ll climb a mountain. I’ve always done life according to my own rules. I was in hospital when my husband turned 30, so next year, maybe we’ll do something ridiculously big together for the big 3-1, or the big 3-2, we have our whole lives ahead of us for multiple landmarks!
I’ve always been in a rush to do lots of things right now, I’ve always wanted to get as much done as possible and if I’m resting then I’m failing; if I’m taking it easy, I’m not pushing forward or succeeding. What I’ve learnt recently though is that I have to learn that if I push and push and push, the only thing I end up doing is setting myself further back. If i’d rested properly after the emergency C-Section and the follow up second operation, maybe I would have avoided the third. I can’t know for sure, but what I do know is that if I carry on pushing, I’ll be getting on for a 4th operation before Scarlett’s first birthday. By pushing so hard, I’ve held myself back. But now I need to take heed of the Dr’s advice, my husbands advice, my family’s advice! it’s time to rest my body! My mind can keep going (there is no off switch for that, I’ve searched!) but even that won’t be able to continue if I don’t sort myself out. I owe that to myself and more importantly, I owe that to Scarlett. So the next couple of months will be at a more sedate pace. there’s time for everything I want to achieve and if I sort myself out I’ll be able to do even more.
We all want to surpass our own expectations, and we all want to dream big. Sometimes the only thing holding us back is ourselves. For me, finally sitting down will set me free! You wouldn’t drive a car without putting petrol in it, or expect it to drive without enough air in the tyres, cars can’t take that kind of pressure and carry on successfully. So why do we so often not treat our own bodies with the same courtesy as we treat our cars? If you’re running on empty, put some air in your tyres, make sure you have enough petrol before going on a journey beyond your capabilities. It doesn’t make you a failure, you wouldn’t say the car failed at making the trip, you shake your head at the driver who doesn’t look after it well enough.
There are so many exciting journeys to go on, some of them are local, some of them don’t need much petrol but it doesn’t mean you’re not adventuring or moving forward. With a healthy car, you can travel miles, and I plan on going on lots of adventures in the future so for now, my car is having a service.