Trust is my appointed word for 2021, and so far it has proven rather lean-able upon.
The thing is is that I have a tendency to stuffing every hole, every available and emerging space with a new project. It’s a tiring habit. I have now added a complete overhaul and rewrite of my professional website, more revisions of this and that, more continuing professional development courses, but not more time. I seem to like piling things on myself, squeezing out any activity that brings a satisfying sigh and a sense of here I am. Then behind all the stuffing holes and piling on is the added weight of expectation and self imposed deadlines, a shadow that never lets its eye off the calendar or the clock. No small wonder I end up in a scrubby knot of overwhelm. All self created. The blame lying prostrate at my feet.
Either I have a love of torture, a hang over from school and exams and authority figures – I have oft been described as driven – or this is a very will full and deliberate strategy to avoid (at all cost) any middle-aged dating and gluing myself with another…
I’ll wager it’s the latter.
So in January trust became a mantra. When I say the word out loud it sounds like downy feathers or a snake’s hypnotic hiss – it softens and calms, and the grasping thoughts fade away. I repeat it in the morning, and again before bed, and especially when I am tired and prey to regret. But January was still laden with challenge. There were battles over ‘homeschooling’ and battles over screen time, and here is where trust began to falter; in my ability to parent a child who is clearly pulling away. ‘Get out of my room,’ is her un-rallying cry with a dismissive flick of her hand, ‘I’m talking to my friends’. She is such a clever juggler of words. ‘I didn’t lie, I just decided not to tell you.’ There were tomes I wanted to read but instead I was back on the ‘how to parent’ manuals, fuelling myself with words such as limbic system, autonomy, boundaries, secrecy, experimentation; words I already knew but in need of that extra hand hold, that reassuring feeling of you’re-not-alone. After the pages were turned I felt a little less at sea, having more of a map, even if the lines are still faint and a little directionless. I trust she knows I will always love her, that I will be waiting in the wings, no matter the surprises these coming years bring.
This week was February half term. I had made specific plans and then I let them go. Instead, I followed my nose, found myself embarking upon a necessary tidy-up online. I have decided to let an old site (Older Mum) go as the yearly hosting fee no longer makes sense, and besides, I’m now in a different phase of life. I found myself hovering over the delete button of my other blog (Older Mum in a Muddle) too, or maybe it’s simply the case of deleting those posts I no longer like (or those I don’t want her to read). I have deleted Twitter accounts and Pinterest accounts and changed passwords galore. And in trusting this process I have shaken something off and allowed a new space to open. I began tidying up this blog and updating and adding pages, and then, hallelujah, I actually began working on my novel again…
…So trust has led me back to words.
This is my biggest leap of faith, to listen to the whisper of trust’s song; you mustn’t give up, you mustn’t give up, you mustn’t…
Oh, yes! I think after last year I think so many of us have been prompted to have a clear out, a felling of dead wood, which is so often necessary to let new things in.
Sorry to hear of the challenges – it sounds like there our not-so-little-anymore people may be entering a very similar stage. You are right – all you can do is love, and be there when you are needed.
It’s funny how we lose attachment to things that felt so important at that time – having a clear out is very good for the soul. Yes, the little person is definitely growing up – what a sea change! X
I loved your two other blogs, as an older mum myself. I’m enjoying following this one too, but a good spring clean is very good for the soul x
Hey Polly! I hope that life is treating you well. It’s funny – those blogs seem a long time ago now and yet felt so important at the time. It’s been good clearing away the chaff. Are you still blogging? If so, post me the link. X
Hi Sadie x – not blogging any more, and I’m amazed and touched that you remember after all this time. Your blogs were very important at the time, certainly to me and I’m sure to other older mums who were following. I certainly felt less alone with it all, knowing there were other mums like me out there 🙂 I love the new direction you’re taking and read everything. Ready for a change myself now the boy is a teenager. Good luck with everything, I’m cheering for you x
Hey Polly – sad to hear you aren’t blogging any more – I really liked your blog and thought you wrote really nicely. It was a really lovely time wasn’t it? The network of mums we all connected with and here we are now. Cheering you on too! X
You are doing a great job. Things do change as they get older and us blogging their lives isn’t what they always want. I am glad you are doing your novel again. Hang in there and you are right all we can do is love and be there xxx
Thank you! Yes, they absolutely do change as they get older. It’s a very different parenting role now though. Thank you for commenting – I never have the time to comment on anyone else’s blogs as I’m so busy! X