I have developed an irritating habit since turning thirty. I feel the need to be introspective ALL THE TIME. With my birthday approaching, I have naturally felt the need to analyse every life lesson I had the misfortune of learning in the past year. It’s exhausting, painful and annoying. Not to mention the fact that I am incapable of having fun as a result of my constantly elevated stress levels. Unwinding and freeing my mind of these burdens are fruitless because I don’t know HOW to unwind. I don’t drink or smoke or do recreational drugs. I don’t party or socialise (I am a mum, see). I don’t gym. I can’t indulge in emotional eating because then I would analyse why I had to unwind using food as a coping mechanism! See my predicament? Out of my 99 problems, I have discovered that these moments of introspection often result in some profound lesson that leaves me feeling like a wise old owl, and one surely cannot be wise and not impart the knowledge! That feels sacrilegious. These are my lessons for the year.
“Family” has taken on a new meaning. It is better to live a life alone, authentically, than live a life surrounded by people who do nothing but bring you down and who don’t have your best interests at heart. “Family” are the people who invest in me and offer me their infinite love, kindness, compassion, support and lack of judgment. Those people are not blood relatives but people who think I am worthy enough to make an effort for and whose love far surpasses anything my blood relatives could offer me.
“Wealth” means more than just having lots of money. Money cannot buy happiness or good health. But, as the saying goes, “it’s more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes than on a bicycle”. Financial stress is the ultimate test within a marriage and few survive. I know people who have chosen to end their lives rather than live in financial ruin. The mistakes I have made are too many to mention but what I have learnt this year is that living basically, removing excess and making wise decisions go a long way. I am far from being out of the woods, but I will make informed decisions and never spend senselessly again.
“Sometimes you just gotta let things slide”. This is particularly hard for me because I am merciless when I am hurt. I feel the need to always say exactly what I feel and sometimes that isn’t necessary. I have learnt that I’d rather be happy than right and backing down from a fight sometimes requires more strength and courage than fighting to the death.
The most important lesson I have ever learnt and I get reminded of, year after year, is the fact that nothing is insurmountable. We really are stronger than we think.
So here’s to another year of self-discovery.