There is beauty in embracing the reality that things kind of suck. There is beauty in the abandonment of self, the crashing aside of the props of ego and the delicious decline into unmitigated annoyance, grumpiness and self pity. The cascade of freedom that unfurls within as we allow ourselves to cry “But this is rubbish!”
I try to look for the positive, don’t we all? But I have to say I loathe January. Now I don’t know anyone who says “Oh I love it, frostbite is my favourite!” but I really, really loathe it. I hated it when I lived in England and all I had to contend with was sleet and freezing fog, here in Canadaland, January really means business. As in I’ll freeze your face right off before you even get in the car and then I’ll get to work on your toes. It’s icy out there people.
And it’s been icy for a while. We’ve been cooped up for a while. And while I recognise that there is the possibility of doing some healthy outdoor activity on things strapped to my feet, I’d like to remind anyone reading that I’m British. I am uncoordinated, afraid of falling and like the skin on my face to remain attached to my face.
Yes I am not keen on January all told, it’s cold, everyone is skint and there really isn’t much to look forward to until, oh, March. And while I can marvel at the beautiful blue sky on a searingly cold day, or admire the patterns of ice that decorate the barren outdoor landscape, I would be less than honest if I didn’t say I’m really waiting for Spring.
Perhaps in years to come we’ll all be strapping on skis (or whatever other designed for death instrument is popular at the time) or zooming off to skate on frozen lakes and rinks, but not this year. This year I have two still young children, lots to do and no energy to do it with. Frankly I’d rather just go to bed and wake up in about 6 weeks time. But I suspect the laundry may, by then, have evolved into an ecological disaster which would destroy not only the human race but all life on an atomic level. Not good.
I wish I could say that I’m facing this adversity with grace, but I would be lying. Yet I find myself unrepentant. I feel that this level of annoyance is almost glorious in it’s own perverse way. While I don’t enjoy yelling such sentiments as “clean it up yourself I’ve had enough!” at my children, I’m enjoying a certain feeling of cleansing from the admission of having enough.
Because that is the truth of it. No matter how much we love our life, or children, or haircut, life can be a big fat pain in the bottom. Sometimes our kids just drive us completely. up. the. wall. No matter how we love them and want to hold them close there are times when we consider that ebay really should have a ‘child’ section. Sometimes, we don’t want to be treated like indentured slaves and do you know what? We are right.
I love my children but I sometimes forget that my life is not just about serving them, that I am entitled to some moments of pleasure or creativity or not cleaning up the same damn thing that I cleaned up 5 minutes ago and yes actually I did tell you to do it but you just didn’t listen. We all know that everyone has those days and moments but somehow it’s easier to gloss over them and focus on the shiny bits, the easy bits, the bits that will make other people think we have a clue. Well I’m not sure that is healthy.
The truth is that sometimes being well and truly fed up can be a cleansing and healthy process, it makes us examine what is working and what isn’t, it can help us move through a depressing low and emerge into something new. Being angry can help us get motivated and moving, can help us shift into a new and healthier pattern, can be the herald of useful change.
I know we are all supposed to wheel around in some kind of zen like state with cherry blossoms tied to our ears but that isn’t life so let’s just forget it shall we? Today at our science co-op I was able to share my frustrations with my friends and, guess what? They had the same ones! Instead of glossing over it we are honest and share the downs as well as the ups. We obviously love our children (our actions show our dedication) but that doesn’t make it sunlight and roses all the time.
So I feel ok about being a bit grumpy and fed up, you really can’t enjoy every aspect of life and stay sane. There are things I love and things I just plain hate and I feel dishonest if I don’t articulate at least a little of my frustration. So there it is, no great manifesto or wise words, just a bit of a rant and a bit of a glimpse of life right now. And tomorrow it will be different, I’ll have moved on and the day will pan out, for good or bad, in a different way from how I imagined.
Not every moment is joyful or fun or something to be grateful for, not every moment can be a ‘learning opportunity’, but we can live fully and with honesty about the world as we see it. I don’t know about you, but when I ‘give myself permission’ to feel negative emotions, to embrace the truth of it and be ok with being a bit of a misery sometimes, I leave room for something new to come in. Catharsis if you will.
So let’s raise a hot and steaming cup of tea to getting through January and out the other side and to those unexpected moments that are so warm, you really do forget that it’s bloody cold outside.