Who am I?

This sort of goes right back to the start of my blog. I admitted that I have my whole identity tied up in being the person who does millions of different things and is always super busy. So ……… now that I have realised, I don’t have to be this way, I don’t have to be perfect at everything I do and say yes to every demand……………. WHO AM I?

That sounds really weird, but the last week (after I made my amazing discovery and was briefly feeling on top of the world) I have been feeling really flat. I just realised today, that is because I don’t really know who I am anymore or quite where I am going.

Surely this is actually a good thing, I am giving myself the opportunity to reinvent ME. The problem is, I have no idea into what I want to become! I know I want to be calmer, less stressed and more present in the moment, but what does that look like? What does that mean in terms of who I am and where I am going?

I have found myself falling back into old patterns this week, simply to feel like me. I volunteered myself to do a job I could see was needing attention. My husband thinks I am mad, I could be at home relaxing yet I am choosing to spend my time fixing up something for no reward. But to me, the reward is simply in the achievement I feel in completing a project.

Maybe, that is what I should focus on, finding projects that feed me and are things I want to be doing. Not the ones I feel like I have to be doing. Maybe, the answer is in being more choosy?? Being on the front foot and picking the specific things that I enjoy……………….. and perhaps learning to wait for the right opportunities. I tend to dive right in as soon as I see something that might possibly be down my alley.

It sounds strange but I just know there is something important coming. I have no idea what is it but I can feel it and I think it is something to do with who I am becoming. It has bothered me all week, I need to know what it is so I can get on to it right away!! BUT I am going to try and wait it out. I think the best thing I can do is to stop searching and wait for it to come to me………… whatever it is.

I feel nervous and apprehensive!

SAA

Flat

That is how I feel. Flat.

I don’t know why. I have so much to look forward to in the next few months, excitement should be mounting. We have the most awesome family holiday planned, one that I have dreamed about for years. But, I am flat. Grrrrr.

I think reality has set in. I am not superhuman. I am not perfect. I guess it will take some time to fully accept this and the fact that this is ok. Now, I need to work out a way to be the best version of me without putting unrealistic expectations on myself. I need to go back to that feeling of relief and elation I felt last week when I realised there is a better way to live, without the pressure.

I know my doubts over the last few days stem from a lack of sleep (caused by our precious cat!). That led to over thinking, a bad bad woman trait!!

This long weekend is about rest and resetting the negative thought patterns. Road tripping……..

SAA

Approval

My friend sent me this yesterday:

‘Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens’(Louise L. Hay, Healthyplace.com)

She is absolutely right. This is me. After my emotional weekend, I did fall back into the old pattern of questioning and criticizing myself. Did I get too emotional? Am I putting my own insecurities back onto the kids I mentor? Am I a bad Mum?

This message was a timely reminder that this kind of thought pattern doesn’t serve me well. It never has, but only I can change it.

So I am now telling myself…….everything that happened on the weekend and all the emotions that came with it, came from a place of genuine concern and care for others. I did my best in the scenario I was in and that is all that matters. If people don’t see it that way, then that is their problem not mine.

As far as my son and the soccer episode is concerned……… I have realised that his 11 year old brain is miles in front of mine and that in actual fact he acted in an outstandingly mature way. It is really remarkable that he was not only able to identify why he felt uneasy at soccer, but he was able to stand up and tell me. It can’t have been an easy thing for him to say to me.

I am so proud of him for standing up and voicing his concerns. I have told him this and that my intention has never been to add pressure to sport which is something I think should be enjoyable. He knows now he is in the driver seat, I will take his lead when it comes to watching sport. If he wants me there I will come, if not I won’t.

Our kids really are a wonderful reality check. We seldom give them recognition for the way they conduct themselves, most likely because we overanalyse things and have unrealistic expectations of them. But, if you sit back and look at their actions without overthinking it, they show us how things really can be so simple.

I have realised……..He didn’t want to fail me, because he loves me and respects my opinion.

Pure and simple.

I approve of the way I conducted myself on the weekend and I approve of my son’s actions. Love myself, love my son (I love him just a tiny bit more than I love myself though!! ;>).

SAA

Emotional woman….

Why am I so emotional, particularly about the things I am most passionate about? Is it normal to cry in front of people? Is that strength or weakness?

Today, I had a really odd day. Right from the minute I woke up things were weird. I had slept funny, my neck was hurting and I didn’t feel well rested. I was not feeling quite as smug as I had been yesterday, I was feeling decidedly flat!

I headed off early to talk to a group of kids about something I was passionate about. I think I got my point across but, I got emotional in doing so. My whole point was, we all have our choices. The things we pursue are ours to choose, we should choose to do things we love. I urged them to be honest with themselves and their expectations.

I get upset seeing kids doing things for the wrong reasons, eg. their friends are, or because their parents want them to. I want them to do what they love, because they love it. I can’t exactly put my finger on why it got me emotional today. Perhaps just because I was tired? I guess too much of it rings true to me. How many things have I been doing because I thought I had to or should, and not because I wanted to. I can’t figure out who I felt was making me do things though, because my parents were never overly pushy. As I discussed in an earlier blog, I think the answer is ME.

Anyway, I feel a bit embarrassed now. How will teenage girls react to my display of emotion as one of their leaders/mentors? Will they take my message on board or will they just think I am some crazy neurotic ‘has been’? Will they respect my raw honesty? I guess the coming weeks will tell.

Then later this morning (this is the bit that has hit me like a ton of bricks and in a way I should have expected it) my son, who reads me like a book and takes on all my insecurities and stresses, had what can only be described as a ‘crisis in confidence’ on the soccer field. I had taken the time off work especially to be there to watch him as I rarely get the opportunity. That was simply too much for him.

It was the most interesting and upsetting display. It was almost the universe playing my thoughts out right there in front of me.  It has taken me all afternoon to work it out, but I think what happened was (he can’t articulate it, so I am filling in the gaps)…….He felt that he had to go out and have a good game because I was there to watch him. I had somehow created the exact scenario I had been preaching about earlier. He was no longer there for him, he was there for me (in his mind).

He then proceeded to tell my husband (the assistant coach) he wasn’t playing today because his knee hurt. He said he was going home.

I couldn’t believe it.

In preference to causing a scene while he was coaching, my husband asked me to take him home. On the way to the car, my son said ‘Mum, can you leave? I don’t want you here’. I burst into tears. I asked him if I had heard correctly. He said yes. I sent him back to his team and I went home.

I had become exactly the opposite of what I wanted to be. I wanted to be a supportive and not overly pushy parent. Somehow, just my presence was too much. The expectation was too high (or so he thought). Later on I asked him about it, he said I might cheer too loud! Seriously……………….. this is what it comes down to? I might embarrass him with a show of support??!!!! Or is it simpler than that? Is it just that his routine was disrupted? He is used to me not being able to be there. Me being there, just threw him out of kilter?

Either way……………………………WOW. Sporting parents really are ‘dammed if we do and dammed if we don’t’. How on earth do we support them without inadvertently pressuring them? How do we bring out the best in them, without forcing them?

I am one exhausted and emotional Mum tonight.

SAA

It’s ok to not be perfect!!!

I actually feel kind of smug at the moment!! I feel like I have made the most important discovery in my life and I did it myself by writing down words. I have discovered that it is ok not to be perfect. It is ok to have flaws and it is ok to acknowledge them. It is a true revelation and a relief!! Suddenly, I feel like I am emerging from being under a dark cloud. A cloud of doubt and self sabotage.

Of course, many people have told me this fact over the years, my mother in particular, but I had to discover it for myself…………..at 40 (probably about 25 years after Mum told me – LOL, I am a bit slow!). See people, always listen to your mother…….

But, better late than never. I feel like I am free to be ME and to not feel like I have to cover up my imperfections. I can actually be happy with who I am and where I am going. I can try to be the best version of me, but I am not perfect, I am not going to be perfect and I no longer want to be perfect. I just love this quote I found:

‘Perfect people aren’t real, and real people aren’t perfect.’ (picturequotes.com)

No truer are these words and I finally understand them. Today, I am going to start to ‘get real’. I am going to be a real person.

SAA

 

 

Success

What is success? I have just been discussing this very topic with a fellow coach. I am involved in swimming and have been since I was 5 or 6 years old. It is one of my passions in life. It is however, a sport where to get to the top, you must give everything. There is no halfway, there is no slacking. It is tough and it often isn’t pretty, it is dam hard work and a big part of it is a mental game.

But, I will again ask the question, what is success? Is it getting a gold medal at the Olympics or the national championships? If that is what we define as success in swimming, then most of us mere mortals are setting ourselves up for failure. As a coach and mentor in a cruelling sport, we need to draw out the smaller successes, the ones that are important to each individual. That might be fixing the wonky left arm, or finishing a swim in  a personal best time or getting down the pool with only 4 breaths. Whatever it is, is only important to that individual and it is my responsibility (as a coach) to make it a big deal and to celebrate each little win, because we often neglect to do that for ourselves.

The process of writing this blog has made me realise success is whatever we make it. If we define successes that are unattainable, then of course we feel like failures. And that, is precisely what I have done most of my life. My definition of success has been different to most. I have set the bar too high for myself and my expectations have been often unrealistic. It is no wonder I then focus on the things I don’t get done or the things I don’t achieve.

But, I get it now. I need to focus on the little wins, on the day to day successes, because when I sit back and look at all the things I have achieved, instead of the things I haven’t, it is pretty dam impressive (if I do say so myself!!). I really want to help kids see this too. It doesn’t matter what it is, so long as the goal is not unrealistic you can do it. And then, you set the next little goal. It is just like climbing a flight of stairs or a ladder.

Then, when you take the time to reflect and look back down that flight of stairs, you will be amazed at all the things you have achieved along the way. Success is yours, we all have our own path and our own story.

SAA

Down to earth with a bump

I have been feeling so good the last few days, the headway I have been making has impressed even me. But, today I have had a set back. It is not dramatic. Nothing in particular happened. I just feel a bit frustrated and anxious. I slipped back into a few of my old ways today and as much as I could see myself doing it, I couldn’t seem to get on top of it. The old cortisol monster was back!!

I am really trying not to be too hard on myself about this. A bad day does not mean I have ‘fallen off the wagon’. After all, I can not expect that just because I am finally working on myself and starting to change inherent patterns, that all would be well every day of the week.

Anticipating that I would have a day like this (ever the forward thinker and analyser – dam I am doing it again) I had actually set myself up with some strategies. Well, the problem is I had half set myself up. I knew what I was meant to do but hadn’t quite got all the resources I needed to actually do it. So that was immensely frustrating. I was in a situation of ……… ‘you should do this, I know but I can’t because I haven’t got a picture yet. Well that was dumb wasn’t it?’ (Yes that is me talking to myself!).

I guess the trick will be how I bounce back from today and what I have learnt from it. I have learnt two things;

  1. Being prepared means having everything ready including the picture (this is a picture that is meant to draw me away from the current situation and ground me).
  2. I identified something today that has been bothering me for a while. I have to deal with it. I have to speak up and make my feelings known because I can not expect people to be mind readers.

So, this is a case of what goes up must come down. I have been on a high and today was the inevitable low. So ……………………. tomorrow I am on the way back up again because the biggest pattern to break is staying in the low, staying in the cortisol infested waters where my brain lets things chase me further down.

Things are already feeling better.

SAA