All Change Please. (originally published April 2016)

Change is something I struggle with, always have, which is kind of funny considering it seems to be the theme of my life. The idea that something is going to change my status quo, rearrange the alphabitised shelf that is my life is nothing less than a constant source of horror for me. I know this sounds melodramatic, but seriously change and more precisely the threat of change, the uncertainty can keep me up at nights. My brain goes on a, ‘what if’ journey through the scenic horror filled land that is my imagination, for example the first time I asked for anti-depressants I remember laying in bed the night before my doctor’s appointment certain that with that one request for medication, I was inviting people to knock down my door, take my child away and brand me an unfit mother. Ridiculous yes but completely true. Its not even big changes that affect me, say you had invited me to dinner, to which I had graciously accepted (I’m good like that, especially if you’re paying) and you tell me we are going to the pretentious, overly priced, tiny portioned restaurant called Le Tinee Bites, then two hours before you pick me up, you text me to say, you forgot to make a reservation and they are fully booked but you got us in at Chez Robin Ewe Blinde, I would have a small melt down, you wouldn’t know about it of course but in my head I’d be freaking out, having a crisis of faith, anger, sadness, a flush of heat.

The reason I bring this up and use colourful anecdotes with appallingly bad puns for restaurant names is, I have been having a hard time of late with uncertainty. I am currently awaiting keyhole surgery for my right knee, its been pretty bad for the last eleven years but recently its been more dodgy than David Cameron answering questions on tax havens by Kermit’s ex and about as reliable at baring my weight as my father was. There are a handful of other personal life uncertainties and pressures as well, to be honest almost all the aspects of my life at the moment are questions marks – weirdly the uncertainty of my acting career, where’s the next job coming from etc has never affected me, strange I know but I’m weirdly complicated like that, being a human and all. The thing I have found the most difficult recently though is giving my son back to the education system. Easter was two glorious weeks of quality time spent with my baba, due to not being able to walk very well, currently I cannot do my day job so I had the whole holiday uninterrupted with him (every cloud) We had sleepovers together, friends over, fort building, games, fun activities outside (with me moving the pace of a sleeping snail) It was just bliss. He has hit this golden age, where he is really understanding things and asking questions, he’s affectionate and caring. He’s also a hell beast with the attitude of enraged teenager/mild criminal sometimes but hey, he’s human too. Obviously I have always loved him so much my heart could implode but recently we have become so close and we were so looking forward to the holidays, then they were here and then they were gone. So I have found myself in the amazingly unenvious position of no longer being able to be his snuggle buddy in the evening, I can’t have sleepovers and do crazy things with him during the day just because and as he is with his dad at the weekends it feels like a hard pill to swallow. He  is constantly changing and evolving and you only get so many days at each stage and I want all of them. It doesn’t help that he is finding it as difficult as me to return to the normal school routine, he is upset and that is presenting itself as anger. I have written a lot about this in my diary recently and I was spinning a little out of control, slipping gently into my illness when I expressed all of this (a lot more succinctly) via text to a close friend, his response was simple,

‘There is no point focusing and worrying about things you can’t control, save your energy for things you can’.

It really sunk in over the next couple of days and I realised two things, 1. This was not a new concept to me, in fact I try to live by this rule but clearly it had been pushed out of my mind by my self pity spiral and 2. He was right. So I got to work on focusing on things I did have control over and utilizing my abundance of time. The result of this is I am feeling a lot happier, freer and present.

I write this to remind myself of this simple truth and hopefully to remind you as well, focus on what is within your power to change, let the other things go, because your worry and time will make no difference, you only have so many days, focus on what you can do and you will have more good ones than bad, I figure that has gotta be a good thing.

x


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