As a friend, sister, daughter and woman, I have two often-conflicting monkeys on my back (just bear with me and try not to laugh too loudly): Monkey number one is the Public Monkey. He consistently digs his claws into my back and refuses to let go until I`ve done what I needed to do to be a good friend, sister and daughter. To everybody around him, he defines who I am. Monkey number two is Private Monkey. With increasing regularity of late he wraps his prehensile tail around my neck and only eases his grip when I`ve done all I can to look after me and do the things that I want to do. I don’t necessarily think he`s always a good thing, but I’m glad he’s here. From time to time, I can satisfy both monkeys. I can be a good and present friend / daughter / sister and I can satisfy my urge to be alone and be me. Do what I want to do, how I like to do, when I like to do. More often than not, I can only satisfy one monkey at a time and when push comes to shove, Public Monkey always wins; with the inherent need to be a good citizen of the world and be there and responsive to the people around me, I just sometimes feel that I don`t have the luxury of saying no. For the last few years, I’ve been very good with striking a balance that makes both Monkeys happy . . . but for maybe the last 12 months or so, Public Monkey has been squeezing the everlivingcrap out of me. In an effort to make him happy, I’ve ended up taking on far too many responsibilities at work and at home, and given away way far too much of myself to other people. I’ve rarely seen Private Monkey, let alone felt his wonderful claws in my backs. All of it is entirely my fault and that’s got to change. I miss him.
Enough with the monkey analogy you say?
It`s like thisâ€¦I believe that everything happens for a reason, and I believe that I didn’t come down with the almighty flu just because The Universe hates me. Last week, I was forced to take it easy for the first time in AGES. Sick, slightly dopey from medication and home remedies (hey, whisky and milk works!) I had no choice but to be at home and do jean stuff. Relax and take it easy. I read books, watched countless movies, worked in the garden â€¦ I basically puttered around the house and took it easy. Through this forced incarceration I`ve come to the following conclusion though: I’m tired. Really, really tired.
Call it what you want: over-extended, spread too thin, just a little burned-out . . . the bottom line is that in an effort to put lots of irons in the fire I`ve been running myself ragged trying to get to everything and everyone. I`ve been neglecting me and it shows. In the last year, more often than not, my pendulum has swung from being emotionally overwrought to emotionally drained. On a physical level I`m just bloody knackered the whole time. Ever feel that no matter what you do, you`ll never have enough time for yourself? Every weekend for the last eight or so months, it`s been a battle to find some time for me, myself and I. Make no mistake, it`s not like I don`t get up to some exciting mischief and hanging out with my nearest and dearest isn`t funâ€¦but it doesn`t always feed MY soul. I don`t feel rested or restored when I start my Monday workweek. It`s a bloody endless race all over the place. I neglect basic to do`s in my own home and life, in favour of being everywhere else to my own detriment. And more and more, my questioning nature has turned into a situation where I seriously question me, my life and the circumstance surrounding it. The reason, I realise now, is so simple. I`ve last track of what`s important to me and what makes me the person I am. No one to blame really but myself.
My (guilty) subconscious was anxiously muttering, I`m waiting for you to crash and burn. Today I`ve decided it`s got to stop. So, this is meâ€¦getting back to basics. I relish the feeling of making no appointments or commitments on a weekend. To have everything happen based on what I feel at any given time. Nothing to do and nowhere to goâ€¦but stay in bed, read my favourite thriller novels and daydreamâ€¦ I think I`ll resolve to scale down my hectic social life (and for a singleton and all my damn whinging, I`m surprisingly prolific sociallyâ€¦I`m agog at how busy I become). Which brings me to another thoughtâ€¦ Isn`t quality better than quantity?
On the same noteâ€¦I`m planning a little exotic Far East R&R with my budsâ€¦and, yes, predictably there`s shopping to be done *smile*. I just realised this instant though, that as much as I was in doubt about the 7 day layover at a island beach resort (Is there any new thing vast quantities of sand can teach me?)â€¦ I am now really looking forward to just that. Taking it easy, reading, having massages and drinking Thai cocktails. I think we`re all getting very anxious to finalise the details at this point, as all three of us probably need the time away.
Nowâ€¦all I have to do is to convince the boys to leave some empty space in the bags for my shopping. Capitol!