Ah, the old Stealers Wheel song. Showing my age with that one. Admittedly, it was released way before I was born but it brings back memories from a show I was involved with which used it as their theme music. The words are hitting home right now. Been an interesting few weeks.
A much needed break was called for. Life was catching up and threatening to overtake, so a week in the sun, and yes, it is possible to get sun in the UK, was amazing. Stayed in a beautiful converted barn in the middle of nowhere. Turned the notifications off. Read. Reminded myself how to be human. You can actually be human without your phone clamped to you. You don’t need to walk around staring at your hand. Try it.
The trouble is, the detox hits you hard when you come back and are once again in front of the screen answering emails, checking out social media and the news, and my worst habit of late – binging on The Great British Bake Off on catch-up.
I returned from holiday to a new job. Great stuff. I felt alive again. Whilst my own business trundles along in the background still, I remain employable and surprisingly useful. I had to be pushed out of my comfort zone to apply, and I think that’s important. Even if we don’t always believe in ourselves, we need others too, but we have to accept sometimes that if enough people are believing in us, then something’s seriously wrong if we’re not able to believe in ourselves, even if just for a minute.
On top of this, there have been births, birthdays, acupuncture (the most amazing session so far!) and drama sessions (you know, the thing that keeps me sane-ish and happy) being fired my way at a pace, and all really positive, so why reference Stealers Wheel?!
In the midst of all of this greatness, I’ve put up with several nights of unrest and it’s not for want of trying to get to sleep and trying every trick in the book I know. For goodness sake, it’s part of what I teach, but sometimes, things just don’t click. It seems I’ve had somewhat of an existential experience. I know, I had to look it up as I couldn’t remember what it meant, but I was reminded of it earlier this week.
For me it started off by hitting me like the anxiety has done previously (scroll back through all the previous rubbish on here if you’re really bothered). It wasn’t quite a gut-puncher, but the mind decided to work overtime when it did the whole ‘what’s-the-meaning-of-life-what-happens-if-I-die-right-now?’ thing, and to have that several nights on the trot is not great for you.
From that though I seemed to have hit this sticking point of wondering what I’m doing with life. Sure there’s a bit more purpose than a year ago, and a hell of a lot more than two years ago, but it’s…do you know, even sat here now I can’t describe it, which is really annoying. I sort of feel as though I want to stand on the tallest mountain and scream, to throw caution to the wind, to live more than I ever have, and yet, there are a million things that are preventing me doing just that at the moment and it’s frustrating. I wish I could truly describe it.
Is it that I care too much? Should I worry that whenever I contact friends and say let’s meet up that they reply with ‘yeah’ and never reply because, who knows, perhaps they’re not actually that bothered (just tell me!)? Should I give up contacting the friends who are going through the most roughest of times right now and just need to know you are there and thinking of them and appreciate that simple message saying ‘I’m here’? What about those family members that have been quietly fighting their own battles? Should I give up on them? Of course not, but there is that thing where you have to respect yourself enough to say ‘STOP’ and take time to reassess your life’s plans and goals, otherwise it will be all over in the blink of an eye.
Take the music from a song you like and really read the words. To paraphrase a few lines from Stealer’s Wheel (and perhaps it thus changes the meaning):
Why am I here? Things don’t feel right. I’m a little scared and a bit worried. People are all around me, I’m stuck in the middle, and I’m not sure what to do. Friends will come and help.
Perhaps it’s not quite the message the group were aiming for, and maybe you interpret it completely differently, but at this moment in time, this is the song that reached out to me and made me stop and think. Have you got one guiding you at the moment? Maybe it keeps popping into your head? Why not remove the music and just read the lyrics? See if it has a new meaning.
It was put to me today that with all of these thoughts and everything that’s going on, I’m being suffocated. Maybe not physically, but certainly mentally (although in the end, allow it to consume you and it will become physical). I’d not thought of it in this way, but it’s beginning to feel like that. If you ever reach that stage, know there is someone out there somewhere who cares for you, who will listen. They may be busy writing emails, hanging out the washing, reading Stealers Wheel lyrics, or simply putting children to bed, but if they care, and I mean truly care, they will make time for you.
Accept it. Accept their time. Accept their care. Accept your life. Accept things can improve. Accept things can change. Accept that how things are is not necessarily how things will always be. Just learn to accept. Do it. Accept.