I’ve been feeling a little rough around the edges lately. Maybe it’s the school holidays finally catching up with me. Maybe it’s dealing with the emotion of my youngest heading off to school. Maybe it’s all the change we’ve experienced in the past six months. Maybe it’s because I haven’t exercised for a while. Maybe it’s nothing at all.
But whatever it is, it came to a head last night. Feeling frayed around the edges after a week of bad sleep, I started to spiral.
I commenced winding myself up by conjuring a few catastrophes that must surely be lurking on the horizon. First I had a vision of my son drifting out to sea in a small sailing boat, as a large fin cut through the water towards him. Then when I heard a noise coming from next door I decided it was my new young neighbours sending out an invitation to the world via Facebook for the biggest bad-arse party my suburb will ever witness.
As I started to gain speed with these thoughts I then turned my attention to myself.
I lamented about the renovations I never seem to get around to. Then I moaned internally about the book I abandoned last year after only 3000 words. From there I went on to hating myself for the lack of exercise in my life. And then I gave myself a mental kick up the arse for my career that could be bigger and better. I mean seriously. WHAT must people think of me?
The centrifugal force of my self-loathing fiercely spun into a tornado of self-pity.
But how could I expect to keep up when so many things were against me? The bazillion other things I have to do. The new neighbours keeping me up at night. The builders working in our street who wake me up so early every morning. The way big businesses treat working parents. The property prices in Australia. The property prices in Ireland. Oh, the property prices! The property prices!
Obsess. Obsess. Obsess. Spin. Spin. Spin.
I spiralled so hard I collapsed in front of Busy-And-Important-Husband and squirted liquid from my eyes at him. Hot steaming grown-up tears as I complained to him that my perfect little world wasn’t as perfect as I thought it should be.
“You are blowing things out of proportion,” was his calm and rational response.
But clearly he was wrong so I spiralled out of the living room like the Looney Tunes Tasmanian Devil. And then I logged on to Twitter, because I had to beat myself up just that little bit more by seeing what all the witty and wonderful people of the world were doing.
But as I opened my laptop I noticed an email I had left opened from earlier in the week. It was from Kelly Exeter – a Perth-based blogger and designer – who has also recently written a book. She had sent me an early electronic copy, which I hadn’t had a chance to read. You know. All those other bazillion things I have to do.
The book is called Your Best Year Yet, but it was subtitle of her book that grabbed me: “7 simple ways to shift your thinking and take back control of you life”. I figured now was the time so I opened the PDF and started to read. And the first chapter was like a light bulb.
Kelly starts by confessing she once had a superiority complex about the things in her life she felt smug about. So she challenged herself to realise: “I am no better than anyone else.” And then she said something magical happened.
“Do you have any idea how freeing it is when you stop looking both up at and down on people? When you truly consider every person on earth to be your equal?”
“When we start treating everyone we come across with the same level of respect…we start to show ourselves more respect too.”
“Achieving this state of ease, this level of respect for yourself is a magical and perfect place.”
I was sold. My spinning slowly eased as I devoured the rest of her book. Nodding enthusiastically at her suggestions for managing time, making decisions, changing habits into new and better habits, facing your fears and living your life.
It was like Kelly Exeter put her finger through my laptop screen and gave me a firm poke between the eyes at a time when I needed it most.
Needless to say, I totally recommend her book. If any of this resonates with you, you can download it here. It’s a quick and easy read and I know I will be re-reading it over and over.
And I will also hopefully spin a little less.