I can’t do ‘balance’

image from Google images

Whether its ‘stand on one leg’ kind of balance or ‘life balance’ kind of balance.  It doesn’t matter which, I’m crap at both.

I get an idea and I’m hooked, I can’t do things by half measures, I don’t know when to stop.  I work from home and I love my work.  There’s always too much to do and I can’t switch off.   I also do voluntary work, which is very much linked to my paid job and when I get started on a project I want to do it properly, I feel a real passion for it and can’t leave it half un-done.  I’ve started writing the blog, which is also a great passion and links with the work I do.  Again, I can’t walk away from it.  If I want it to make a difference I need to get readers, in order to get readers I need to promote it which means investing time in social networking.

I love swimming, but haven’t been for ages, convincing my-self there is too much else to do.  I haven’t grown any vegetables in the garden this year, partly because of the hose pipe ban earlier in the year and I didn’t think I’d be able to water the garden, but also because I didn’t think I could invest the time in it this year.

I enjoy cooking and baking, but only cooking and baking if I do it all from scratch.  I can’t be bothered and I’m not interested in just getting something out of the freezer and heating it up.  I want to be able to plan it properly and have the time to create something using all the basic ingredients.

I want to do nice things, play games, go out for days and do activities with the children, but I’m more comfortable doing it if I can sit down and plan it all out gather the materials, plan the day, organise a picnic etc.  I’m no good at doing it spontaneously.  I feel stressed and out of control.

I know I’m like this, I’ve probably always been like this, but I don’t know how to change it. Indeed, the more I think about it and think about the needs an issues my Son has, I wonder if I can or, even, should want to change, but I do need to find a way of accepting it and living with it.  In the past when I’ve known that one thing has taken over more than it should I’ve found help, I’ve dealt with it.  Except that have I?  We might have discussed the particular problem, focus etc. but I move on to some other form of control / focus, whatever you like to call it.  I have never managed to deal with the whole issue of getting things into a manageable perspective where I can do a bit of everything and accept where I can’t do things perfectly.  I know I have to try.  I’ve suffered hugely because of my lack of balance in the past so what do I do?

I seem to be an ‘all or nothing’ kind of person.  I’ve worked my self stupid for the last few weeks until last week when I was so tired and began to get so disillusioned with things I just needed a break, so I haven’t done anything for a few days apart from go to Legoland with the children and cook a nice family BBQ on Sunday.  I need to start again, but I’m worried about looking because I know I’ll get sucked in and what I really want to do is to relax a bit so that I can focus on B as his anxiety levels rise with the impending school change.  I also need to put some time into thinking about a plan for the summer holiday and I still have the dreaded DLA form to do for my Daughter.

I’m fed up because I’m working, trying to do things. I don’t feel like I’m making a difference.  All I’ve had in the last week are negative comments related to work.  People who don’t want emails any more.  I’m working my arse off and these people don’t care!  Don’t they care about the cuts in funding to services for disabled people?  Don’t they care about what this government is doing to the people who are least able to stand up for themselves?   I get fed up, so I eat too many biscuits and I’m not cooking enough ‘proper’ food.  I’m doing no exercise and I feel rubbish because of it, not just the physical effect of eating too much junk and doing too little exercise, but the emotional effects of feeling inadequate because I can’t get it all right.

I think I need to go and live on a desert island – except it would need to have air-con and an internet connection!

Sometimes I just feel so inadequate, if I do one thing well I let a whole heap of other people down and then I feel crap.  How the hell can you balance stuff and feel like you’re doing an OK job at least some of the time for some of the people?

Oh s..t – I’ve just read this through and am now wondering whether to publish it, but if this whole blogging thing is about being honest then I suppose I should.  So, to all of you who know me in real life – I apologise and you might want to steer clear for a bit.  If I haven’t done things I said I would I’m sorry.  Why is it easier to write it down with a whole bunch of strangers reading than it would be sit and tell people who are my friends and colleagues?  – Well i can answer that one.  – If I talked about it I’d cry and I feel that if you see me cry you won’t think I can do it and then I’ll feel even more crap.

So there, that’s it – that’s me and that’s how it is at the moment.  How am I supposed to help my Son with changing school and his anxiety when I feel so crap myself?

Thanks for reading – you’d best go get yourself a G&T or a bar of chocolate now.

About Violets Diary

Visually impaired Mum, with VI hubby, 2 disabled children. Disability campaigner, novice blogger and tweeter. Trying to put the world to rights and share our journey and positive stories.
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10 Responses to Balance

  1. Oh hunny, thanks for letting me know you’ve written this – I so feel your pain.

    What I’ve found is that I can’t have more than 3 priorities in my life, and that’s all there is space for. I can be sure of those 3, but can’t be sure of anything else. I have other things on my ‘to do list’, but I accept I can’t get them done.

    When I forget about this, I get stressed, overwhelmed, upset, knackered – and then give myself a good talking to, remind myself about my priorities and get back on the straight an narrow.

    On my post about ‘Can Mums have it all’, I’ve linked to one about picking 3 things (just try anything at first, and tweak later) – have a go and if you need a chat I’m always here on the end of Skype xxx

    • Thank you so much for this. I will look at the other links. The hardest thing is even on the ‘to do’ list loads of the things involve other people, so I always feel like I’m letting them down if i say ‘no’ and some stuff I might agree to do and then the task mushrooms or others drop out or some crisis happens and I can’t fulfill the original commitment and in the area I work there is very little capacity for anyone else to take it on. I think I do need to stop and think for a bit though. I’ll give the priorities some thought. xx

  2. I can’t do balance either – I am very much an “all or nothing” kind of girl.

    I bounce from one obsession to another, never doing anything by halves. I’m upset that all the seeds I bought this year, and the raspberry bushes, and everything else that I always plant, were sown and planted by D because of my broken toe. I feel as though something is missing.

    And yet I still have cross-stitch, pickling, learning to play the ukulele (why do I need seven ukuleles? I don’t know, I just liked the colours), blogging, reading and gaming to do, but it’s not enough without having grown my own produce this year. The only “gardening” I’ve managed this year is to give my Nan’s Tradescantia plant a long overdue pruning to save its weight from killing it. Now I have the parent and three succesful cuttings – not including the three I gave away! The plant is over 30 years old and my sister rescued it from Nan’s living room for me when she died.

    I need to learn to balance so that I stop worrying so much!

  3. 1funmum says:

    I am lmao right now. You awesome type A girl you. only a type A personality freaks out about not getting it all done. I do it too lol. I worry about worrying to much. I just have to get things done. I over plan every thing. Ive been told I make it complicated. You may need a vacation. Lazy days. I’m trying to accept my self too. I use to have too many to do lists. I think I like the post about top three priorities. Hmmmm I think I would make my three so vague so I could break it down to smaller parts and then have more priorities lol. Don’t know why people don’t want there emails but gotta say you do a fab job getting the info out and fighting for disabilities rights. What you do is commendable and not many can do it. I bet it can feel like banging your head on the same wall eh. I do love your blog though and I think your awesome to keep up with it all. Not only do you take time to do it but you write a lot of positive things. And they are true to your self. Some people write a lot of nonsense or they use blogs for gossip. You use your voice to help get buses going and help others see what special needs is like in a positive way. From the mom perspective. Hope you will always find the time to write. Enjoy it with my coffee. Keep it real girl keep it real. And maybe it’s time for a real vacation not just Lego land. 🙂 big hugs

    • Thank you. That’s a really nice comment. I’m glad someone thinks I’m trying to make a difference. Sometimes when it all gets on top of me I start to think I’m banging my head against the wall and no-one cares. I guess if it was easy I wouldn’t have to do it. x

  4. fl1pper says:

    I recognise a lot of myself in your description! After making myself ill a few times trying to do it all, I had Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and found it really, very useful in helping me to be able to make priorities and put myself first. I was referred by my GP. I also used 2 books that were very helpful, the Feeling Good Handbook by Dr Burns, and Mind Over Mood by Greenberger and Padesky, both should still be on Amazon. A lot of the therapy is about Twisted Thinking and how to change it – challenging thoughts like ‘if I don’t do this I am a failure’, ‘if I show my feelings to a colleague they will think I can’t cope and that would mean I’m crap’. A lot of the statements you make about yourself above are very negative and harsh, more harsh than you would ever be to anyone else! I hope this helps.

    • Thanks, I’ve had a couple of lots of CBT. Each focussed on a particular issue I was having at the time and both times it helped with the issue involved but although I know the theories about challenging thoughts etc I don’t tend to realise that i’m doing too much or that its all getting out of hand until its too late. The negative feelings are piling in and I don’t have time to stop, think and challenge them, so it all gets worse. I know I have to do it, but in order to do that I have to stop doing some of the things I might have committed to and then I feel crap cos i’m letting people down. I think i’m starting to get better at recognising what i need to do and when, but at the moment I do seem to be a having a bit of a ‘i can do it all for a while’ followed by a ‘help i need to stop and re-group’ phase. Anyway, thanks for stopping by and commenting and thanks for the book suggestions.

  5. Deb says:

    HI Violet; I tend to be all or nothing as well. I can get very easily absorbed by something so that all my energies go into one thing and everything else gets forgotten. I was particularly obsessive when doing my degree; I lived and breathed the dam thing. I also tend to be a bit impulsive at times and take on too many things but then find I can’t do them because of lack of time or energy. Then I feel guilty at letting others down and then I sense people aren’t very impressed with me which then leads to this feeling of failure. I’ve now given up a lot of my interests and am trying to do things that I know I can achieve in the time Ive got but its still making me frustrated.

    • Yep, that’s exactly how it is, but if I gave up doing some of the stuff I like I’d still get sucked in to other things. Recently it’s been work, which is about campaigning and I’ve been doing far more hours than I’m paid for and is good for me. And if it wasn’t work it would be over-stressing about the children and school or something. I just need to find a way of accepting it and a strategy for trying to get a bit more balance. xx

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