As I mentioned in my year round up, ‘Miss Kimmy Cupcake’s Annual Review and New Year Message’, 2016 helped me realise that I can not continue with the same momentum as I had been going at. I was rushing around, trying to accommodate everyone and everything. Putting other people first, putting pressure on myself and often leaving little to no time for myself or any quality time with my husband.
Looking deeper at myself, I also found that I was pouring a lot of energy into my writing and blog and my social media accounts. Putting a lot of time into liking and commenting on my friend’s pages and trying to keep abreast of everything going on in the social-media world. I was putting unnecessary pressure on myself to try and be involved, to make sure people knew I cared. Why? No one would mind, and probably not even notice, if I didn’t check my accounts daily and like their comments or pictures. I feel I had got myself tangled and caught up into all sorts of things that ultimately, just do not matter.
I enjoy doing my little blog and as I’ve said on numerous occasions, I’m always extremely grateful when someone gets in touch and comments or messages to let me know their thoughts on my writings. But I started putting that pressure on myself to have something written every week. It HAD to be done. Some people enjoy my blog, but it’s not life or death- if I miss a week, or a month, it doesn’t matter. Nobody would really care. They may miss reading it, but nothing bad would happen if I didn’t do it. The world as we know it wouldn’t stop. I do like to have consistency and I do take my blog seriously, but ultimately, it’s something I do for myself. It’s a positive and should stay as such. As soon as I put that pressure on, or if I just don’t have time to put pen to paper and get stressed about it, it becomes a negative. Which is what I don’t want.
Keeping in touch with family and friends- texting and messaging or arranging to meet up for a meal or catch up can be really difficult to juggle and keep up to. I love my family and friends, but when it gets to the stage when you are doing a lot of the chasing, or running circles around yourself to try and accommodate everyone, it gets really hard. Have you ever been the friend that always has to do the arranging of a get together, or always sends the first text to say, ‘Hi, it’s been a while, how are you?’ ? It’s draining and isn’t sustainable. If I’m not the top of anyone’s else’s list, why should I put them on top of mine? My time is extremely precious, as is everybody’s. It needs to be spent more wisely.
Towards the end of last year, I started looking at my life and the circles my husband and I were running around in. Working full-time, trying to be there for everyone who needed us, visiting everyone and being unable to say no to people. Lots of things were taking a piece, and all of those pieces were adding up. My husband looked absolutely knackered and that was the wake-up call I needed. We didn’t want to make anyone feel bad or for it to seem like we didn’t care anymore- but we needed to claim back our lives for ourselves.
We explained to loved ones that we had to scale back the amount of visits, etc going forward. The money involved with travelling was eating into what we had, and just the physical aspect of permanently being on the go was getting too much. No one had demanded that we visit them ‘x’ amount of times per year, it’s just how things evolved over time. Self imposed stress and pressure again.
Now, all of that sounds very negative and almost selfish, but it really isn’t. It doesn’t come from a negative or bitter place at all. It’s all about reassessment and balance. I love seeing my friends, I love doing my blog, I love seeing everyone’s cheery and exciting posts on social media and chatting to people on there. All of those things are nice to do, but if push comes to shove, they are not vital. It’s OK to pick things up as and when you’re able and let them go when necessary, for your own sanity and quality of life.
At the start of the year, I’ve started taking time out each day to just pause and think. Time just for me and my thoughts. To calm and to assess and ask myself questions. A sort of meditation I suppose.
I’ve asked myself what is important to me, where my happiness lies, my future, plans I have, my job, my home, relationships…everything. I’ve mulled over a lot of things. Taking that time out to face things and question, not to just accept. We already know the answers to most things we are pondering, we just don’t like what is ultimately is the right answer, so chose to ignore it. They may not always be the answers we want, but they are the answers we need.
Sometimes just facing up to things and making a decision- even if it’s not our dream scenario, can make us feel so much better about things. When things are up in the air and we don’t know which way to turn, that can often make us feel in turmoil and unsettled. Making a choice and accepting that decision can help settle our minds. We know where we stand and we can build on from that.
As humans, we want to be involved, we want to be included and thought of and popular, it’s in our nature. But that ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ lifestyle and mentality isn’t maintainable long term. Doing all of those things that we impose on ourselves- what we think we should be doing, often leaves us missing the very point of life. Of our own happiness. Of what is right in front of our own faces. We need to unplug, to let go and set ourselves free to really live.
If something is not serving you or of mutual benefit to both yourself and the other person involved in any given situation, there is nothing wrong with letting it go. There doesn’t have to be any bitterness or nastiness, or any major drama. Blow them a kiss and say goodbye.
Nobody owes us anything and vice versa. Our happiness is our own to create. We impose commitments and obligations and stress upon ourselves- most of the time we don’t even realise we’re doing it. If we have created this monster, we can destroy it.
Now, I’m not saying become a hermit and live a minimalist life! Your loved ones will always be your loved ones, Facebook will always be there and the world will keep turning. Just assess what is actually important to you, what is aiding you in your journey and where your limits are. Take things for what they are too. Things are only important or vital if we make them so. Don’t feed energy into things that are ultimately just crap and do not matter. No one can live your life for you and it’s no one else’s responsibility to make your life an easy or a happy one. You decide what makes you happy, how you want to live your life and at what speed.
These are just my shackles that I created and got caught up in, everyone’s lives are different- there are a whole host of things out there that we put pressure on ourselves about and dare not deviate from- for what? These things, life, are meant to be enjoyed. Social media is always a big draw and is often found all-consuming by a lot of people. Others feel pressured to work out every single day, they dare not drop the ball, even once, in case it has an impact on their body. Missing one gym class will do no harm. Others have the need to clean everyday, everything has to be perfect and in it’s place- not hoovering for one day- a few days- will not make your house filthy. Some of us get caught up in diets or routines or the way we look or obtaining certain items and clothes…. Just let yourself breathe. Is any of it really important? Really, really? There is a difference between wanting to do something and feeling pressured, feeling obligated to. Want is fine- it’s good, it’s healthy. Pressured is not. Push it to the side and have a break.
It can be really difficult, scary even, to even begin to let go and change our habits. This is how our lives have been for so long. This is what we’re used to. We like to be in control and know exactly what to expect and when. If we let go, the control freak inside all of us gets a little worried. It’s that stepping out of your comfort zone feeling. But that’s OK, it will pass. Everything will be OK. You are not doing anything bad or wrong or nasty. You’re just taking back your own life and taking responsibility for your own happiness.
I often visualise diving into a deep body of water. It’s beautiful and clear and fresh. I dive in and it makes me feel cleansed and refreshed. I stretch my arms forward and round to my sides, doing a breaststroke, sweeping everything out from in front of me and brushing it to the side. Then I come up for the most glorious breath of fresh air. I breathe deep, fill my lungs and upon exhalation, I feel calm and settled.
Set yourself free, dive in.
With much love,
Miss Kimmy Cupcake xx
*Water images from Google Images search