Years ago I was introduced to the concept of values. It was when Mitch was about 14 months old and I’d recovered somewhat from my high anxiety and probable PND but there was still something niggling at me, something not quite right. So a friend of mine, Jen, sat me down and asked me over and over again “what is the most important value for you?” I came up with loyalty, honesty, harmony…you get the picture. Every time I said one of these things, she’d say “is that the most important value for you?” and I just knew they weren’t, even though they were high up there.
This went on for over half an hour and then it hit me “for people to be able to do what they want to do”. That was it. That. Was. It… Freedom to be able to do what you want to do.
I then started crying because at that moment I realised why I was feeling not quite right. I couldn’t just walk out the door to do whatever. I had no parental support as my mum and dad lived an hour away; my parents in law were still working and I only had one close friend who had a baby the same age as mine – so day after day it’d be me and Mitch. All day, every day and it nearly drove me mad.
Unfortunately it still does! Sigh. I get highly anxious before school holidays. I feel anxious before I even know what I’m feeling anxious about! Two weeks of trying to juggle the boys, work, etc, etc. And they’re with me all the time. They may do one day of a school holiday program but these things become expensive if you do more than a day or so. I look with envy at friends who have mums or mother in laws to help them out – even for a couple of hours a week. I was flat as the proverbial tack during the school holidays just gone and it’s so unfair on the boys who have no idea why their mum is so cranky at times. I’m still working on managing the school holidays. Conversely, I love the lack of structure. There’s just no pleasing me!
I have mixed feelings about freedom being my top value but it is what it is. It’s more than school holidays; it’s about not being too tied down, it’s about being spontaneous, it’s about just knowing about the possibility of adventure. I take certain measures with no guilt to make sure my freedom value is ‘looked after’ but it can be bloody annoying. It’s also meant that, after much philosophical discussion between Anth and I, instead of buying a bigger house with a humongous mortgage, we’ll spend those extra bucks on the holidays we love so much…exploring our beautiful country with our much loved boys. As long as Anth takes them off my hands for a couple of hours a couple of times a week. 🙂 That’s all I need. This is something we probably wouldn’t be able to do if we over-extended ourselves.
Speaking of holidays, I’m beyond excited because we’re off again in November on a mini road trip for three weeks. We’ll drive up to Byron Bay where Anth and the boys will drop me off at a meditation retreat (FIVE WHOLE DAYS!!!) I’ll then meditate and connect with my creativity and they’ll stay at the most awesome 5 star caravan park at Hastings Points just north of Byron and then they’ll pick me up the day before Mitch’s birthday and we’ll head to the Gold Coast and visit the theme parks and the magical Gold Coast hinterland for a week or so. Can’t wait.
So if you’re feeling ‘not quite right’ try exploring what your most important values are and then try and live your life aligned with those values. If you’re looking for some guidance in this area, I know a couple of really great people who can help you.