Thursday, 26 September 2013

I had a poo in my pants

I often get a poo in my pants, not literally of course, but you know when you just feel sorry for yourself, thinking you are awesome and getting frustrated because the rest of the world doesn’t see it.  You feel unappreciated and taken for granted by all those around you.  It is this awful feeling that I am referring to when I say I have a poo in my pants (P.I.M.Ps).

When I am experiencing all the symptoms of P.I.M.Ps life if not fun, I suffer dark moods, paranoia, helplessness and frustration that nobody understands me.  It results in a lot of sulking but sometimes it leads to me quitting jobs, ending friendships, yelling at my children and sometimes husband with threats to leave home FOREVER and I get cranky at God!  It is all consuming. 

The best way to describe it is like a beautiful crystal clear warm beach, lovely gentle waves, everybody safely swimming, laughing, joking, completely emerged in the magnificence of the moment.  Then completely unexpectedly a big, angry wave starts to quietly form in the background, no one notices and then all of a sudden it roars towards the shore, sucking up more water, building force and then crashing with ferocity on the sandy beach, leaving everybody dishevelled, upset, a little scared and debris scattered across the sand.  In this scenario I am both the wave and one of the innocent people dumped by the wave and unceremoniously plonked on the sand with my swimmers dislodged and revealing some of my most private areas to all other beach goers.

The severity, duration and frequency of the illness is irregular and difficult to measure, it wouldn’t occur more than once a month and can last for one hour to one week, depending on how successful I am at convincing myself that my life is repetitive, my family is ungrateful and nobody understands me because I am obscure and truth be told fascinating in a way that words cannot describe, haha. 

There are a number of treatments to remove the poo from my pants and improve my outlook on life.  Firstly I eventually realise I have ‘a poo in my pants’ and usually this thought makes me smile and the symptoms pass.  Otherwise I see something shiny, sparkly or pretty and this also makes me smile and the symptoms pass.  I can see a beautiful smile from my friends, children or husband, or even just go outside and water my seedlings all of which can make the symptoms pass. 

Once the poo is removed from my pants I can see the sun shining, I hear the birds singing, I can enjoy the children laughing and I remember how incredibly awesome my life is.  I am being a little bit cavalier about this but I do generally worry that one day the feelings might overwhelm me and I just might run away.  I also worry we may be creating generations of people who will suffer this illness, some with less severe symptoms and others will suffer profound and possibly life changing side effects.  At the slightest setback, whether it be feeling a little bit lonely, not having the perfect day, having to work a little bit harder to get something, waiting in line a little bit longer than expected, any of these little inconveniences can lead to the onset of the dreaded P.I.M.Ps. 

Building resilience is vital, and there is a lot of research around helping to build resilience in our children.  I think awareness is also important and I look forward to seeing a government advertising campaign in the future helping people recognise the symptoms of P.I.M.Ps and suggesting possible treatments.  Heheheh that makes me smile J

Saturday, 21 September 2013

I've got peace like a river ... not

Just a few minutes ago I was standing in my dark pantry, quietly unwrapping my last Lindor chocolate, trying to enjoy the soft delicate milk chocolate before my children found me and said 'I want one', 'I'm hungry', 'What can I do?' ... Luckily I could have a quiet chuckle to myself about how absurd it was to hide from my family and eat a chocolate but it did make me realise how hard it is to find peace sometimes.

Recently in Sunday School and Religious Instruction we have been singing 'I have peace like a river, I have peace like a river, I have peace like a river in my soul'.  I love this song but I can't say it truthfully applies to me. For a big part of my teenage years and most of my 20's I had very little peace, I was searching for something and I did not know what it was.  Soon after giving birth to our first daughter I found God and I found peace, since 2008 I have loved Jesus with my whole heart and just writing it makes me smile.  However I am still searching.  There is so much more God has to offer me and for a million reasons I can not quite grasp it.  It is an ongoing journey, and my challenge is to find peace, not be constantly frustrated by my inability to fully comprehend God's promise to me and all of mankind.

Some of my most peaceful moments are watching my children, whether it is trying to do long jump for the first time, to finish a puzzle all by themselves, dancing their little hearts out in the annual dance concert, singing in Sunday School or sleeping peacefully in their beds.  During these moments my heart feels completely at ease, completely captivated by their brilliance and beauty.  However, the mess they make, the continuous questions they ask, the food and drinks they need, the number of clothes they wear in one day all of these things do not bring me peace.  I can sometimes feel suffocated and very angry that my whole life revolves around serving them, what about me?  I need to find peace in every aspect of being a Mum, not just in the perfect moments.

I have been blessed that I was born at a time and in a country where every child has an opportunity to be educated, I was fortunate enough to go to university and obtain a degree and I have had a number of really enjoyable and rewarding jobs, that enabled me to be creative, productive and be recognised and appreciated within my community.  However, I am left feeling incredibly frustrated now because I don't know how to combine working in a meaningful and enjoyable job and being a good mum and wife.  I don't work at the moment and keeping up with cooking, shopping, washing, cleaning, homework, gardening and still having enough energy to be emotionally available and kind to my family and friends is a struggle.  I can't see a solution.  Instead of just enjoying this time at home I panic about what kind of job I will ever have in the future that will not cause our family unnecessary stress.

To add to this I feel so guilty that I don't feel peace all the time.  I read books and blogs about it, I pray about it, I am sure I bore my husband to tears talking about it, but none of it changes the fact that most of the time I do not feel peace like a river in my soul and I don't know how to change that.  I will continue to practise thankfulness, because I am truly overwhelmed with the abundant blessings in my life, but I just hope I don't have to wait till I get to 90 to feel peace here on earth.

Do you feel peace like a river in your soul?