Noticing

This morning I FaceTimed my beautiful, brave sister who has just moved to Australia to pursue an adventure of living over there this year.

When I asked her how she was doing, she told me that she was feeling a little bit homesick today. Not an unexpected feeling for someone who has moved the other side of the world and had a life in Bristol which was surrounded by more friends than I would know what to do with!

We’re so alike in some ways – our voices, our dazzling looks 😉 , our values – but in others, we couldn’t be more alike, with her having a massive group of friends and me preferring the company of one or two people. Me driven by doing and her happy to just be. Her more chilled, me more intense.

Anyway, enough of that detour into the difference between me and my sister!

I’ve been thinking about that conversation on-and-off today and wish in that conversation I’d said to her ‘I’m really sorry to hear that you’re feeling homesick. Do you want to talk about it and is there anything I can do?’

Instead, I peddled on with the conversation, distracted by what she had shared. Almost like a voice in my head saying ‘make her happy but don’t talk about the homesickness! Gah, what will I do if she’s not ok? How can I solve this?

Distracting thoughts. Thoughts coming from love for her, but mostly due to my discomfort with things not being perfect and easy-breezy fine.

I’d do anything for my sister, but in my early morning brain fog my brain didn’t work fast enough to notice what I was doing – avoiding my emotions. Letting my fear of not being enough for her in that moment run away with me, my awkwardness at her not being 100% and naming what was going on for her.

But I’m noticing it now and I know that there will be a day, hopefully in the not too distant future where my brain will engage and I’ll be able to notice in the moment what is going on.

And when that day comes, I’ll say ‘I’m sorry to hear you’re feeling homesick and I’m noticing that I’m jumping to wanting to solve everything for you so that your life is perfect…but life isn’t meant to be perfect and I know that’s not what you’re asking of me. So what can I do? What do you need from me?

One day I’ll notice in the moment and until then I’ll try to be kind to myself and remind myself that I’m doing my best.

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Feeling

I’m feeling so many things at the moment as my life prepares to shift dramatically again.

I’ve only got 2 weeks left of my maternity leave in Brighton before I go off on an adventure of a lifetime to Asia with my husband and my baby boy. And then after that I’m going to be returning to work full-time and my husband is going to take over the full-time care of my son.

I know these things are right for me – going abroad in search of new experiences as a family is sure to strengthen my family and it fills me with such excitement.

And going back to work and giving my husband time to bond with our son – time I’ve already had – is also so important and right for us as a family.

But I’m still feeling all shook up as the end (or the start of a new beginning) is upon us.

And it would be so easy to push down all the negative feelings with food in this moment, as I have so many times before. The anxiety, the fear, the feeling of wanting to freeze time, the frustration.

But I know that this doesn’t serve me at all.

It just buried the pain deep inside me. A pain I’ll have to feel at one time or another.

So I’m choosing to feel how I feel at 4am as my son plays next to me.

Sadness that our precious time together is coming to an end and that I’ll miss so many ‘firsts’ as I’m back in the office.

Frustration that so much of the next 2 weeks is jam-packed with plans when I just want to be in my baby cocoon and just be with my son.

Anxiety about the unknown – how we’ll cope with a jet-lagged baby (by taking things easy I suppose), whether my husband will cope with the constant haggling we’ll need to do abroad, how our time in Vietnam will work out.

These feelings are sad ones, hard ones, feelings that are due to projecting into the future and thinking ‘what if’ ‘what if’ ‘what if’. So they’re not feelings I can deal with by being proactive.

There are some things I can do –

Reduce the plans in my diary over the next 2 weeks.

Feel the anxiety, frustration and fear – these feelings sit in my stomach and on my chest like a weight.

Acknowledge that this is how I feel. Just getting it out there by sharing what’s going on with you, dear friend, is enough to reduce some of the urge to push down my feelings with food.

So I’ll keep feeling what I’m feeling. It’s the only way of being which doesn’t end with self-destruction.