Somewhere around November, I kind of lost the plot last year. I kicked some major professional goals, accomplished some really huge work-related milestones and it felt fantastic, but it didn’t come free. At some point I had so many things on the go, I felt like the dude spinning plates. You know – this one:
That one that dropped? That was me looking after me.
An unfortunate collision of events (starting with a fractured toe and going downhill from there) meant I dropped my treadmill running in October. Death of my beloved dog (it was a bad year for Cartellian canines, with the loss of Gill’s dear Yoyo, then my sweet Elke, and finally Sarah’s precious Jedi) and many late nights working into the wee hours resulted in excess consumption of – well, let’s be honest, pretty much everything.
At some point I realised I hadn’t actually showered in four days and a different day had the entire household actively hunting for my hairbrush that had been AWOL for over a week. My inner dialogue convinced me my hair was looking ‘beachy’ and ‘summery’, bang it in a bun and good to go! But between you and I? It was one big fucking matted dreadlock that I seriously thought I was going to need to cut out with scissors.
Obviously this was not planned. I’m pleased to say my child was (relatively) well groomed and dressed. Her meals were (reasonably) fresh and her nightmares were placated. After all, it’s easy when you’re still up working at 3am to pop in and settle the tears down, really… I’m not really sure when I slipped from being busy-and-productive to just being busy-and-self-destructive, but it definitely happened. I didn’t see many friends. I didn’t allow myself down time. I convinced myself I had to work every second I had spare.
I would like to blame fatigue. The same fatigue that leaves newborn mums feeling like they HAVE to do everything themselves, that asking for help is a language from another galaxy not available to them and that to show any sign of failure is inhuman. But really, I’ve been there, come out the other side of that, learnt that lesson, know the telltale signs. I think what actually happened is that I may have given up on myself a bit.
Not proud of that. But you know what? I’ve decided to own it. YES, I LOST MY HAIRBRUSH FOR OVER A WEEK AND I LET MY HAIR GO FERAL. It actually took about 40 minutes in the shower with a truckload of conditioner to resolve it. I avoided the scissors by about a day, I reckon.
But as in the past, I’ll own this experience. I’ll learn from it. I’ll do better next time. Because the thing is, for all the whining and whingeing we do, the only person responsible for us, is us. If there’s something about me I don’t like, be it my weight, or my (lack of) commitment to prioritising exercise, the way I speak to a stranger or my dedication to a daily shower, the bottom line is me.
And the best thing? I CAN CHANGE.
I know I can – I’ve done it. It takes time and effort to be consistent, but when you affect change and see a result – it feels amazing.
Look, I am even capable of having nice hair (but incapable of keeping a straight face for photos).
So this January, while Champagne Gill is vowing to be more Martha, less martyr, I’m pledging to myself to remember me. My toe has healed and I plan on resuming my treadmilling this week. I’ve got a plan not to lose myself in 2014. I even purchased a spare hairbrush.
And if I forget to look after me somewhere in this year ahead, can you remind me please?
How do remember to look after yourself? We’d love to hear your ideas!