Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Back on the dancefloor

Well, just a little bit, anyway.

As Redcap points out in her comment, it has been Quite a Long Time since I last posted, so I thought maybe I should let people know that I am still alive and relatively well.

I think getting out of the habit of posting is a little like getting out of the habit of going out dancing. After a while, you wonder if you actually remember how. And whether you could ever do it in the first place, or if you just looked really stupid and nobody was mean enough to point it out. (Though that last point probably relates more to dancing than blogging.)

I've decided to take the plunge (or a toe in the water) anyway, though I can't say that I am in the frame to be particularly edifying or amusing.

The honest truth is that in the last week I have been experiencing a bit of mania. I've had depression before, and it feels like that, but I'm pretty sure I'm not depressed. I'm happy with my life. I think I just have a temporary chemical imbalance. It's like I can feel myself outside of my body, and I'm not really sure that what my body is doing and (mostly) what my mouth is saying is quite right. But I do it anyway ...

And little things devastate me at the moment. I've had two sleepless nights over a designer moving my words around on the publication I edit. And had a couple of ill-advised, now regretted passionate rants on the topic (to my manager and the poor designer in question).

My perfectionist streak is going haywire.

***

I found out from another parent at Auskick on Saturday that F had been upset that I didn't turn up to listen to his class read on Friday. (I usually do it, but hadn't told him I would and the week before when I turned up the class was missing - in the library, as it turned out - and I had to turn back and go home. So I didn't think he would NECESSARILY expect me.) I was gutted. I felt like the worst mother in the world. Worse (and this is where the chemical imbalance and saying what I know is the wrong thing even as I say it kicks in), I told him that.

An hour or so after I'd first discussed it with him, I bought us cinnamon donuts at Donut King, sat down in the white plastic food court above Dick Smith's and Reader's Feast and pitched a heartfelt apology. Which was fine, I think. Then I shook my head and said, with real feeling and a heavy sigh, 'I'm a terrible mother'. Which was not fine.
'You're not!' he said, with real concern. 'You're a GREAT mother! Look! You bought me a donut AND a milkshake.' (Which did NOT make a great mother, incidentally.)
'Thank you' I said. 'I'm sorry.'
'Don't ever say that again.' He looked a bit distressed.
'Okay.'
'You're being like me' he said, after a minute had passed and his donut was gone.
'Sorry?'
'You're being too hard on yourself. Just like you told me I was doing at footy.'
'Thank you. You're right. I am lucky to have a son like you.'

And I am. I'm also lucky I gave him such excellent advice earlier in the day, at Auskick. It coming right back at me like that, at that moment, is the best (and most literal) example of good karma I've ever experienced.

***

Some of this may be because I have accepted a trio of quite high profile public speaking events in the next fortnight and I am terrified. I suffer from terrible stage fright, and though I do generally manage to pull it off, there is always the fear that I will forget my words or my voice will shake. And I haven't done anything in front of an audience for some years, and on radio (where no one can see you, so safer) for six months or so. I'm a facilitator at these events, not the person people have come to hear, but still ...

I am trying to tell myself I am not worried and that I will be fine. Maybe all that nervous energy is just being displaced to the rest of my life.

Hmmm. You may see from this jumbled string of thoughts why I haven't been blogging so much. Ah well. Maybe I'll be a tad more graceful next time around.

6 comments:

Eleanor Bloom said...

We all get to places like this at times where our thoughts go round as we try to analyse our way out of the stress. It's yuk.
I get too hard on myself too, and have perfectionist tendencies (kinda the same thing really).

I love how your son said that to you (plus, that's not too big a mistake, you're allowed them you know).

I have been wondering how you've been as I expected you to be stressed with the major changes you've had on your plate lately. I can't imagine how you couldn't be.

Imagine someone else is in your position, like a best friend or something. Sometimes doing that can help you get perspective and see what it is you are needing.

If you need to say no to some things do it. That's the hardest thing for me. I tend to feel I'm a failure if I don't do everything expected of me. But it's really a strong thing to do to speak up for yourself. And I must say I quite liked that you ranted at a couple of people; I want to learn to do that!

Thanks for letting us know how you are. I have been thinking of you as I said.

And if I've prattled on like some old woman here I don't care. I can't bloody give you a hug from here so will ramble in a soppy manner instead.

Oh, and nothing wrong with popping a few happy pills for a few months to get the chemicals back in whack so that they get their act together (naughty beggars).

Anonymous said...

It's really good to see your blog again. I look for it every morning. F was concerned and had the ability to express himself because of your parenting and the skills/outlook you have given him.

You'll do fine once you start speaking. Do a bit of actual rehearsing from broad notes, so that you can hear yourself speak, and it will seem more within your recent experience when the time comes. We all get nervous when we have to do something we haven't done for a time. The thing is ... you know your subject matter and the nature of your audience very well so you will pitch well. The rest is incidental, provided you let yourself have a bit of flexibility.

Seems like the major issues are assimilated and the household is getting on with life. It's good to hear about your adventures again.

Love, Dad

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you back. Good on you for living your life and being honest about it. More strenght to you and yours, because of it, Martha Maus

elsewhere said...

Enjoyed this post...do come back, even if only from time to time.

genevieve said...

Good luck, Ariel, I am sure you will make the best choice for yourself. And everything Eleanor says - right on, plus hugs.
Thanks for coming back to keep us all in touch, it's perfectly coherent and makes a lot of sense. Take care out there.

Ariel said...

Thanks all!

And EB, not an old woman at all. Some good advice in there - esp the imagining someone else in my position. I think I will wait until my engagements are over and then see how normal (or not) I feel.

Martha - hi!

Elsewhere, I am loving reliving my travels through your blog right now!

Genevieve - I'm glad I'm actually making sense.