This is not a mid-life crisis. At least, I hope not. When I started this blog almost two years ago, I was conscious that it could easily become a midlife version of my teenage diaries: the angst could be the same, just about different things.
Only a few months ago, I resolved to spend 2011 being positive. I know I can have a tendency to rant and rail at the world from time to time, when in fact I have a lot to be grateful for. That said, life in the last few weeks has become extraordinarily hectic, even by ‘normal’ family standards, and mostly not in a good way.
Work seems less stable, more prone to almost daily changes in priorities flying from all directions and a to-do list that never seems to get any smaller. My parents-in-law have both been unwell, causing a good deal of worry and requiring several trips to visit them. I’ve been trying (and largely succeeding) to extend and finish our garden patio, not to mention the demands of Easter (Rachel is active in the music and other aspects of her Church), our gorgeous children, my battered, failing and very expensive car, even not having the time to write this blog…
Many of these could be labelled as #firstworldproblems, and, dear reader, you’d be more than justified in giving me a metaphorical (or actual) slap across the face and telling me to buck up. But only this morning a friend and business contact described ‘people like us’ as “MIDLIFE MANICS“, spinning multiple plates, existing on too little sleep and not working much beyond a rolling 48 hour horizon. If it’s not something happening in the next couple of days, we can’t really focus on it.
And then last week I listened to a song by Roddy Woomble that really touched a nerve.
Abandon your ambitions – you’re overwhelmed by what you haven’t done,
And it doesn’t last for ever, not even the moon and the sun,
A new day has begun.
Forget all those promises that only fools remember
And you’ll be dazzled by the dark, troubled by the stars,
Short on regret, burnt by the sun,
A new day has begun.
I woke up early this morning and the birds were singing their impossible songs,
They have that notion every day with plenty more than I can say.
And I trust their expectations
And like good songs, they can always be sung to the tune of another song.
A Wise Man once told me to try to do my best every day. More importantly, acknowledge that some days my best might not actually be very good. But try to do my best, however good that might be. If it’s not great, recognise it and move on. Then tomorrow, I can try to do my best again.
I’ve had some rubbish days recently, where my best hasn’t been very good at all. But I’m trying to recall that advice, to be present in the present, to be conscious and aware of myself and my environment. Sometimes there are only limited gains to be had from dwelling on what has happened and what I might have done, or in looking ahead to what might or might not happen.
I’m trying not to be overwhelmed by what I haven’t done. Tomorrow a new day begins, and I shall try to do my best.