I was first introduced to the concept of mindfulness during a work away day over 5 years ago. Our boss brought someone in to run a session on the topic and after going through the principles spent a bit of time getting the group to try them out. At the time my dad was seriously ill, my marriage break up was weighing heavily and my job was very stressful. I was struggling to let know of the worries of each day and was sleeping poorly.
However, that one session sticks in my mind. Because it showed me that I could let go of the thoughts crowding in. Even for a short period of time. At my next 1:1 I told my manager about my experience of that session – one of a sudden weightlessness and almost sleepiness. As I concentrated on where my hands, feet, bottom etc were and let the stress leave my body. She suggested I look for a course and do some reading, which I did. But for some reason I never followed through.
The main reason was that by actually recognising how stressed I had become, I began to look at ways to let it go. I began to speak about how overwhelmed I was and to seek support from other. In particular Master. We were in the first few months of our relationship back then. He was probably the first person who had ever picked up when things were not right. Also, but telling my manager about my dad and some of the problems at home I lightened my own load. So that when my dad was dying I was able to take time off work and go and care for him.
Even though I’ve been stressed since then, I have often used the principles of mindfulness I learned then. Taking some exercise is often a good way of relieving tensions, just going for a walk can be sufficient. This was something I used to do after work in the summer times. Rather than make me more tired it invigorated me and meant I could function. These days I don’t have the stress of work to worry about. But other worries sometimes flood my mind.
Concerns about my mother and how I can support her without it taking over my life. Thoughts about my health and how to make sure it is maintained and improved. Worries over aspects of our sex life and M/s dynamic. This is partly because I know we are both ageing and our bodies changing. Lately my orgasms have changed, as has my relationship with my remaining breast. Talking these worries through is so important and the fact we can is reassuring. We have sex in the mornings because that suits Master’s body better and I have grown more used to this than I used to be.
Events at Christmas threw me out of kilter. Since then I’ve had some odd conversations with my mum and we have tried to analyse what it all means. My brother and I are concerned for her welfare and inability to articulate what is wrong. That she lashes out at me so much is troubling. Master and I, my brother and I and my son and I have spent much too long recently discussing these issues.
I have been most troubled that despite saying that I was never going to allow others to dictate our life again that’s what I’ve been doing. That once again I tried to be the person who takes all of the stress on themselves so that others are free of it (namely my two brothers). But the events leading up to Christmas, the awful day we had with her on Christmas Day and the calls since tell me that must change. Of course I will be there when she needs me. She is 80 now and I know that need will be there. But I can control how I deal with her and I can also make sure others pull their weight.
That I have been able to recognise when things are going wrong definitely dates back to that one event in 2014. I’m grateful that work put on the event and that I went along to it. Going forward I am going to take a look at this resource suggested by Brigit and put together my own personal vision statement. I’ll report back when it’s done. This is all part of my attempt to be more mindful of how I use my time. That I want to be productive and to achieve the goals I’ve set myself.