I have done some fabulous venting this week. If you have never tried venting I must urge you to have a go. I don’t mean the polite and useful kind:
More something like this:
Pressure point reached, I unleashed all the pent-up worries and frustration until the magma seas were calm again. And now I am ready for a relaxing weekend.
We are planning a trip to Belgium in a couple of weeks. Spending time with family and hanging around, enjoying the company and the things I miss back home. Actually, there’s been a major improvement on the “goodies I miss” front since last week: Sainsbury’s supermarket now stocks grey shrimps! I love them! Now I don’t have to take a car fridge anymore to bring some back. But I digress. Husband can feel a bit bored, as he doesn’t understand everything that is going on. He wants to play tourist sometimes. It is more difficult than you’d think to keep coming up with places an outsider might find interesting. I have told him I think we’ve pretty much covered the tourist hotspots. Belgium is about the size of a stamp, remember. Husband changes tack. He wants me to take him around where I grew up. He has been asking for years and I have managed to divert his attention to touristy things so far. What do I do now?
It is not that I have anything to hide. I have not run away from anything particularly, nor am I wanted for some ancient misdemeanor. And yet I have not been back to the town where I grew up for 20 odd years and am still reluctant to do so. I have been musing over what exactly I don’t want to face up to, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. I am probably not being honest with myself. Maybe I should schedule a night time session with myself to get some true answers. One thing I am clear about is that seeing our former home again, my home for the first 22 years of my life, passed down seven generations in the family and now some stranger’s home, is going to be emotional. A tangle of emotions at the memories of growing up there and the loss of it all. I am just not sure I want to open that box again. I have managed to move on by looking ahead, not back. I also worry about the impact it might have on my parents if I told them we were going there. I probably wouldn’t tell them. Husband understands, even if he doesn’t know every detail. Things have happened in his life too. But I also understand he would like to fill in the blanks in my history. He won’t force me; I’ll have to make my own decision.
The simpler but still unresolved decision is whether I should contact some of the people from way back then. There are some I hope I won’t run into in town, and if I do, I might pretend I don’t recognize them; there are also a few people it might be nice to reconnect with. At times it seems as if my history only goes about ten years back. I do feel home where I have decided to peg my tent. But maybe it is time to reconnect with older, deeper roots to find a more comfortable way of living with those closed boxes.
For now I’ll promise husband to show him the town, and I’ll decide on the day whether to go to the house. Depending on how strong I feel. I have another two weeks to reach out to people I may or may not like to see again – plenty of time for night time resolution.
Night time is possibly my favourite part of the day – no pun intended. I was never a morning person: too much stuff to get done and worry about. At night I come to rest. Time flows differently at night: it meanders and shifts with my thoughts, whirling or adrift.
The world is devoid of other people’s noise: no cars, trains, music – so I can feel utterly alone. I am comforted by the calls of the two types of owls in the woods behind the house. When the owls are around nothing ominous is, they are at ease, hunting and calling out to each other. Eating some vermin too, hopefully. Sometimes I hear foxes bark across the woods.
Worries unravel while I sit listening to the owls. Solutions present themselves virtually unprompted. I spend more time committing them to memory for use the next day than actually undoing the knots I have tied myself in. So much so I sometimes park something I am struggling with during the day, confident I will wake up at night and deal with it then.
I used to get all worked up when I was awake at night: lost sleep affects busy life. Maybe that was a remnant from the years when I had babies who were awake at all hours, needing me. That was draining. The babies are teenagers now, but I still relish a moment to myself. Night, I have discovered, is just the best time for that. Only the dog gets to share those moments every now and then. Because she is so cute.
I tried the coin toss to find out which I really wanted: take a pillow day or go to work today. The verdict? It works, tossing the coin crystallized my thinking into a decision. I felt a strong emotional desire to dodge adversity, and an even stronger one not to let the boss get to me. So I made a pact with myself: go to work but take it easy. Appear composed and there, but give my mind time to wander. I planned to close my door, put my headphones on, and point to them whenever anyone appeared at the strip of glass in the door, wanting my attention. “Can’t right now, on the phone.” Ha.
The taking it easy bit didn’t quite work out. It turns out I am pretty lousy at absenting myself. But here’s the thing: big boss showed up out of the blue! Man did I put on a great show of confidence. He cannot get to me, I am a rock! My throat hurts like mad but I am so chuffed.
The coin toss does work. Try it.
I read somewhere that if you found yourself unable to make a decision because there are many unknowns or equally valid points on both sides, you should toss up a coin. Wait for it – this is not a call to dodge the issue! You will find that as the coin starts its descent you instinctively hope for a certain outcome. Catch the coin before it lands, you have your answer. Don’t let the coin confuse you now.
You knew instinctively what you had to do, but we are so conditioned to weigh all the risks and upsides that we reason ourselves into a deadlock. Many decisions warrant careful analysis of data. But even then you may have to take a leap of faith. You can find statistics to suit every future scenario, but you have to take a view on which scenario is the most likely to unfold.
Isn’t it sad that we should have to toss a coin to tap into our instinct? Perhaps adrenaline helps unlock it, harking back to the times when we had to make snap judgements to secure our catch and survive.
I thought i’d try tossing a coin to shortcut the endless reasoning that is going on in my head. It feels too much like a student debating society: lots of clever arguments that shine brightly but don’t necessarily lead anywhere. Should I take a pillow day on Monday or not? I don’t do pillow days, I am a highly conscientious, reliable professional. But, I have worked way too much lately and I have a bit of a cold. And: the boss is not terribly pleased with me right now, so I should aim to please / might as well conform to the image. Shall I bow out for a day or show what I am made of? What am I made of? Ok, the coin it is…