Insights and illuminations

Woke up very early with a sense of still clarity that brought quiet exhilaration. I realised (probably as a product of recent reminders of the vulnerability of life) that I have actually managed quite complex things over the past two years. Things that required carrying a lot of responsibility, and a great deal of sensitivity.

Every dancer knows that the real business is handling weight and gravity in a delicate and precise manner.

My mum’s move being one of these things. Such a long distance, such a step into the unknown. It has worked out really well, but it involved many complicated processes and lots of trust and responsibility.

And events (or rather, non-events) related to my dad. I’m not even going to start on that.

Meeting all my own work deadlines, the MA being one of them, and making sure it all worked out well. Managing the move, long overdue, that allowed a more appropriate structure at home – well, structure in any recognisable form at all, as it happens. Without creating financial or logistic havoc. Big changes that needed absolutely no surface drama at all. Especially as increasing peace and order by decreasing friction and chaos was the objective.

All the while keeping sufficient degrees of consistency for the kids to thrive. As well as being there for them, of course. And the sword of Damocles that hangs over the head of every parent operating outside of the nuclear family: keeping them safe, sound, housed and fed, no matter how small or vulnerable you feel at times.

But as it happens, I have got myself through this fine. Maybe I should take the time to give myself a rare pat on the back. And recognise that I have needed to decompress after all this, which always for me is when I wobble. I am generally stoic in battle; it is afterwards I feel the pressure of it all.

I recall Carol Battle’s description of people with a sympathetic vs. parasympathetic nervous system dominance: One (I cannot remember which is which) feels the stress of a situation as it happens (you can apparently identify them by the fact that their pupils contract when stressed), but bounces back quickly afterwards, the other gets calm and cool in stressful situations (their pupils dilate instead), but instead need time and space to decompress after the stressful event.

You would have thought I could have realised that was what was going on without such a drastic reminder, but apparently not. Well, as they say in Swedish: “Alla sätt är bra utom de dåliga”. (“All ways [of doing things] are good, apart from the bad ones”.)

On an entirely trivial level: I love the pretty new lighting in my room!

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