New Year is often considered a time for reflection, resolution and fresh starts, new beginnings. Resolution being a firm decision to do something with strength of will, single mindedness. I had in the past taken it to mean being really stubborn and doing something that really challenges the self, and for one reason or another, challenge meant doing something physical, challenging my body in its endurance involves being really determined.
You would then find me making a public declaration of running a marathon or some other waste-deep mud filled obstacle course nobody can complete with dignity intact. This would of course entail training and lots of it, and this I would try to squeeze in around everything and everyone else in my life. Combining this with my inclination to always want to help, I would agree to everything and anything legal and morally unquestionable and over obligate myself. I thought I could do it all, I am Wonder Parent Carer!
Then in December last year, I had a bit of an epiphany and realised a few things.
- It is OK to say no. You can say no and still be a nice person.
- As a parent carer you don't necessarily need to be seeking challenges. The challenges find you
My next big challenges for 2017 became clear. My challenges are to say 'no' more, to not take on too much without thinking it through by over obligating myself and to find the balance in life to focus on who and what is really important to me. If I slow down and find balance I will be ready for the challenges when they arise, rather than being swamped and frazzled, and this internal challenge for me will be tougher than any marathon, even the hilly Bristol to Bath, but that said, self care is the ever present personal challenge for the Parent Carer. If I crack this, who knows, 2018's challenge could be asking for practical help when needed. Imagine that.