Friday, 18 March 2011

Days Eight & Nine: The law of gravity

What goes up must come down.

Now, given this blog has a focus on body image, you might imagine I'm referring here to the effect of gravity on women's bodies, but I actually wanted to write a short blog about the inevitable highs and lows of feelings. Although I don't know why I say inevitable because I'm always surprised when a high follows a low - every time!

So, unsurprisingly, a bit of a low followed the high of my 40th birthday weekend. My 40th was a lovely whirlwind of friends, cards, flowers, presents, parties, breakfasts, lunches, a new dress and a certain excitement about this blog. I was shown so much love by so many amazing friends and felt very blessed. In fact, it barely crossed my mind that I was turning 40 and was single and childless - apart from to note that I felt I was exactly where I was supposed to be in my life. Fortunately, I still accept I am where I'm supposed to be - albeit reluctantly at times. It's also still true, as I wrote the other day, that I feel much stronger and happier at this age than I did when I was younger. But that doesn't mean there aren't moments of acute loneliness and sadness.

Funnily enough, I only really feel the loneliness when I stop, and that's probably why I don't stop very often. I'm generally doing, working, planning, thinking, striving, cycling, washing, and now I can add blogging to the list! I get stuck in that overdrive setting I mentioned the other day, although to be fair to myself I'll acknowledge here that I am very gradually learning to take it slow at times. But it's still scary to stop completely and let the loneliness come.

Yesterday, I did stop and, as we could have predicted, I felt pretty sad. Fortunately, though, at this stage in my life, I can accept those moments of loneliness and sadness much better than in the past, when I might have indulged in some unhealthy behaviour or other to try and make them go away. I still resist them, fight against them for a while by keeping myself ridiculously busy, but eventually I surrender to them and have a good old cry. And the great thing is that I don't have to pretend anymore. I can ring up a good friend and tell her I feel lonely and, more often than not, she'll be feeling lonely in that moment too. Or I can be open, honest and vulnerable with my Mum instead of pretending that I've got it all together and I don't need her help. That's a real gift.

And then, after the crying, the sun generally comes out and wonderful Nature does its thing.

The view from Conwy Mountain, North Wales, March 18, 2011

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