"I'm so busy my head is spinning; like a whirlpool that never ends!" OK so that may not be exactly how Tommy Rae sang it, but that's so often how I feel.
I have always been a busy person. As a child and teen I did a different activity each day after school. As a student and in early adulthood this was taken over by socialising: I'd be out every evening and still up and going early at the weekend. These days, my busyness comes from running the household, raising our children and just trying to keep afloat.
Regardless of the activity, my reason for keeping going has always been the same: to justify my existence, my value. When I feel so worthless, being able to point to the friends who have chosen to spend time with me or the jobs I have ticked off my list provides external validation for my existence. It shows my family and friends that I'm worthy of their love, even if I can't bring myself to love me. Or at least that's how it feels.
I was recently talking to my mum about this. She is the busiest person I know and similarly justifies herself by giving huge amounts of her time and energy to others. The combination of nature and nurture will have and largely set me up to be the same. But then mum said something that changed everything: her mum wasn't a busy person at all. My gran was a wonderful and well-loved lady with many friends and a devoted husband. She also loved to spend her evenings on the sofa reading or sewing. No one thought any less of her because she put her feet up after a long day.
And just like that, I burst into tears. A huge wave I emotion (relief? compassion?) washed over me.
I don't have to be this way. I don't have to run myself ragged to prove myself.
It was a huge realisation, and one that I've had to keep coming back to, and keep reaffirming. Yes I still need to do the dishes and the washing, but when I've finished those I'll try not to look for the next "to do" and instead give myself the break and rest I need. It won't make me less worth of love, or less valuable. In fact I might just become a better person for it.
So come and join me on the sofa, put your feet up and let's build our reserves together. We will need them for whatever tomorrow brings. And we are definitely all worth it.
A Moodscope member.