Friday, 25 February 2011

Struggling With A Case of the What If's.....

What a weird, weird week. For the first time in my adult, post-education life, I am jobless although admittedly I did manage to prolong the student years for far, far too long. More accurately I am redundant, albeit voluntarily before anyone starts feeling excessively sorry for me.

The word 'turbulent' would accurately describe how I have felt this week. I've veered from ecstatic appreciation at being able to laze about watching films on the sofa, to guilt at the fact that I have not already managed to clean the house from top to bottom with nothing but my tongue and some bicarb of soda (by way of bad housewife self-flagellation), then to despair that I may never get another job again and have now condemned my family to life in a small rusty caravan with nothing but pot noodles and a dodgy one bar electric fire by way of comfort.

I may be slightly over-egging the pudding, but if I were an actress in a film this week I would be Joan Crawford in one of her great over-acted melodramas, Mildred Pierce perhaps, but without the scary eyebrows and hopefully without my children writing a tell-all memoir about my evil parenting methods in 20 years time.

The thing that stops me from just sitting back and enjoying this time off is that I struggle to live in the moment. As soon as I achieve one thing my mind is racing to criticise for not having achieved something else.

"Oh wow I have just mopped the floor for the first time in....well nearly ever to be honest. Aargh but the kids have not eaten anything but carbohydrate for the last two days...."

You see? Why can't I just be rightly proud of my new shiny floors (who knew that was their real colour) before I race to lament another example of my failings in life? I know I'm not alone in this and it is an affliction which most of us suffer from as it is just too hard to keep all those balls up in the air at once.

There are so many things I want to spend this bonus time doing but when push comes to shove the only thing that counts is to spend time with the important people in my life; family and friends.

So I am forcing myself to try to live in the moment and enjoy this for what it is, but there is that little niggling voice at the back of my head which keeps asking:

"What if you never get another job again?"

So I am going to use every tactic in the book to force myself to relax into this period of downtime. I am not going to give in to the 'what if's' with their nebulous, all encompassing anxieties. A quick stab in the leg with a fork by way of aversion therapy should put paid to that, so whilst my redundancy may leave me with permanent markings akin to the crocodile people of Papua New Guinea, I will at least be able to tend to my wounds in an entirely relaxed, anxiety-free frame of mind.