Never before have I found it as easy to lose perspective on pretty much everything as I have since I became a mum. Motherhood, the most important, all-consuming job I have ever taken on deserving of our very best efforts – no pressure!
It would seem that it’s not just me that’s struggling (she says, putting things into perspective), ordinarily level-headed women around me appear to be struggling with this too. I think much of it is magnified by sleep deprivation (my hubby keeps joking that there’s a reason it’s such an effective form of Chinese torture!), but possibly also by lack of support… And that’s a strange thing to quantify, support. How much one is getting, how much one needs.
One of the reasons I feel lucky to have grown up in a village is because I was part of a relatively close-knit community that comprised people of all ages and many different walks of life. Observing many different people in action offers perspective, and my friendship circle has always been made up of people of all ages and backgrounds, good, interesting people that help me view life from a different perspective. Yet here I am, in a city, surrounded by so many friends, but mainly hanging out with new mums of a similar age, from similar backgrounds… And I fear we’re just tying ourselves up in knots as our mums aren’t down the road, Aunty Soandso isn’t around the corner, Old Mrs Jones isn’t passing by, those friends that have known us since school aren’t around, we’re not bumping into our old babysitters… And so we’re lacking perspective, and I don’t think this is a great thing.
I watched a programme the other night about the war artist Paul Nash. In it the narrator looked at the influence of surrealism on Nash’s work when he was struggling with psychological problems after the Second World War. Made me think of Dali’s twisted reality, out of perspective…
A few weeks ago I had an exceptionally low day, but was snapped out of it by a lady who picked up a slug from a busy thoroughfare so it didn’t get trampled to death. This is the sort of thing that I would usually do, but I hadn’t even clocked the slug. I was, and remain, so grateful to that lady for the perspective that she showed me that day, saving a precious life.
My Gran used to say to me, “There’s allus someone wuss off than yaself.” She was right, of course. That’s not to say that it’s not ok to struggle, that’s not what she meant, she was just trying to give reassurance, help put things into perspective, and she always did. I miss her.
This morning I read a blog entry, the last blog entry that Charley would ever make.
If that doesn’t offer perspective I don ‘t know what does. Hope you’re enjoying those chocolates and that Piña Colada, Charley. Thank you for your words and for sharing your admirably clear perspective. x x