I was telling a friend about my plans to enter the A-Z challenge in April this year and she asked me if I was mad. I just laughed, but later I stopped to wonder if she had a point. She's right in that my independent life has been going to hell in a hand basket for a few months now.
This time last year, I launched a Life Coaching business, created a website and started to advertise, whilst providing free and low-cost coaching in order to build up a clientelle. It's been slow and I finally accepted the need to get myself out and about to talk to various groups, clubs, indeed any body of people who would listen. But I hate public speaking and the thought's been terrifying me. Nevertheless, this business is my route to financial stability, so I did some serious talking to myself and a lot of preparation, then decided I was ready to get myself out there. That was when my father's situation took a decided downturn ... and life hasn't been the same since.
You see, my father has vascular dementia with alzheimers. My mother insists on caring for him herself at home. Very admirable and unselfish of her, but whilst refusing to accept any help from strangers, she relies on receiving that needed support from family - in essence, me - as my siblings all live anything from 1 hour to 9 hours away, whilst I'm only 5 minutes down the road.
So, with all this going on and a virtually full-time job as well, am I mad to take on the challenge?
Like many others, I withdraw into reading. Yes, I like to be mentally challenged, but I also find a certain peace and security in worlds I can visit in my mind, whilst my body remains rooted to the ground and unable to fly. As long as I'm alone, the world is quiet and I'm awake, I can write ... and that gives me pleasure and a release from the stress and tension which build up daily.
So, I don't think I'm mad. Indeed, I think it's one of the few things keeping me sane: reading, writing and the bloke. He makes sure I eat properly and even though he's only here at weekends, he leaves me 'bunny dinners' - little homemade meals that are ready to heat and eat. He listens to me vent, he hugs me when I need a cry ... and he makes me laugh, oh how he makes me laugh!
But reading and writing, they're the things I turn to when I'm alone. Despite being an extrovert, I like time alone; indeed I now realise how much I actively need time alone. I like the quiet. It re-charges my batteries. When I walk, I prefer to do so alone too. I think things through, I talk to myself and I come back clearer of mind. And when the world is stressful and busy, you really need to do more of what gives you joy ... not less.
So, its onwards to the A-Z Challenge ... and I look forward to it immensely!
PS: I wanted to include a picture of Christopher Walken in a pink bunny suit - nothing says crazy better, right? But then I chickened out ...
What do you do when you exhausted, stressed and life has gone to hell in that handbasket? Oh & do you think I should've used the Walken picture, or was that crazy thinking on my part?