One Step Forward, Two Back…

Have you ever had a period of time when you wanted/had planned to do various things, felt motivated to crack on with your plans, had the time and the resources, and then…just didn’t? You didn’t do any of those things, and even felt like you were suddenly in retreat without warning, like an army taking a huge step back from going over the trenches? Well, I’ve had one of those weeks and can only explain partly why I felt that way – terrible lack of sleep (muggy nights and too much head chatter), being busier than expected with other things, etc. – so I’m curious to find out why I sabotaged myself.

I feel like I’m at a crossroads for some reason, and that my car hasn’t just stalled but started up again and has reversed somewhat. My perfectionism and imposter syndrome have both reared their ugly heads, as has the old comparisonitis, which isn’t helping. In this frame of mind, I’ve been aimlessly wandering through Pinterest, ostensibly looking for art inspiration, and was curious to see things I hadn’t been searching for popping up – almost like little nudges to make me look at them. (Yes, I know it’ll be an algorithm, bear with me…)

These were comments along the lines of how feeling scared might be a signal that you’re subconsciously about to make a big decision, or suggesting that, out of any possible choices to make, the scariest might be the one that’s going to help you grow the most. Or the Tolkien quote (from the Lord of the Rings) that says, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us”. That last one reminded me of Mary Oliver’s poem, “The Summer Day”, which ends with this line…

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Maybe the universe has been trying its best to whisper, and it’s now starting to raise its voice as it feels I’m not paying attention? I mentioned last week that my friend, Juliet, had spoken of Oprah Winfrey’s recent podcast, where she describes exactly this. Listening to that podcast was one of the things I wanted to do, a whisper I didn’t pay attention to until yesterday (ironic, isn’t it?!). Best thing I did yesterday, hands down…

I’m going to take the time to listen to my whispers this week, to work out exactly what they’re telling me, before the whispers become the pebbles against the window (although I think that might already be happening!) or the “brick upside the head” that Oprah talks about! I know I shared the photo below last week, from my vision board, but today it feels even more apt – see, I bet these are some of the little whispers right there!

The other steps I’m going to take this week are literal ones – I’ve been very lazy regarding exercise recently so it feels like starting again. Maybe we can make a better habit from now on; aim for a daily walk instead of a half hearted one every now and then. Starting smaller, but more whole-heartedly, to regain our physical and mental health. We live on the edge of the most stunning countryside in the UK (but I am incredibly biased!), and it shames me that we’re not exploring it enough.

View from Castle Hill one frosty morning last November

We’ve several weeks before the children return to school, so plenty of time to create this good habit, and bring hubby along at the weekends. Creating a new family routine will be good for us, and walks together will give us tech-free time together. We could go to a different place each weekend of the year and still not have explored the whole of our county, so we have loads to go at! What are you doing this week? Have your plans materialised or been scuppered? What else could you do instead? Could you just sit in your stalled car, like I’ve done, enjoy the view from your open window, give the engine a break and then re-start it to continue your journey? Let me know in the comments, and get yourselves outside into the glorious weather!

9 thoughts on “One Step Forward, Two Back…

  1. Really enjoyed reading this and it resonated with me. I am struggling so much in this heat and can’t do anything physical beyond the absolutely necessary!
    But psychologically I am also lethargic and floundering (can you be both?)

    1. Thanks, Rebecca, I think we’re all the same in the heat! I’m sure we can be both lethargic and floundering, I’ve certainly felt a bit like that recently, so own that feeling!

  2. Hey lovely, I often have weeks where nothing goes to plan but I don’t worry about it anymore – just pause, reflect and start again! Great post. 💕 x

  3. Hi Anna, for me quarantine left me in kind of a limbo state from which I’m having trouble to be productive or to focus on anything. So if I start a project I take it slowly a bit by bit and don’t let myself to get overwhelmed. A few steps everyday or not if I don’t feel like it. I’m sure when kids go back to school it’ll kick my butt back to some routine and discipline.
    Congratulations for starting a blog btw. It crossed my mind too, but I think I’d be probably just moaning and venting my brain junk that would give other people headache and left them confused 😄
    Keep going xx

    1. Glad you like my ramblings, Hana, thank you! Start a blog, I’d love to read yours, too. When mine are back in school I’ll be spending time researching autism (going for diagnosis for my daughter). Will feel like uni, love doing research! xx

      1. Get ready for a long process. And get in touch if you need any help or just a nutter. It took 3 years to get Zach’s.
        Good luck xx

  4. I can relate to all the comments and your blog really resonates with me. I have decided I will pick things up again in September when the kids are back in school. In the pause phase currently. Thanks Jac. Enjoy the sunshine, pick some blackberries… who knows…. really enjoying your blogs Anna xx xx

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