Oct 13, 2017


There are those days where the most sensible course of action to take when they end is to sit yourself in your car with a sneaky bottle of whatever beverage you really shouldn't be drinking and have a bit of a solo debrief.  A few cycles of deep breathing, a simple mindfulness task (Denyse shared a great one recently where she takes the time to look around and individually name five things she can see before allowing her mind to move on) and a few minutes to process the events of the day.

If I could only use one word to describe Wednesday it would be 'stretched'.  But I'm a blogger so of course I'm not going to stop there.

Wednesday was the day that had it all.  It began so well with a chance meet up with a girlfriend and fellow preschool mum in the line for coffee.  Over the course of power chat we managed to laugh, debrief and give each other the strength and patience to keep on keeping on.  While we didn't have the perfect answers for each other, we do have solidarity and that sense of not being 'the only one who...' which is probably more important as we fumble our way through this working mum gig.

And then the day kind of unraveled.  It felt like I was already running out of time from the moment I switched on my computer and logged on.  Lunch ended up being eaten en route to various things like mandatory fire training with my work girls (which predictably ended at the newsagent in search of their secret stash of Coke Zeros) before we all had to run in opposite directions to get stuff done and mutter darkly about whether that really was the time already...

But it's always those days when your mind is in power ward round mode that the universe decides that it requires a different plan of attack from you.  And as frustrating as it can be to have your rigid plan for the day disrupted, the universe must be obeyed.

So I slowed down, stopped rushing and listened.  Really listened.  To decisions being made that nearly made me cry as they were told to me but that I had to respect and execute because of my respect and empathy for the people who were making them.   To the waves of familiar sounds around me that signal the routines of a busy hospital on a weekday.  To the thoughts within my head.

I also let silences happen.  I didn't rush to fill them with meaningless pleasantries or assumptions.  I let the silence and the time do their restorative and calming work.

I ended the day acutely aware that I'd probably given the best of myself but that the most important person in my life also needed me to be that best possible self in those challenging hours leading up to bedtime.  So we sat outside a cafe and had chocolate ice cream in a cone with sprinkles (don't worry, I had my wipes handy) at 6pm while we talked through our days and discussed various pieces of preschool art.  Then we made our way home where we still had our differences about what to eat for dinner and when the best time to have a shower was but there was a definite air of peaceful compromise and an agreement to disagree to it all.

How do you cope with being stretched?


  1. Must be something about this week as it's been a similar feeling here too. It's just been pulled in a hundred directions at once and not being able to do any of them as good as usual. Work's been particularly challenging lately, added to some health problems and extra appointments for Baby Boy and then our planned months ago trip to Sydney - everything's happened at once. At least travel with kids forces you to slow down as you really can't do that much when they are in tow, we've dialed back our nice to see list to the bare minimum now.

    (And I'm so sorry I never got in touch to try catch up, we only got the OK for Baby Boy to fly on Monday so it's been a hectic week).

    Hope your weekend is better!

    1. Enjoy Sydney and I hope you have a safe and fun visit. Hope the planets align for us to catch up on your next visit here, Mica!

      SSG xxx

  2. Wow, you did well to end your day the way you did. An advantage of daylight saving at 6pm is to do just what you did. Thanks for the shoutout about mindfulness. I was reading a newly published book today (about aging and life!) from Dr Ken Hillman an ICU specialist and he referred to the medicalisation of aging and how these days everyone has to find a category or illness to label a person in their much older years. That there is no longer “old age, fragility, end of lifespan” as it is about finding reasons for the much older bodies doing what they are meant to but in our modern medical world they must be treated. I’m not explaining it well but I was interested in the book after I heard him interviewed on Conversations with Richard Fidler a month or two back and decided I had to get the book! My Dad is a well 93+ year old and I know that he does not want to be “saved” by modern medicine when his body goes into the inevitable decline so it is interesting to read the Dr’s perspective! Anyway, glad you got through that day and found balance back at home... mich needed! D xx

    1. Hello Denyse,
      Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Ken Hillman's book sounds fascinating. I must track it down.

      Be well

      SSG xxx

  3. Being that I work in the medical field too (I work in the Radiology Film Library, not so much actual Radiology film now since we've been digital since 2003. We only have films of children that aren't so child like now). You get so busy with whats put in front of you, whether its a patient, an urgent phone call, or a important meeting, that it feels like your head is spinning. When it gets like that with me, I take my lunch to my car and eat. It's about the only time I can decompress and unwind for a bit. After that, my mood is better. I go home to my daughter (who is 11) and get a earful of what happened at school and homework.


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