Love matters most #4
Prioritising what matters most in life.
I've been married for 25 years. Every day we decide to stay. Otherwise we wouldn't be here living this life alongside each other.
Recently my new age older man has had a major back issue. It has brought up many gremlins (aka fears). Suddenly I am married to an old man with a back problem who can't wash or dry his own feet! Shit! What was I thinking? My mum kindly reminds me that I shouldn't have married an older man (cue eye roll).
But the masks we used to show to each other have long been forgotten between us. So we accept each other warts and all. Or at least turn a blind eye. Well most of the time... except when I am chin wagging with a friend and we have a sly laugh at his expense... Not that I don't love him cos I DO DO DO... But man... socks with sandals!???
Anyway I read Alex Dobrenko's essay recently about the Masks we wear… and in the thread he mentioned to someone that he wasn’t having much fun (he’s a comedian) and that life is economically stressful.... I've been there and the last few months has shown me that we don't have much control over these things anyway. Three weeks of my husband not working soon drained our back up stash. Still it did mean I got my act together and finally published my Substack account after four months of perfectionisation!
We think we do have control of these things but we don't. We are led to believe we do. All that work harder or work smarter... work ethic BS does my head in... make your money work for you... blah blah blah... And I have done loads of personal development where there seems to be a glut of advice about attracting more abundance into our lives. Apparently you just need to have the right mindset, make money one of your top five values, think like the rich and not be attached to any of it!
Am I any richer? Nope! And to be honest money isn’t a motivator for me. Thinking about it sucks the life out of me. When I took my coaching business online and started to market (another energy suck) myself there, I felt like every conversation I made had an agenda. How could I turn this conversation into a paying client? Yuck! Yuck! Yuck! It felt inauthentic and uncomfortable. I still squirm now thinking about it. When I signed up with a walking/coaching business, walking became a drain too, instead of the ‘sanity pause’ I love.
But the happiest years of my life were when I had the least money.
I was a single parent with two kids and working as a nurse. Okay I admit I didn’t like being a nurse. (More on that another time). I owned nothing except my battered up car that used to smoke from the steering wheel. It seems like the more I have, the more scared I am of losing it. And when I lost my son and brother in separate road crashes eight months apart, I certainly found out what was important.
The only thing that was important! That is important!
Being with my family.
Being with the ones I love.
I think we all need a break from more.
A break from striving. A break from trying to make ourselves, better, richer, wiser, sexier, smarter. A break from living up to the Jones’s. A break from trying to make our homes look like the ones in the magazines. A break from adverts, TV and news telling us what we should feel and how we should live. Who and what we should care for and what we should contribute to. A break from them telling us how our lives should look, feel and sound.
The last ten weeks have been challenging. Not knowing what was happening to my lovely husband freaked me out. My mind spinning into many possible scenarios but dwelling on the worst possible one. Fortunately it isn’t that. He’s not got a serious disease and he’s not going to die yet. (Of course we’re all going to die at some point).
Watching him bravely carry on even though he’s in excruciating pain has been at times sad and humbling. He never complains even though he is sleep deprived, can’t sit for more than half an hour or even go for walks in our beloved countryside. He hasn’t been able to sit down to eat a meal the whole ten weeks.
Our identity changes as we age
In fact his whole identity as a fit, healthy, professional man has been stripped away from him. And in the middle of it all, his dear mother died.
And yet he is still determined to get back to that place. He’s currently trying different treatments as we await the consultation with the spinal unit. It’s a long process these days with the NHS in the UK which is in crisis. Waiting lists are looooong unless you happen to have cancer. With great determination he has been able to continue to work part-time. A lifeline and in some ways a distraction but mostly a feeling of satisfaction for at least being able to help others still.
We don’t know what the future has in store. None of us do. We don’t know how long we have here on planet earth. We worry about so many things that don’t matter. But when it comes down to it, it is our loved ones who matter most. Yes at times they may drive us crazy. We do the same to them. And I, perhaps more than many people, need time and space on my own.
But… The cleaning can wait. Work can wait. Paying bills can wait. The decorating can wait. Striving for more and better is probably not worth it and is exhausting.
Questions to ask when confused
Who are we at our core?
What really matters?
What are we longing for?
It’s often connection. Human connection is the lifeblood of living a wholesome, wholehearted life.
As I wash his feet and dry between his toes he strokes my head. I remember he would do the same for me were things the other way around. He would do it without complaint, patiently and kindly.
So enjoy your loved ones. Value them. Smother them with love and you will be happy that you made that choice. Because choice it is. It is our choice what we focus on, give value to, embrace and engage with. Don’t be fooled by what society, media, adverts, your best friend or your dad tells you. Even if they have your best intentions in mind. Tune in to your heart and be real. Be You. Be honest.
What are you struggling with right now?
From my True Self to Yours
PS. I love to connect with you too. Leave your comments below. Share this post if you like it. Walk on by if you don’t. Subscribe to read more as I unravel what it means to be more of my True Self. Find all the Love Letters for people worn out by caring too much HERE