This week I have tried to focus on achieving a balance in my life.
It’s fair to say I have been obsessed with Hugo and his legacy during the past few months.
Hugo’s legacy is a positive, for me as well as for others. It is a positive because it gets me out of bed in the morning, and gives me a constructive purpose to my day. It is positive because it is making something good out of a tragedy. It is positive because it is helping break down the taboos of baby loss, and helping other bereaved parents.
There is a fine balance, however, between ‘enough’ and ‘too much.’
My work – just like any other kind of work – can become a negative if my focus is wholly on Hugo’s Legacy at the expense of other things. My head sometimes feels about to explode. I need to give myself a break.
I am giving myself more of a break these days, in the form of going to the gym, and reading more. I am beginning to ‘allow’ myself rest time. My grief has meant I have felt I need to be busy, busy busy, and that if things had gone ‘to plan’ I would be a new mummy obsessed with their new baby. But that level cannot maintained for long, not by anyone. Even new mummies need a break from their new babies sometimes.
If I do not have balance, I will burn out, I will not be able to work on Hugo’s legacy at all, and my recovery will take longer. I do not want that.
A bit of Hugo’s Legacy, a bit of exercise, and a bit of rest time, every day.
This week, I pondered whether I am a mummy blogger. I am a mummy. I am a blogger. Ergo, I am a mummy blogger. For me, the question was the parent blogging community, rather than a label. The parent blogging community has been immensely supportive to me during the past few months, and for that I will always be grateful. However, the majority of the parent blogging community have children, and they write about them – as they should. The trouble is, this underlines everything that I have lost. Even being circumspect about the posts I read, the parenting of live children is everywhere, such as on social media.
This week I had a couple of bad days, going back to the ‘angry’ grief stage. I felt angry with anything and everything – completely irrational, but that’s what grief can be like. As part of my anger, I seriously considered leaving all the parent blogging networks (but continue to blog), because it all felt too much. I said to myself I would never join another parent blogging linky. While there are so many good posts around, including ones about babies and children that I have been surprised to find myself reading, there are some that really annoy me (“For goodness’ sake, stop complaining and get some perspective!”), in my over-sensitive state. I questioned why I was continuing to torment myself, and add to my pain. I had even planned a different word of the week – ‘hiatus’.
Once I calmed down, I realised that I needed to stick around. Leaving in a fit of pique would be counter-productive. Counter-productive to Hugo’s Legacy. Counter-productive to breaking down the taboos. Counter-productive to my recovery, when that community has given me so much support.
It needn’t be all-or-nothing. In this, too, I need balance.
How to achieve that balance?
Be even more circumspect about what I read. Try to not let so many thing get under my skin – breathe and count to ten. Remember that life is too short for getting stressed. Remember that other people’s perspectives are different, that they do not know the intensity of this pain, and that is a good thing.
But I will remain passionate about the things that important to me. I will shout – loud and proud – about Hugo’s Legacy.
Writing, reading, exercising and relaxing.
I shall leave you with words of wisdom about achieving balance from my favourite author, Haruki Murakami: