Personal Responsibility

Tiredness is my Nemesis. We all have something, a trigger that threatens to shatter the peace of our cozy world, and for me it’s not enough sleep.

Someone once said to me: “I’m pretty much enlightened, I mean, only a small step from Satori… When I’m in the middle of a field… Alone!”

It’s the big test, isn’t it? That, and the ability to not judge yourself if you fail. It’s all very well (and, incidentally, it is very well) to be compassionate, but you do need to extend the same courtesy to yourself. Punishing yourself with guilt for losing your equilibrium in the face of adversity is nothing more than an attachment to the past that holds you in that moment and removes your focus from the now. Which isn’t to say that you can’t learn from it. Awareness is, of course, the most effective and efficient route to change.

My point is that I am aware, mostly, of myself and my behaviour or reactions, but I struggle as a mother of many young boys to manifest the ‘best’ me when I am tired. Much as the friend I quoted above is enlightened alone, I stand by myself in the early morning kitchen filling my lungs with untainted air, strong and ready to face my day. Fast-forward ten minutes and the once empty, peaceful, tidy kitchen is awash with noisy, hungry boy-beasts clamouring for food and attention, each louder and more adamant than the last. My nerves betray themselves as far less rested and far more readily frazzled than they had led me to believe.

That is life, right? Yes. It is. At least, it is my life and I chose it and I love it.

But when I am tired, the fight to manage my team, to get to grips with my role, to be an effective mother can threaten to overwhelm me. Examine my language in the process of even describing it: ‘fight’, ‘manage’, ‘get to grips’. Back to the ‘interminable struggle.’ Yet with kindness to myself: deep breaths, a policy of ‘and this’ and some reminders (gentle if possible) that one person cannot even hear one other if four are shouting at once, coupled with the information that the volume required to be heard varies greatly according to the distance from the face whose attention is desired 😉 and a general settling of small-fry, it invariably turns out well.

I can try to run from it, but the simple, inalienable truth is: The buck stops with me.

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