Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Three Challenges

You've heard the stories right? of people who come back from adversity? Like the man born with no limbs who climbs mountains and has a lucrative career giving inspirational talks on the lecture circuit. Well, if they can do it, why can't I? Come on cheering squad..!! there is NOTHING we can not do if we put our minds, hearts and souls to it..

…and so it is that I find myself with three independent challenges

(1) Osteoarthritis
(2) Effective parenting
(3) My career

I used to be a record breaking masters athlete - not so long ago. I loved the rush. I had no issue with training hard. No pain no gain. Well I tell you now the worst pain I ever felt in finishing up a middle distance race, is nothing compared to the pain I get just walking up stairs or lying in bed often theses days. I am only 45. Yet a little voice still says to me, with the right training, physio, pilates, drugs, surgery I could overcome this. I could be back on the track doing what I love. The bloody gruelling uphill struggle that this presents is daunting, but no doubt if I put my mind to it, I could make a comeback. It would be worth it because I would be energetic and enthusiastic again.

I have a difficult child. He is manipulative, negative and angry most of the time due to his severe dyslexia. Many parents would quit  work and devote their time to getting the best out of him. He needs a lot of help and attention. I have slipped into a fairly servile role to him. I know he is getting the upper hand and this is no good for the teenage years. Often it is motivated by just wanting to give him a rest from his life of failure, just wanting to have some FUN together. However I know this behaviour situation could be turned around with the right discipline, routine, intervention, remedial help. I know it can be done but it could be one person's life work to make this change manifest. But I am only one person, and as you see I have conflicting imperatives.

Before Kids, I was a very ambitious person and moderately successful person(not an unfamiliar story). I think many women adjust their ambition, even accept, as society does, the virtue in devoting your life to home and family when the kids come along...except I married a man who couldn't support me and then rendered me into a single parent, so by necessity I had to KEEP GOING. Sadly in my career I am stagnating. I can't seem to make the reward system work for me. My child takes so much energy away that I can't acheive what I need to, let alone what I want to. This adds to stress.What I want to know is ..

Where is the lynch pin in all this?

Time obviously appears in a couple of spaces. But time also needs to be used effectively. Its no use having all the time in the world if you squander it away worrying, blogging or blogging about worrying.

 I could find ways of getting myself more time (apart from paying someone)

  • Pay someone very little...
  • A favour for a favour
  • Sleep less

Whilst we're on the subject of time, How the hell does one find time for a husband/boyfriend/lover? I barely have time to sort out my tupperware/knicker drawer, sugar soap those stains off the walls or trim the hedges. (I guess perhaps society or nature intended that the man would assist in all this home upkeep stuff, or even assist with the child shock horror) but I can't expect this of a new man.

"A man is not a plan"

Seemingly I can't expect this of Simon either (that's a topic for another post).

What if health is the lynchpin? Get strong, feel good about yourself. Or maybe just get medicated to feel good about yourself. There is a definite link here. Being in pain is tiring, being tired affects work and parenting.

I have long thought that my career was the lynchpin. If I can sort that out. I will raise my self esteem, make more money, be able to look after myself in my retirement, see connor through school earn more money so I can see more of my beloved family (which is another issue in here probably under health - mental health and well being)

Or maybe parenting is the lynchpin. If I get him to behave better, I will have more energy to devote to other things. He will take responsibility for his learning. (Even as I write I can see there are no guarantees here). I could put in a huge effort and he could still behave badly meanwhile I would've lost other things. I honestly am not sure if I am the right person for this particular job ('course you are you're the parent you dingbat) yes, but this requires specialised help. If I lose patience we take two steps back.

Imagine I took one challenge away, which would it be?

(a) Give up work for health and parenting?
(b) Give up parenting for health and work?
(c) Give up health for parenting and work?

I am currenting opting for (c) (a) is a popular model where a functional co-parent exists, and (b) is probably what I would like to do (ha ha!!)  - outsource parenting so I can keep fit and apply myself at work - no wait? this is what Dads do!!!

If I were to think outside the box and (a) actually give up work for a while. The families immediate well being is at stake - how to pay the mortgage? what'd I do? sell? get tenants in?
Maybe a snatch of each - take long service leave, go on painkillers and/or anti depressants and get a lodger/nanny.


Eat My Scabs said...

life stress!!! insane, right?

i vote give up work for health and parenting.

work comes and goes. it's disposable. health and parenting will be with you forever.

But, right, how to make moola? Sell crap on craigslist and get some tenants. or work part-time. I like the idea of a long-leave to get yourself back, take care of your health and your parenting. Get somewhere solid. I'm looking for the same thing. Let me know how it turns out.

FI0NA said...

The worst thing is to be paralysed with indecision. Thanks for commenting :)