I didn’t realise I was doing it until I stopped.
I didn’t realise how loud I’d made my life until there was silence again.
I didn’t realise how long I had been holding my breath until I exhaled.
Finally I exhaled.
I’ve been filling up every moment with something, anything, everything.
Filling it with noise. Filling it with people. Filling it with places. Filling it with lists. Filling it with jobs.
Filling it all up so there was no space left for anything else. No space to think… or to breathe.
It was a survival mechanism. A way to make it through, and just focus on what was right in front of me. A way to not let my worries get on top of me.
But I can’t do that forever.
And so I stopped.
Instead of listening to a podcast to keep my mind from over thinking as I feel asleep, last night I lay in silence and let my mind wander.
Yes, my mind wandered to my worries.
It poured over all that has happened so far this year and picked things apart, turning them over and over.
It listed all the things I still need to do, and told me I will never get it all done in time.
It visited all the worries that I’d smushed down deep, and let them out for a while. What will happen next year? How will we cope?
My mind went to all those places I’d been trying so hard to drown out. But instead of blocking, I held on during that bumpy ride until, eventually, my mind went to that familiar comfortable place of thinking about all kinds of random crap. My garden, roasting marshmallows, the smell of a Christmas tree, swimming pools…
I didn’t realise how much I had missed just letting my mind ramble wherever it wanted.
I’m not sorry that I held my breath for such a long time. This year has been rough in so many ways, and the only way I have gotten through is has been by dealing with one small chunk of it at a time.
I needed that block, but I also needed to exhale.
You can’t fill up every moment of your life with noise and action. You can’t hold your breath forever. And you can’t manage your worries if you never face them.
Am I the only one who does this?
If anyone else has been holding their breath for a long time like I have, I hope you find some time, space, and strength to exhale soon.