Monday, 20 June 2016

Balancing act: spending time alone, spending time with friends

I find it's easy to get lost in my own emotions and be unintentionally thoughtless.

I find it easy to assume my friends know how I feel about them. I think that my emotions are naked and obvious and that my love is clearly visible. When actually, it probably isn't obvious at all. And I slip into my personal routines, get exhausted and don't get in touch as much as I should. And perhaps they do the same thing. And we lose intimacy. Or we assume intimacy. Or we assume we aren't important and it becomes harder to get in touch.

This year, I've very much been trying to concentrate on maintaining/building the relationships I want and need in my life (including looking after and having time to myself).

Most importantly, I've been talking to people. I often worry about asking people questions - I don't want to pry or ask the wrong thing or a boring thing. Sometimes I feel shy and can't think of any questions anyway. Sometimes I'm just not really thinking. So I'm really trying to focus on who I'm speaking to and asking real questions. Because if they don't want to answer, they probably just won't. And actually, I now feel like I'm having real conversations and getting to know the people in my life much better (including my parents).

Saying yes and saying no for the right reasons - also very important. I've said yes to things because I felt I had to, and no to things because I thought I couldn't do it or that it was too expensive (even though I wanted to do it). I'm thinking these are bad reasons to do or not do things.

I'm going to Morocco soon with my friend Hobs (so excited!) but could so easily have not been going. When Stu and I went to Marrakech in February I was longing to hike in the Atlas Mountains and gazed through the windows in wonder as we drove through. I didn't get to walk there and when we returned, I asked Hobs (super hiker adventure friend) if he'd like to go sometime. I actually meant maybe next year. I had no intention of going to Morocco twice in one year even if I did adore it there. But then his friend contacted him, separately, and asked if he wanted to join a group trip - trekking in the Atlas Mountains. And Hobs said yes, and that he knew someone else that wanted to come too. Because it's an organised group trip, it's quite expensive up front (but good value I think) and I wavered on my decision. Stu is a star. He could see how much I wanted to go and opted out, so halving our cost. And I'm going. And it's a big deal for me. And I hope I'm fit enough to do this!

Over the weekend, I did ask Stu if he'd like to come anyway (it would wipe out our savings but we have just enough that he could come) but he said no. He doesn't think he's fit enough :( And he didn't love Morocco the way I fell so hard. I have flashes of anxiety at being so far from him for a whole week. And I will miss him intensely. But still excited...

So yeah, saying yes to things. Obviously, if I literally did not have the money, I couldn't. But I often do, I just tend to think I might need it for something else.

And conversely, it can be hard to say no to things that don't even matter. Or cancel when you really don't feel up to it. I really hate to cancel. I hate letting people down. But I find it really is ok and people understand.

Because sometimes, I really need time to myself. Time to read books, watch netflix, reflect and write, go to the gym, go for a walk. Just to not be speaking or focussing on others. It feels so good!

It's a constant balancing act that I'm starting to get the hang of.

I need to remind myself all the time - Talk to your friends! Do fun things! But also look after yourself! Take the time to think about what matters!

It's a wonderful, wonderful thing to be with people you really like. I want to keep doing that, and put the effort in. And not lose balance!

Are you happy with your life balance? Does it come naturally to you?

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