First of all, if you are reading this then, welcome. Everyone is welcome. I claim not to offer anything other than my own thoughts, opinions, craziness and sometimes down right ‘unique-ness’ (not even sure if that’s a word but it goes pretty well together). I have called this blog ‘Spinning Plates and Staying Sane’ because that’s what I think I do. I am an experienced Plate Spinner. And I attempt to stay sane. We probably all are doing this. I am fairly ordinary in many ways, and like a lot of people with many commitments and responsibilities I sometimes think I’m going insane. I spend my life seeking the peace and the calm I know and am told is out there.
I am a lucky lady. At 38 years old I have a fantastic husband and two amazing, (mostly) happy young daughters. I work full time. I live in a nice three bedroom house and we have three guinea pigs. I fit the ‘perfect’ white, working middle class stereo type. And I should be content. Isn’t this the dream? What we all strive for? Having it all?
And yet, despite this ‘having it all’ I find myself thirsting for more. Not necessarily anything better. Apart from wanting to move house to a different area, I am thrilled with the roof I have over my head and my amazing family, friends and the all round quality of my life. I count my blessings daily. I really do. I am healthy. I work bloody hard. I sacrifice a lot of myself for this ‘perfection’. But I know I wouldn’t be making these sacrifices if it didn’t meet my needs.
And that’s what this blog is about, really. Me. My personal quest. My way of managing my stream of consciousness, my thoughts, my ideas, the articles I read that resonate with my personal beliefs and my frustration about how all of us have our wings clipped. Our angel wings. How we are conditioned to believe we have to be one thing to be ‘OK’ when our souls are crying out to be something else. How do we get that balance? Can we ever get the balance?
My girls are growing up. I am acutely aware of the complicated strengths, weaknesses, values, insecurities and stereotypes (etc etc) I absorbed unconsciously from my own unconscious parents, teachers, family, friends et al. I watch my two daughters doing exactly the same and I am acutely aware of the role model I am to them. It scares me. It scares me that I will not be good enough. I will give them ‘stuff’ they have to deal with. That I already have. I want them to be free. To be brave. To not even notice the chains that are so easily wrapped around us. I want them to see possibility in everything and be excited by life. I want them to find that quicker than I did. I want them to struggle less than I do.
So how am I going to achieve that? Well, I’m not naive enough to think I can do it overnight or even wrap them in cotton wool and ‘protect’ them from everything. And I am not their only influence. They will naturally absorb and take in a wealth of information from all sorts of media. Neither do I want them to adopt my values or thoughts if they aren’t true for them They are not clones of me and neither should they be. I want them to experience the joy that life holds – and to do that you have to experience some of the lows. You have to be able to think for yourself. Know your boundaries – over step them sometimes too. Take risks.You have to learn how to bounce back from the bad stuff and know the good stuff when it’s there. I see my role to keep them emotionally and physically safe for as long as possible but that’s not about shielding them unnecessarily – that’s about helping them develop the skills to navigate and cope with all that life beholds. To watch and encourage them to fly but be their safe place if and when they need to return.
So on top of providing for my family and trying to balance myself, I have the same mission as many parents out there. To be the best parent/person I can and somehow still stay sane. I am like you. I am a paradox. I am Perfect but Imperfect. Complete and incomplete. Strong and Weak. Clever and Stupid. Knowledgeable and Ignorant.
And this blog aims to show that. It will be cathartic I am sure. It won’t make sense at times. But that’s me. And that’s life. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense – and we all find ourselves struggling to appear sane while spinning those plates.