About a month ago, I shared a post in which I questioned memes, and whether we have outgrown them. By the end of that post, I knew changes had to be made. I needed to take a step back to look at everything I have in my life and then make choices.
Those changes are necessary to create space and structure — both physically and mentally.
A bit of background
I touched on our housing situation in the post I linked above. Eighteen years ago, I moved in with Master T, his mom, and his daughter. Back then, it was still his mom’s house, which meant I couldn’t take my rightful place as ‘lady of the house’. When we bought new furniture, I agreed to it, because he and his mom liked it. Of course, I liked the furniture, but in hindsight, if I had had the guts back then to offer my opinion, I would never have bought it. Not because it’s ugly, but when buying expensive furniture, you don’t easily replace it.
And so it happened with more stuff we gained, even after his mom moved out.
I now know — thanks to a life coach — the above is part of people-pleasing, something I had learned at a much too young age.
Which is why, when I committed to something, I pushed myself to the edge. I barely ever said no.
(Up to a month ago, that sentence should’ve been in the present tense, but not anymore.)
A three-week holiday
I had a holiday coming up for three weeks in May, and since we can’t go away because of Master T’s health, I needed the holiday to have a purpose.
That’s what they say, right? That changes make us feel good?
I explained to Master T what I wanted to do, but not so much the what, but the why. That I needed to finally take ownership of the house. That I felt lost. That for so long I had been doing things to please him, to please others, even when initially those were my choices.
It wasn’t only that.
For months, I have felt overwhelmed with all I do. My online stuff, that is. One day I was so low that I even contemplated just removing all my online stuff. Everything. Taking a step back, and looking at my activities, I realized there were choices to be made.
I explained to Master T I needed goals for my May holiday, that when I return to work, I have mental and physical space and structure. He needed to think about what I said (he’s not big on anything that looks like mindfulness or remotely ‘floaty’) but a week before my holiday started, we had a list of goals.
Choices and changes
You can say I took everything and threw it on one pile — and here I really mean everything. The house, my online presence, my job, my offline presence.
What irritated me? What gave me energy? What dragged me down? What put a smile on my face? What things did we need, and what could we do without?
Examining things from all sides, I realized my entire life was like a closet stuffed so full you can barely close the doors, just like the one in the romantic comedy 27 Dresses! I wanted to do the same Jane Nichols (played by Katherine Heigl) did: throw out the excess!
Now a lot happened in our house in those three weeks. We threw away a lot of stuff, but also brought some to the secondhand store, or had them collect the bigger stuff. Doors had been painted, and the purpose of empty rooms changed. I now have a dedicated work room, both for work-from-home days, as for working on my bullet journal and just having a quiet space. We went from an overfull interior to almost minimalist, creating physical space.
That left only my online presence.
Online I have Rebel’s Notes, Wicked Wednesday, The Menopause Diaries, Medium and Blogable.
My heart broke thinking of stopping with Rebel’s Notes, so I quickly rejected that idea. What’s more, there’s a huge overlap between Rebel’s Notes and Medium, which means I write something once, and can post it on both sites.
Blogable is just as close to my heart as Rebel’s Notes, especially because the fiction marathon has found it’s home there, and I don’t have to do all the writing myself. May and I share our knowledge, but we also have others writing posts and sharing their wisdom.
I had a good look at the memes. You might’ve noticed that The Menopause Diaries paused after February 2022. I have written about the dwindling numbers. Also, it’s the same people every week who link, and some of us link two posts to raise the numbers. It might look easy to run a meme, but those who have once done it know it’s not. It takes work. For nine-and-a-half years, I have done that work with pleasure, but not anymore.
So getting back to my very first sentence above: we might not have outgrown them, but I have.
Wicked Wednesday is ten years old, and The Menopause Diaries has its own domain since February 2021. The prompt ‘Ten Years’ is the last prompt for Wicked Wednesday, and ‘Hormone Replacement Therapy’ was the last prompt for The Menopause Diaries back in February 2022. Both these prompts will stay open until 31 December 2022. Yes, I know I said ‘Ten Years’ was the last prompt, so check both sites on 11 June for more news!
Yes, I’m sad, but also relieved
I haven’t made any decisions lightly. It’s the result of weeks of thinking, as well as months of coaching helping me understand and getting in touch with the real me. It feels right. Stopping with the memes, as well as all the other changes we have made. Maybe, with everything more balanced, I will finally be able to just curl up in my new recliner with a book for the first time in many years.