My secret to sanity

As I reluctantly strip down to my bikini and slide into the crisp water of the swimming pool, my rounded shoulders feel heavy with the weight of the world.

My mind is racing, distracted. I have so much to do. I can barely breathe I have so much to do, yet I know in my heart and mind that the most important thing for me to do is swim.

I put on my goggles, take a breath and push off the pool wall. The first few laps are rushed, frantic even. I’m sure onlookers would see a fury of water around me as I pummel my way down the pool. Thoughts relentlessly dart through my mind threatening to drown me until out of nowhere comes the reprieve. I find my rhythm, I slow down. I shift my thoughts from the chaos of life to focus on my stroke, my kick, the quiet. Instead of feeling heavy with the weight of the world on my shoulders, I feel weightless in the water.

As I finish my laps, I reluctantly hop out of the pool. Exhausted, but refreshed I wrap my towel around me and walk home dripping wet. The droplets of water on my skin a reminder of calm. My ‘me’ time. My new weekly ritual.

I don’t know whether it’s the time of year or not, but life feels full on. Work is crazy busy and home life is equally crazy. It’s as though someone has cranked life up to full throttle and we’re racing toward Christmas and the end of the year.

Lately I have felt constantly on the go. I’m always watching the clock and planning my next move. While I used to be that little duck on the pond looking serene and calm, while my feet work fast below me, I now feel like my feathers are getting ruffled and my legs are moving at the speed of light, but I’m getting nowhere.

I have been slipping lately. Last week I forgot to pack my one-year-old’s food for the day, I was in tears over a lost purse which turned up in my handbag that I’d searched sixty times, and a friend chatted to me about an email that I had no recollection of sending them. While I’m not 100 % certain I don’t have the early onset of dementia, I can only put these slip ups down to me rushing around like a lunatic, doing too much, and not taking care of me.

My solution is my new Sunday ritual, my swim. It is my time to find the peace I crave, even if it is only for 30 minutes. On evenings like yesterday’s when I face, after a hectic day at work, sick children, hunger strikes, fighting siblings, and a poo in the bath, I know that if I remain strong and calm I will have my reward at the end of the week. It is this ritual that keeps me sane and powering on to the end of the year.

Are you feeling overwhelmed with life as the end of the year nears? What keeps you sane?

36 comments on My secret to sanity

  1. Pip Macdonald
    November 20, 2013 at 6:18 am (4 years ago)

    Oh such good advice. I do find a release like sport focuses your mind and offers you distance. I also find I ask myself, when in the midst of overwhelm, what can give?.what doesn’t matter if I do half arse? There always seems to be something I can cancel, minimise or just complete even if it’s not perfect. Hope you feel you’re able to smell the roses soon xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 20, 2013 at 9:13 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks Pip. I think minimising is a great idea too! I like to keep things as low key as possible on the weekend x

      Reply
  2. Sam Stone @ A Life on Venus
    November 20, 2013 at 9:36 am (4 years ago)

    Absolutely overwhelmed at the moment!
    My blog keeps me sane. I wish I could get out more for a walk in the fresh air alone too – maybe next year.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 20, 2013 at 9:15 pm (4 years ago)

      Yes, the new year is the perfect time for a fresh start. Until then, I hope things ease up a little for you πŸ™‚

      Reply
  3. Toni
    November 20, 2013 at 1:16 pm (4 years ago)

    My weekly treat for myself is mothers group. Its not exactly alone time but it allows me to get out of the house and socialise with adults (oh how exciting lol). It also gives Hayley time to socialise. I’m getting a massage on Friday so that’s some real ME time.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 20, 2013 at 9:18 pm (4 years ago)

      The massage sounds AWESOME! Enjoy! I love getting out with other mums too. The kids can play together while you can talk to women experiencing the same things as you!

      Reply
  4. Anika
    November 20, 2013 at 2:10 pm (4 years ago)

    Hi Renee! I know exactly where you are at. I totally believe in ritual days – they keep you sane. A couple of weeks ago I was drowning in all that needed to be done. I implemented ritual days for the exact same reason you have. I even wrote a blog on it, as well! Great minds think alike πŸ™‚ Now only 4 more sleeps until your next swim x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 20, 2013 at 9:19 pm (4 years ago)

      Yay! I’m so glad you recognised you needed some time for yourself too! It’s amazing what a difference it can make x

      Reply
  5. Zanni Louise
    November 20, 2013 at 2:23 pm (4 years ago)

    Much like you…I go for a run. If I don’t I go a bit insane after a few days. Lovely post. Glad to hear you are looking after yourself. xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 20, 2013 at 9:19 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks, Zanni, and you too! x

      Reply
  6. Kim@spiritedmama
    November 20, 2013 at 4:56 pm (4 years ago)

    Renee I totally relate and it’s somewhat comforting to hear of someone else doing the kinds of things I’m doing at the moment. I ended in tears over a courier issue and found out he’d already collected my parcels; on sat I was so exhausted I clumsily but ever so slightly tipped into so eons scooter, knocking it over and damaging it. I left a note, it was the fellows birthday and his wife handled it for him. I felt terrible but annoyed with myself for being so tired and clumsy … It was the poo in the bath for me. I am just dragging myself to the school holidays so I can hopefully rejunvenate. I’m with you, having a swim … And a virtual g&t πŸ™‚ x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 20, 2013 at 9:23 pm (4 years ago)

      Well here’s cheers to you, Kim. We can enjoy our virtual drink together. Sounds like you’ve had a really rubbish time lately. How awful about the scooter and the courier. You poor thing. I find when you’re exhausted things just spiral out of control so easily and the slightest thing can make you crumble. I hope you have a relaxing weekend. Will be thinking of you x

      Reply
  7. Sarah@SnippetsandSpirits
    November 20, 2013 at 10:16 pm (4 years ago)

    I hear you and I am not even busy. A swim sounds like heaven I love to escape to the soothing arms of water. Nice writing!! Hope you can continue to enjoy those small escapes !

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 21, 2013 at 5:59 am (4 years ago)

      Thanks Sarah. I love the water too. A dip in the ocean would be the ultimate for me at the moment. I can’t wait to get to the beach at Xmas. Hope you’re having a good week!

      Reply
  8. Kathy
    November 22, 2013 at 6:58 am (4 years ago)

    Renee – glad you have found your sanity in the madness. Life is ridiculously busy. I’m so lucky to be heading for a week away to Brunswick Heads – an annual family tradition that is a circuit-breaker before December rushes on to the Christmas and the end of the year.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 22, 2013 at 1:30 pm (4 years ago)

      Good for you, Kathy. Brunswick will be spectacular this time of year. I hope you all have a lovely relaxing break together.

      Reply
  9. Becc
    November 22, 2013 at 7:45 am (4 years ago)

    I wish i would fall back on some form of exercise, I am so unmotivated.
    I have a certain time of day where I just sit with my afternoon tea and do whatever I feel – read, watch TV, sit in the sun or by the pool (see I could even fit it in here). Then the tornado hits and I feel ready for it.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 22, 2013 at 1:32 pm (4 years ago)

      A cuppa, tv or book sounds great. It’s all about fitting in the down time somewhere isn’t it to get us through the day?! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  10. Kate
    November 22, 2013 at 8:09 am (4 years ago)

    Great post, felt like I was right there in the pool with you. People complain about how boring it is with the black line and all but how many opportunities do mums get for quiet and single focus like that. My week was a rare opposite of yours this week but I can so relate. Great that you have found a release. I have always been able to regain my sanity with a walk on the beach and feet in the water. Hope you have a relaxing weekend x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 22, 2013 at 1:35 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks Kate. I love the beach too, but I just don’t get there enough. I’m so glad you’ve had a great week. Let’s hope next week is the same x

      Reply
  11. Neets
    November 22, 2013 at 8:53 am (4 years ago)

    It is such a crazy time of year isn’t it? Good for you for taking time out for you, it’s so important. I like to run or take the dogs out for a long walk along the beach. It clears my head and keeps me sane. xox

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 22, 2013 at 1:39 pm (4 years ago)

      Ahhh I long for a long walk on the beach. Maybe over Xmas. I hope all is well with you and you’re feeling great x

      Reply
  12. Leanne Winter
    November 22, 2013 at 9:51 am (4 years ago)

    Hi Renee, yes I am feeling overwhelmed. Thanks for asking! Like you, I think it’s a combination of a crazy time of year descending upon us on top of being super busy with all the regular stuff. I love your strategy of time at the pool just for yourself. And I love the duck analogy. I think perhaps I’m more of a dolphin stuck in a shark net πŸ˜‰

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 22, 2013 at 1:44 pm (4 years ago)

      Lol. Oh dear, Leanne πŸ™‚ I hope you get to have some time out soon and can break through that shark net πŸ™‚

      Reply
  13. Amanda @ Cooker and a Looker
    November 22, 2013 at 11:43 am (4 years ago)

    Overwhelmed over here too. I start so many conversations with “I can’t remember, did I tell you …..?”
    Loved your description of swimming I could totally picture it. x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 22, 2013 at 1:44 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks Amanda. I’m glad I’m not the only one with a memory like a sieve πŸ™‚ x

      Reply
  14. Lauren
    November 22, 2013 at 12:02 pm (4 years ago)

    Another hand up over here, feeling quite overwhelmed at the moment. I love this post, I felt relaxed just reading it!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 22, 2013 at 1:45 pm (4 years ago)

      Oh good, Lauren! Happy to help πŸ™‚ I hope you get to have some time out soon πŸ™‚

      Reply
  15. Lucy @ Bake Play Smile
    November 22, 2013 at 6:56 pm (4 years ago)

    I so totally agree with you!! Life is just insanely busy at the moment… and it really doesn’t ease up until after Christmas! And yes, I keep forgetting things too! Your swim sounds lovely πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 22, 2013 at 8:19 pm (4 years ago)

      Glad I’m not the only one, Lucy. It can be hard to remember my name some days πŸ˜‰ I hope you have a lovely break over Christmas πŸ™‚

      Reply
  16. Jodie@FreshHomeCook
    November 22, 2013 at 8:12 pm (4 years ago)

    Oh Renee it all sounds so eerily familiar!! I have been feeling completely overwhelmed with life lately – especially since going back to work full time.
    For me, my sanity is dragging myself out of bed at about 5.30am a few times a week & going for a walk. As hard as it seems to do some days, I always feel better for it & those days seem to feel less frantic & stressful.
    Love your descriptive on swimming – felt like I was right there with you! πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 22, 2013 at 8:21 pm (4 years ago)

      Good on you for getting up so early and going for a walk. I bet it’s hard to get out of bed, but it would be so worth it in the end. Going back to work full time must be an adjustment. I hope you have some down time planned over Christmas πŸ™‚

      Reply
  17. Katie (@mumabytes)
    November 23, 2013 at 6:04 pm (4 years ago)

    Oh, Renee, I’m with you! Everything feels manic right now, it’s insane. It’s the whole end of the year business – everything seems to ramp up ten-fold. Your idea to use exercise is such a good one. I’m a big believer that getting away and moving your body always helps. Being in water is especially calming. I’ve done ten hours today on the computer, and the stress of preparing food, washing clothes, filling out kindy forms and planning xmas and holidays etc, is full on. I’m looking forward to some downtime soon. Great descriptive writing as always πŸ™‚ Here’s hoping things calm down for us all soon….I doubt it will be until December 26th, though…!! xx P.S don’t beat yourself up about forgetting things etc – there’s is seriously only so much we can cope with. Something always has to give. It happens to us all.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 23, 2013 at 8:36 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks Katie πŸ™‚ 10 hours on the computer is really intense, not to mention everything else. You must be exhausted. I’m filling out kindy and school forms too. So time consuming! I hope you get to have a little time out for you this weekend πŸ™‚

      Reply
  18. Emily
    November 24, 2013 at 4:27 pm (4 years ago)

    Sounds like a great way to unwind. My way also involves swimming – hubby takes our daughter to her swimming lesson on Saturday. So I settle bub, and have a shower BY MYSELF WITH THE DOOR CLOSED AND NO-ONE WATCHING. And it is BLISS!

    If bub sleeps longer than his customary half an hour, I might even read part of the paper BY MYSELF WITH NO-ONE CRAWLING ALL OVER ME! BLISS!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 24, 2013 at 8:10 pm (3 years ago)

      Sounds awesome, Emily πŸ™‚ A shower or trip to the toilet without anyone watching really is bliss πŸ™‚

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *