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:: It's What's Inside That Counts :: Inner Resilience - Part One ::


So, here I was with all these plans... plans to save the planet, plans to build an urban homestead, plans to be prepared for the future, plans to be resilient to what I believe will be a challenging future. (Of course, plans to be a great mother & wife & person in amongst all that, that should go without saying). I also had plans to record and share it all on a sleek and polished blog. Yep, my plans were to generally be awesome at everything... well, to at least try my hand at everything. (Jack of all trades, Master of none!) Within all this planning and dreaming and blogging, I forgot something important. I mean, check out my big list and plans for our Urban Homestead, and those to Be Prepared... bet you don't see anything in there about my own resilience! It might be alluded to, but it didn't get it's own heading or even a bulletpoint. Inner resilience... it's what's inside that counts!

I guess I thought my inner resilience would just happen... or that I had it already... or that actual skills, knowledge, equipment and plans were more important. But being able to handle challenges, to stay positive in the face of adversity, to recognise my own limitations and capacity, to take care of myself and live in the present more... those skills are worth cultivating! They could be more important to myself and my family than owning a manual grain mill (still in it's box), knowing how to ferment cabbage (sour sauerkraut anyone?), or raising chickens (still on our Wish List). But how, how do I build my inner resilience? I already feel like I am overwhelmed by my mental To Do list, even though I've recently dropped a heap of stuff from it, or am trying to! I know I need to sharpen my axe to be better in general, but seriously, a quick search through this blog shows you this is an ongoing issue for me!

This year, and no doubt one of the reasons I actually came unstuck, was the aim that I would put myself first and look after my own health issues (ironic, really!). OK, so I have little to complain about (being an RN, I see an awful lot of things worth complaining about) but between my chronic sinus issues (turns out it's a deviated septum & nasal spur causing issues, as well as living in Australia's dust bowl), my ongoing neck and shoulder issues (being a nurse, having fat babies, sleeping poorly), and my various skin disorders (including psoriasis and rosacea)... well, I thought I should take the time to see some specialists and give myself some TLC. But, the problem is that I didn't drop anything else to make time for myself, nope, I just tried to squeeze it all in.

On top of that, the recommendations of the physiotherapist, ENT specialist and Skin Specialist were totally putting me beyond capacity... eat this, don't eat that, take these supplements, spend a fortune on this cream, only use this soap, do these exercises, don't get a cold neck, sit up straight, don't pick up the kids, don't get up to them in the night, stop drinking at 6pm, don't drink alcohol or eat chocolate, relax, avoid stress... what!!!???!!! If I was a single person with no kids or commitments, there is a chance I could do all this stuff, but then, there is a good chance I also wouldn't have been suffering from those things if I was!

Numerous other things got added in, like Miss M starting Kindy, Cheeky A's own health issues (we are now dairy-free, with good results), me trying to get back into SOLE eating & shopping, harvest & preserving season, taking on more PermaBlitz duties, a month long blog challenge, and who knows what else. I know, I am moaning alot, when there are so many people in the world who'd love to be in my position, or those who have serious things to complain about! (But this is my life, and everything is relative to your own situation). Spreading myself so thin, trying to do it all, just meant I came to the point where I could do very little (besides whinge & moan!).

Strangely enough, I am thankful that I got myself into the position of being a burnt out because it has taught me valuable lessons, and I also got some good advice from you guys.

From Belinda, "Firstly remember burnout is part of life. Burnout in itself is not a problem, just information about how we are using our energy. As long as we listen to ourselves and adjust it doesn't need to have negative implications." and "The biggest gift you can give your family, particularly your children, isn't "things" (be they part of a useful stockpile or not) it's mental resilience. The people that will have the potential to do well in a radically changed future are those that have confidence in their ability to adapt, cope and learn what they need to from any situation they find themselves in." 

JulieG said, "1) You can do anything! But you can't do *everything*."

And from Nevyn, "If it's because you want to do it for yourself and for family then sit down think about the pros and cons and make a decision on that basis and not on how it might look to the rest of the world..."

Aurora commented, "I think that if you focus on personal qualities and strengths i.e. emotional resilience, curiosity and a willingness to learn new things, people skills and cultivating a cheerful outlook (and looking after your health too), you will be better prepared to face anything life throws at you. The practical skills and physical resources are important but secondary in that they could be taken away in an instant."

Others have great advice for me these last few weeks too, thank you all! So, here I am. How do I find time to work on my inner resilience, to spend time on myself? What does 'inner resilience' really mean? I guess that's why this is Part One, and there shall be a Part Two!

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Tags: Australia, BurnOut, InnerResilience, UrbanHomesteading

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