It’s Monday morning, 9am. I’m sitting on my balcony having breakfast and listening to the soft sound the rain makes when it falls on the canopy of trees that surrounds me.
Last night my morning class was cancelled and I rushed to book a slot in my Yoga studio for a morning workout. I went to bed thinking: Great! I can finally get some time for my practice! and it’s with one of my favorite teachers! Then the rain happened this morning… and it hypnotized me and convinced me to stay at home and enjoy the moment. I happily cancelled my plan of rushing and I’m set to spend the morning listening to her soundtrack.
Her, yes, because I think the rain is a She.
The rain nourishes life, and so do women.
I’m staying home (and probably order Uber Eats for lunch) because I deserve it and becase I can. Like my Lovely boyfriend The Troglodyte says, I’m not a fan of self praise, but the truth is that I worked my ass out last week, and didn’t get much rest over the weekend so this morning I’m staying home, to nourish my soul and to get nourished by the rain. I deserve it.
And I can. Yes, I can. I can I can I can. I have to repeat that to myself several times to shake off any possible the sense of guilt for doing nothing. I can because he provides. I can because while I was happily wrapped in my pillows and duvets he was silently getting ready to go to work. Very early. I actually must.
I must because what woke me up today was not the sound of the door as he left the house but the smell of the cigarette he had for breakfast.
Those little things he does to “calm me nerves” like he says, tell me he’s stressed, but he will hardly ever complain. He’s going through hell at work. I know. He’s doing all of that so that We, so that I, can have this life we have. So I let go of Miss productive, of Miss Independent and I stay home to enjoy, for him, for us.
I don’t really need to drag myself out to fulfill a series of tasks I had planned myself, for myself . I do it a lot and It’s completely self inflicted. I do because time is a terrible thing to waste and because there’s always a million things to do in the house. But in reality It’s to make myself feel useful because that’s something that gives me a kick since I do not work the in the corporate game anymore. Call it withdrawal symptoms.
It’s really me just finding fulfillment in the task achieved, not in the moment enjoyed.
The woman that has been working since 16 just to have my own income and not have to ask pocket money from my parents. She’s quite dominante in my brain, Earning it, and being able to spend it without justification, without second thoughts, has been part of my nature since that first job in the gift shop. I was actually brought up like that, to be Miss Independent. I guess part of my mother didn’t want me ending up stuck with my father like her.
For a very long time I dismissed the importance of her nourishment role. I was very masculine in my approach to life. Nevertheless, enough time as Miss Independent has showed me too many women role models that ‘made it’ in my environment, that also had serious guilt and failure issues on the nourishment side. Call me old fashion but I did get the call of human nature that told me there was a conflict, and going against it has a price to pay. God knows if the business drive will come back. I just couldn’t do it any more, It was time to tune into my nourishing side.
It’s very hard to let Miss Independent go. It takes trust in your partner and to make deaf ears to your Miss Independent girlfriend’s warnings. Including the one in your head. It’s also hard to find balance.
My corporate life payed me well to put up with a lot of crap, but I didn’t have to think of money ever. My new sponsored status means thinking if I’m going to get this or that with my boyfriend’s money or eat on my savings. I can’t think of it as OUR money yet. That’s a part of me that’s still holding on to Miss Independent. I’m always concerned about abusing his kindness. I do not make a lot of money teaching Yoga part time, even if it’s really fulfilling, and It’s hard to monetize the value of my home making versus his job.
The fact is that I keep striving to be even with him, when I know it’s never going to be even in that way. It has to be whole as the sum of both our efforts.
It’s getting chilly here. I grab my mustard cardigan and a cup of tea. This is a rare moment in Singapore and I’m going to allow myself to soak it all it, because I can now. I listen to the rain again. I hear the gardener sweeping the floor with a straw broom. He’s deaf, he can’t hear the rain, and yet he seems to be singing to some tune in his head. He talks to the trees, he talks to the birds. I’m not even going to stand up to make the bed.
It’s generally hard not succumb to the temptation of over planning to maximize my day. I have time now, and I want to make the most of it and be useful, but today nature made a conspiracy that’s too hard to resist.
I still have not decided how long this break from corporate life will be but it’s clear it will not be forever. I will not be able to slow down to enjoy Me time as much soon enough. I will not be able to do all those things that keep me busy and fulfilled either.
A friend of mine always says that she doesn’t know how I stretch time. I can give 3 classes, run several errands, be social, bake a tray of muffins and make dinner all in one day. The answer is that I’m a planner. I have the skills, dedication, hard work and commitment of a corporate soldier. I’m known to make things happen. It’s so programmed in my brain that here I am writing about how hard it is sometimes to let it go and enjoy Slow Living.
How much we try to justify it when the world around you is on the hamster wheel and you just came out of it. I stare at them with a mix of ‘should I be going back’ and ‘look at them the poor things running all day rushing to no where’.
Regardless of what I do professionally, the Slow Life has the days counted. When children come this will be over, for a VERY long time. Better enjoy it now.
I want to teach yoga, but I also want to contemplate and write, and I want to weave! I finally found something artistic to express my creativity that I can actually execute myself and not just design and order. It feels fantastic. Maybe a new business opportunity!
I don’t want t go back to to corporate but I do not have a solid plan ahead either! That’s what makes it very hard to truly relax and let go, permanently.
Until then I shall stay home more, at least times like this when I just can’t resist it. I will stay home to enjoy what he can’t, and nourish myself so I can nourish him.
Together we can be even. It’s not me versus him. It’s US.
There goes Miss Independent.
2 thoughts on “Letting go of Miss Independent”
A word of advice: You’ll never really let go of Miss Independent; the guilt and feelings of imposing on your spouse or needing to buy things on your own (etc) will always be there. I’m not sure yet if it gets any better or easier over the years… But I do know that I’ve been at this for 4 years now (more, really, if you also considered the “unofficial Housewifery” I performed for past long term boyfriends leading up to my Husband)- and sometimes they crop up at the weirdest moments. Hang in there! Whether or not you ever go back to the Corporate life, you can do it.
It has its ups and downs I must say. Thanks for your comment and encouraging! Here in Singapore there’s a lot of expats in that situation, and lots of therapists and supports groups. I’m happy to feel I have the choice, others don’t have the chance.
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