The other day I was in a coffee shop, relishing my own thoughts and my own company. I just love, being. I could sit and people watch for hours! If I’m with one of my friends we sometimes play ‘what’s the situation’ and discuss what we think is going on with people. ‘12 o’clock, just broken up with her boyfriend, meeting with the male best friend. He wants more than the best friend status!’ It’s a fun game.
On this particular day however, I didn’t need to play the game. I was sitting next to a table of two women who I’d say were maybe in their mid 30’s. Both appeared professional, well kept and attractive. The depth of their discussion was nevertheless potential future relationship suicide, and went as far as listing every single hang-up they had about themselves, their lives and the people in it. Their conversation drained my spirit but I couldn’t help but want to listen to more. Perhaps it was to hear the extent of their moaning and giggle at their shallow expense or perhaps it was to compare my own life to theirs. Did I identify with some of what they were saying? Absolutely. Was I as hung up as they were? Absolutely not!
I have found that within the last three years of my life, I have seen the most personal growth within myself; spiritually, emotionally and mentally. Whereas I used to get anxiety about the prospect of getting older, old and then dying, OMG dying!… I now relish in my wisdom, my mind, the way I think, habits I’ve dropped and picked up, visions that have become clearer, goals that have been set, ambition and determination which continue to be my driving force, personality and character traits that I’ve either left behind or adopted, self acceptance and ultimately the person I have become today, and am. Yes, I’m a woman and a human and I think we have it instilled in us to naturally always be hung up about something, and by hung up I mean ‘not relaxed’. It doesn’t always necessarily involve our own selves but things that others may do. For example getting worked up over crumbs left on the kitchen counter, fingerprints left on glass doors or even HAVING to tally up your husbands receipts every day!
I put the question to some of my friends: ‘What could you be more relaxed about?’
They didn’t all want to be identified so I’ve changed the names, but kept their quotes.
I hate relaxing. I have this awful feeling that I can’t waste time. I can’t ever just be. I am always packing in so much. I need to work on that. Also, sometimes when I assert myself and am bold at work, I really worry that people will think I am bossy or arrogant or a smartass. I bet men never think that!
There are so many things I could be relaxed about as I am a perfectionist. I have spots so I hardly ever go out without make up on, my skin is pale and I always have to have fake tan on when I show my skin. My body isn’t in super good shape so sometimes when I have pictures taken I have rolls and I can be self-conscious. As I get older I have learnt to love myself with all my flaws but I haven’t really gotten over the tan thing as I love my skin looking tanned.
Its about not having to be doing something all of the time. I think as women we are so used to rushing around and being productive, trying to get those to – do lists completed, that we forget that it’s okay to actually stop and do nothing. On top of that when we do just stop and take some ‘me time’ there is such guilt associated with it, or the thoughts about what you SHOULD rather be doing.
I’d say not having to be in control all the time. I think sometimes I put too much pressure on things being perfect all the time and usually things never live up to the high expectations you have of something in your head. I want to try not to control situations and just relax and enjoy them.
I’m not relaxed about photos. Having to see them before they get posted on social media because I may not like the angle or the lighting. Secondly, I would have to say cellulite. I’m not comfortable wearing shorter skirts. I’m also not comfortable showing my arms.
I’ve been told I have a great body and one of my hang-ups is that I’m shy about it and don’t let it all hang out. Loving myself exactly the way I am is what I need to be more relaxed about.
I could be more relaxed about my body. I need to embrace it more and not look at what I consider are my faults; cellulite, fat knees, flabby skin on my arms. Another is being a perfectionist, things not being straight in line, not being able to even sleep if my room is not neat and tidy!
I identified with a lot of what they said. Definitely the ‘feeling guilty about not having to do anything’ and about ‘relaxing.’ I also identified with some body hang-ups and definitely about the tan issue. Although with saying that, I had a photo-shoot the other day and for the first time, I showed up tan free! Ha!
Hang-ups can be hard to succumb to, but isn’t it so endearing that the majority of us women, all feel pretty much the same about so many things? I think it’s comforting in a world where everyone is trying to either outdo each other or trying to be more societally popular, that we all have one thing in common…
WE ARE JUST WOMEN.