Are you finding the 30-day challenge hard? Do you want to quit or have you quit already? My confession: why I broke my 30 day challenge yesterday…..
Yesterday I didn’t write my 5-min love letter.
The point of the 30-day challenge (here if you haven’t seen it already) is one letter a day for 30 days.
I considered whether I should own up to this or not….or whether I wouldn’t quite tell the whole story….but who would that help? And I’ve learnt something big from this experience that might help you as well if you’re struggling in the same way. Also a huge part of my work is about unguarded honesty when it comes to your real feelings….and it isn’t fair if I ask that of my clients but won’t come to the party myself……so here goes….
The reason I didn’t write my letter is that it was too challenging. This letter was to my mum. As much as I do love her (I can say that to you…saying that to her is a different matter) we just don’t speak honestly about our feelings like that. We get along very well, and are quite close, particularly in the years since Dad’s death……..but I’m not sure I’ve said ‘I love you’ her to since I was a little girl. The whole idea is just dead uncomfortable. I realised the very day that I started this challenge that I would want to write to my mum. I also knew straight out that this would be a toughie.
Yesterday I told myself in the morning that I’d do it. When I came home last night I thought I’d do it then. Then I realised it had gotten late and I was tired…..(I’m not very good at nights you know)….and I knew I was supposed to do one letter a day…but who would know but me, right? So I made my several excuses and went to bed telling myself I’d do it this morning. I know I’m not the only one that has put off something important but challenging, just to put it off again, just to put it off again…… Sound like you? Or..(clears throat loudly)..someone you know perhaps?
BUT this morning when I woke I grabbed my iphone and checked my email, only to find the jolt I needed. (Yes I know – first thing I do – don’t even try and tell me I’m alone in this!) I had an email from one of my oldest and dearest friends telling me that his mum died this morning, after an incredibly long and incredibly brave battle against a rare and aggressive form of cancer. It wasn’t sudden, so he has had the chance over a number of years to say anything he might wish to share with her. Just a wee note here on that – it doesn’t make it any easier. There is much debate whether it’s better to know they are going to die or not to know, to be able to say goodbye but watch them suffer, or not to. Both can be equally as hard. Both have a good and bad side to them. I’m not suggesting my friend has it easier than anyone else. He doesn’t.
This made me realise that I need to suck it up and write to my mum. Even someone like me who is constantly working with, thinking about, talking about, and writing about death and grief can happily slip into the comfortable belief that there is always tomorrow. And I of all people should know a bit better – not only do I see the evidence to the contrary every day, but my own dad died instantly of a heart attack…..on the day I was flying back from Australia to NZ….to spend time with my grandmother….who was dying of cancer. Not a lot of warning there. I got the call as I got in to a taxi to the airport in Melbourne. I thought Mum was calling to tell me something had happened to Nana.
So I know tomorrow doesn’t always come and that there are no guarantees. But, like everyone else, I need reminding of this sometimes too. Because I can take the days and the people in my life for granted just as easily as the next human.
So I leave you now to write my 5-min love letter to my mum….though I suspect it will be much longer than an actual 5 minutes. Once it’s done I’ll post this blog……
…….Done! That’s all you need to know about it. The rest is for my mum. 🙂
If you’ve been struggling with the 30-day challenge and some of the people who you feel you can’t write to……push through it. More often than not the people you find the hardest to write to, or wait to write to, are the people that, deep down, you most want to write to.
And, for this or any of the other things in life that are challenging but oh so important to you, some wise words from Winston:
As always feel free to comment any thoughts at all down below. It’s always nice to know I’m not talking to myself. 😉 And if you have any questions or need any guidance or encouragement then I’d love to hear from you. Or just if you’re doing the challenge and want to say hi. firstname.lastname@example.org
PS As I broke the challenge I’m starting again today with 30 days. Don’t worry – I’m not suggesting you need to do the same if you slip. But I started this so it’s super important to me that I complete it. Plus I could easily write you a list of a hundred people I’d like to write to…so another 30 days aint nothing. 😉