The grown up version of Tigger is being resilient - a word that's cropping up everywhere I look at the moment. This usually tells me there's something I need to pay attention to, so I decided to have a little ponder.
I like a bit of definition as you know, so here's what the dictionary says about resilience:
1 the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity: nylon is excellent in wearability and resilience.2 the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness: the oftenremarkable resilience of so many British institutions.
Now doesn't that just say it all! You can't get very far in life without resilience.
I remember very clearly the first time the word 'resilience' made me stop and think. About five years ago I was struggling badly to cope with everything and felt very close to the edge. Mum and Dad needed more and more care and I was travelling up and down to Leeds to sort out food, medication, the care system. We were trying to get them moved to live near us which Mum really didn't want to do and with a major recession about to start. We were negotiating the care system on both sides of the Border for Dad and buying and selling houses to get us all to North Berwick (we bought and sold 7 in total). At the same time I had to change jobs and my back packed in so I'd lower back pain and couldn't exercise my stress away. This was when I was getting really, really fat. It was a really hard time on every level.
The crunch came in my annual appraisal, something that I find incredibly stressful at the best of times. It was booked for the afternoon of my first regular mammogram screening and by the time I got to my desk I was a bit tired and emotional. We got started and for once instead of just ignoring what I'd been through (largely because I was about to cry!) I told my boss and said I wasn't sure it was the best time. He agreed and said just in passing as I left the room, 'you're very resilient Sue'.
At the time I wasn't sure if being resilient was good or bad - there must be something wrong with me if I needed to be resilient, surely I should just cope and not make a meal of it. Don't people just get on with it and not make a fuss? They certainly don't want to cry at work or tell their boss just as they're about to have their appraisal. Anyway I just got on with it. Things got much better, life went on, everything got sorted.
I realised as I thought about it, that I'm being resilient again. The clue was wanting to cry at inappropriate moments and bursting into tears over a tv programme. Things have stacked up again. The calf injury (you know all about that), having to change jobs again; Mum's care needs going up a major notch and I'm struggling to cope with all the demands on my time and my emotions. Yet again, when I need it most, I can't run, so those stress chemicals are washing round my system. I don't know the science but I am sure that I want to cry to wash them out. Much better to sweat them away.
Anyway, I've decided I'm not going to cope, I am going to be resilient, in fact I'm going to do more than that, I'm going to bounce back. I'm reconnecting with my inner Tigger. Tigger doesn't just cope, he bounces through life with zest, fun and with his chums.
I've got lots to make me bounce like Tigger. I have family and friends (real and virtual!) who are wonderfully caring and supportive; Mum may not always know who I am but she loves me anyway and appreciates everything we do for her and this won't last forever. I have my health and my passion for life, I live in a lovely place, I have a job I love and I will run again. I am indeed rich and blessed in all the things that really matter and that make life sweet.
It's a cliche to say you should count your blessings, and that's a very Tigger thing to do. Well maybe Tigger doesn't count blessings, he just enjoys them. It's blessings large and small that get us through the bad times as well as making the good times great. And of course if you're not feeling bouncy today, there's always that other saying - that which does not kill me makes me stronger! Good times, bad times, they all change.
A quick running update. I got a major bounce from a 10 minute run in the sunshine yesterday. All kitted up, with garmin, yes I know it's daft but it was an important statement. All I need to do now is run a few more of those joined up and I'm laughing. What's great is my leg feels better for running, so my confidence is growing too. I can now walk downstairs and run for the bus. And I am starting to think a marathon this year might be possible after all..... Now isn't that a Tigger-type thought!
Thank you to all of you who help me bounce! Take care everyone, keep bouncing!