How is Your Other Half?

Pay attention to your other half

In our backyard stands a beautiful tree. A liquid ambar that is at least 15 metres tall.

It makes a shitload of mess for three months of the year, but bathes the back deck in gorgeous, dappled shade for 8 more. So we forgive it.

Not long before we moved here, the previous owner, for some unknown reason, cut half the tree off. Top to bottom, straight through the middle. Like splitting a piece of firewood.

Gone.

Like it was never there.

It always made me sad – this beautiful, damaged tree.

Last week I was sitting in the early Spring sun writing procrastinating, when my eyes fell on the missing half.

And I was filled with a ridiculous delight to see…

the missing half is growing back.

Little by little, tiny branch by tiny branch, the balance is returning.

Gradually, and with the right amount of care – light, water and time – it is regrowing, rebuilding, reconstructing the part of itself that was ripped away.

 

Today – I want to ask you: how is your other half?

We all have a heavy half. The half that needs to get things done, that’s responsible, accountable. It’s the half that makes sure the kids get to school on time, that you don’t forget to pack snacks for the doctors appointment, that pays the bills, that turns up to work every day, sweeps the floor and mows the lawn and cooks dinner.

But what about your other half?

The half that is passionate, creative, spontaneous? The half that jumps your husband unexpectedly, or wears red lipstick, writes poetry and reads for fun?

The half that fills you out and makes you balanced, well-rounded, whole. How’s that half going? Is it looking healthy and well-tended?

Mine? Notsomuch.

Let me preface this by saying:

I truly love my life. I love my husband and I love my kids – wholly, completely, unconditionally. I choose the welfare of them over everything and keeping our family unit strong is my biggest job. I take it incredibly seriously.

But since Isla was born, I have been that tree. Half of me was unceremoniously cut off. Top to bottom, chopped down, thrown away. As though she never was.

My kids didn’t do this to me. I did this to me. Because I forgot about my other half. As though she never was.

I threw myself wholly into parenting. And I didn’t accept help. I didn’t take time. I didn’t give myself the care I needed to be a strong, protective, well-rounded, balanced tree.

And the years that followed saw me lean dangerously. Had the wind picked up anymore, I would have fallen down – for good.

That scares me.

But thankfully, in a large part because of you – yes, you, reading this – I started to take notice of what I’d lost. What I needed on the other side. What I needed to become balanced and whole again.

Spending time on myself, spending time by myself, getting strong, exploring my passion. These things were missing. I’d cut them off, pretending they weren’t important.

But is is important. So, so, so important.

So here I am, working on my other half. And, lo and behold, I’ve started to grow back. Different, but better.

And I just wanted to say thank you.

Tell me, how is your other half?

 

There’s no doubt life can be fast. Often too fast. Too much. Too stressful. Too overwhelming. On days like that we will tell ourselves there’s no time to slow down.
But there’s always time for a little slow, even on the busiest day. Join us for 365 Days of Slow and commit to a moment of slow, every day for a year. Learn more and sign up right here.

8 Responses to How is Your Other Half?

  1. Love this post (and not what i was expecting from the title LOL)I have spent the last 1 1/2 years reconnecting with my other half since my youngest was settled at school. I have always taken time for me, but it was more socializing, exercise etc not about my interests on a deeper level or being creative, thinking, doing… Hope your other half grows back even stronger than before xx

  2. Love, LOVE this! My post today was all about rediscovering myself – in part, finding that part of me underneath the responsibilites that is the *real* me.

    It’s tough to ‘grow back’ but I’m sure it will be well worth it!

    P.S. Perhaps we should take some time to find our other halves in a bottle of gin in Melbourne in October? Ha!

  3. I lost that half sometime back in high school. Started to find her again in my early 40s. I prefer to think that part of me was dormant, not dead. It’s an amazing gift to me, that I’ve been able to rediscover the girl who used to spend hours lost in creative play.

  4. Wow. I love reading your posts- and usually do so when I can have a moment of quiet. This post is very thought provoking. I’ve missed ‘my other half’ of late but have made a resolve to take much better care of her after reading this. Thanks so much. Again.

  5. Your title pulled me in thinking it was husband related. Im doing things, i went overseas sans kids and husband recently, i went to a music festival, i worked on that BIG project, I’m teaching myself an instrument via youtube and i go for long walks in the afternoon.
    2013 is cultivating my other half. I blog about my life backstage and I love it! Blog with passion and be creative!
    I HAVE my other half in 2013!.

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