The Wobbles

For the last couple of days I’ve been blogging about my brew day and how happy I am that I have finally got to this stage. Up-to this point has not been all ‘happiness and light’, sadly.

There was a reason for my period away from this blog from November to late March and that was ‘the wobbles’. If you are not familiar with the term, ‘the wobbles’ are uncertainties and instabilities that trouble us, setting us off on strange inner journeys. It might be a British English term, I don’t know.

As you know my Mindful return to Japan last September was a painful one and though I still don’t think we had much of a choice it is still a decision that I mull over. That isn’t very Mindful, I know. However, just papering over cracks and denying it exists isn’t Mindful either. I recognise these feelings when they come up and try to be kind to myself, by recognising the difficulties of the situation I was in. Then I just tell myself to ‘let it go’. One of the biggest wobbles I had was in February. I had to go back to the UK to get my dog, a lovely, gentle and laid back Beagle. Very kind neighbours had taken him in and agreed to look after him while he stayed out 6 months of quarantine in the UK. This was yet another example of the ‘kindness of others’.

This move however raised all sorts of stuff to the surface. This was the final move of the chess set. I was not happy to do it. I felt torn and troubled. Japan is a fine country, with lot’s going for it. We have a house here and are financially sustainable. But, I have come to see that it’s not ‘fun’. And this is very apparent to me in the lives of our children. They aren’t unhappy, in fact they seem fine. My eldest son seems down about the move sometimes and that continues to trouble me. However, these episodes seem to decrease over time.

As time progressed, I gradually came to see our move back here as a mistake. I shared this with my wife, who was shocked and made it clear that there was no going back for her. I can’t blame her, I pushed for move to the UK and then the return. Who can possibly blame her for being angry and upset about that?

So, I had gone from being filled with positivity about the move back to Japan to be being filled with dread and pain. And, in addition, I was beginning to play out a variety scenarios in my head. None of them were appealing and most involved some kind of family break-up, which I desperately want to avoid.

Then the time came to get my dog and my wobbles reached a crescendo…and subsided. I have a new ‘motto’, which is ‘make it work’ and Mindfulness again will be instrumental in this and maintaining that outlook. I can re-assess a bit further down the line. No need for drastic, traumatic action just yet.

In addition, the whole ‘ale’ idea has taken on added meaning. It’s relevance and importance has been crystallised. It has greater import than simply making beer, it’s no less than a vision for the future. It encompasses a wider mission and purpose which may give me the opportunities to scale back my teaching and simply do something I love. Of course, this will not be easy and may not actually come to fruition, but there’s no harm in giving it a bloody good try. Especially, if that is not going to cost us in the short term.

And so I return to my position in September. The route has been arduous, but who said life was easy? In fact, Buddhism makes this a central tenet of it’s philosophy (i.e that life is suffering and NOT easy). It all makes me feel extra proud that I’m still on target. I’m sure I’ve not seen the last of ‘the wobbles’ and for sure life will throw some more curve balls our way. Though I (and probably many Psychotherapists) would probably argue now that it is I who will be throwing the curve balls my way. Life eh, you just couldn’t write it could you?

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