I take my hat off to all these amazing women running businesses, parenting, fundraising and travelling the world, without a chipped nail or smudged eyeliner in sight. They seem to be here there and everywhere, whilst still looking super glam, with happy children and an amazing income to boot. (They must have super powers, right?)
It’s something I dreamed of being able to achieve for years. But the reality is far from it and that life just isn’t for everyone.
BUT THAT’S OK!
I have a secret, that I want to share with you…
This life isn’t for me.
I applaud the success stories and share their tales with a beam of pride seeing someone’s hard work paying off. I follow Insta feeds with glee and use their model as a boost when I need a hit of motivation. Because ‘Wow!’
But, it’s not a life I want. It feels like a revelation to say it out loud and something I never thought I’d say. But I am quite happy in my little City, spending most of my time in my home with my family and a few, carefully chosen, friends.
For years I ignored my body and my hatred of long hours, busy social lives and no down time. And I paid for it. I was constantly ill. I look back at my social timelines and every other day there’s a ‘I’ve got the worst headache.’ or ‘roll on bedtime.’ and ‘I’m so sick of being tired.’ I look again and see I was on Twitter until 2am, up at 6am, working from 7am – 10pm, as well as squeezing in booze fuelled weekends around the Country.
A couple of years ago, after a heavy load of anxiety and depression hit, I sat down and gave myself a good talking to. I looked at my life and sussed that it was the constant pressure to do better, chasing a dream I didn’t really believe in, never saying no, being seen to be busy or being seen to be lazy, that had taken affect. I was running around doing things and seeing people I didn’t really want to. Trying to be someone I’m not and I wasn’t getting any time at home to just be.
I was unhappy.
So I stopped.
I cancelled plans, cut out the negativity from my life and now make sure we have plenty of evenings and weekends at home together, plus time for myself. In between spending time with the people who make us happy.
And I don’t feel guilty in the slightest.
Why? Because this is what works for me. When my life is steady and I treat my mind and body well, my mind and body are good to me. It’s taken me a long time to learn the signs, but my body has always been good to me, trying to tell me when to take a break. It’s only now I’m listening that I’m benefiting from this amazing bit of communication.
To get to this point I’ve had to make some sacrifices in wages and ‘things’. I can’t do the weekly ASOS haul. But all in all I’ve gained so much more.
I know it’s not possible for everyone to change their job, work from home and have a week of free evenings. But if you’re constantly having to drag yourself out of the door to attend something you don’t really want to attend, or you’re running around with illness after illness without giving yourself time to recover – maybe it’s time to sit down and think ‘Do I really need to do this?’
Does the person you’re seeing deserve your time?
Will the office shut down if I take a sick day? Or will I be more productive and less infectious if I go in tomorrow?
Would Granny/friend/Aunty/Uncle really find it that much of a chore to watch the kids for a few hours? Or would they in fact love to be asked and enjoy some QT with their Grandchildren/Friends/Niece/Nephew?
Do I really need to watch every episode of Stranger Things tonight? Or should I get a good nights sleep and wait until tomorrow? (OK, so not everything’s as easy to give up!)
Is my life really so bad that I need to keep chasing the next thing? (Did this for so many years!)
I know so many people that are running around like headless chickens. Sick, unhappy and completely run down. Who won’t accept help, won’t take a break and won’t listen to their bodies.
If you’re happy with your life and you’re well and thriving from the busy, fair play to you. If you’re unhappy, sick and constantly complaining about how busy you are – slow the fuck down, take a break and get well.
It’s hard to take a break. But it can be so rewarding. Listen to your body Mama and don’t beat yourself up for taking some time out. You deserve it. xx