You don’t need to fly planes to crash and burn
Last Saturday morning, I sort of woke up. I say sort of because I didn’t really wake up the whole day.
I had kind of performed a crash and burn manoeuvre that I knew was sort of self-inflicted and sort of something that had been been a time bomb waiting to happen.
I was walking around with a big, fuzzy haze of stuff going on in my head. None of it made any sense. AT ALL. Except it did.
I was. I am. EXHAUSTED.
The lack of balance in my work/life had tilted so far, it was off the scale.
I’m a night owl. It’s when I do my best writing. When everyone has gone to sleep and it’s quiet. It’s peaceful. The email inbox stops filling. And the only noise is that of the whirring overhead fan and a couple of fighting geckos.
This work management would be fine if I could sleep in to compensate. But I can’t – school starts at a certain time and I need to get up and drive my kids there. And make breakfast. And pack lunches.
It would also be fine if I were someone who didn’t have an auto-immune disease, one whose main symptom is tiredness.
I’m not saying this to whinge, I’m just painting a picture of where my mind
was is at.
For far too long, I’ve been asking too much of my adrenal glands (if there were an Adrenal Olympics, mine would bring home the gold, the amount of training I’ve put them through) to get me through the day and night, taking too many withdrawals from the sleep bank. There have been nowhere near enough deposits. Let alone any regularity to my savings.
So when I had an extra stress of my website being hacked last week – on top of the stress I had been putting myself under for far too long – the result was collapse.
Yes, my body got me through to the weekend and then said: “I’ve got you this far, time for some changes, girlfriend”.
So changes, I’ve done. Sort of. Well, I’ve put a plan in place. And a pledge, if you like.
Here’s my plan:
I emailed my old yoga teacher, told him not to fall off his tree pose when reading my email, but I would be BACK. I told him to book me in and email me a week beforehand to confirm and basically guilt me into my decision.
I also emailed my friend Raelene, who leads the most amazing meditation nights. I’m
not every good crap at meditating. Mainly because I’m so bloody tired all the time, as soon as anyone says shut your eyes, I fall asleep. But I’m going to try again. My mind needs the downtime.
I’ve dug out my sneakers from the back of my cupboard. They will re-acquaint themselves with the morning beach walk I haven’t done in far too long.
4. Food and wine
The one thing I do get right and am consistent about is nutrition. I do feed myself and my family, real, wholesome food. Little processed stuff passes my lips. It’s just that I could reduce my wine intake even more. I think. I can. I think. I can.
5. Working smarter
This week, I did a little experiment. I switched off my emails and Tweetdeck while ever I was writing a blog post. While ever I needed a chunk of uninterrupted time to get stuff done. I know this is not a new idea but I’ve always been too scared to do it myself. I’m not sure what I’m scared of? Missing out? Not
responding jumping to someone’s request the minute it’s made?
6. Scheduling me time
I’m vowing to not overload my schedule SO much that it can’t breathe. That it won’t let me breathe. That it won’t even let me breathe long enough to read a book on a Saturday afternoon in the shade of our front patio.
I can’t make any guarantees that this will all work but I think I can make a good go of it. Just writing down how I can better balance my life has to be a good thing, right?
Would love to hear how you balance YOUR life. Can you please leave me your tips in the comments below? They could really help me and maybe someone else who’s misplaced the word BALANCE in the dictionary.
PS. I took the photo above of my friend Sarah. I was meeting her for a catch-up drink last Friday afternoon. We met late in the afternoon at a fabulous riverside restaurant and bar near our home and as I walked in I saw her hunched over her laptop sitting under the shade of one of the huge Cotton Trees that the area is named after. She had found herself with an hour to spare between meetings and decided to get outside and set up “office” to tie up end-of-week loose ends. It was peaceful and productive. Smart girl!