I didn’t write my weekly email last week.
A few people noticed and wrote to me wondering where I was.
I didn’t have a reason, really.
Other than that I don’t always have something to write. It’s rare, but the truth.
My mind was a bit tired, you see.
Not in a wild-eyed “I AM SO EXHAUSTED PLEASE WILL THE WORLD JUST STOP FOR A MOMENT?” way (although sometimes, I feel like that too), but in a more “I need to rest and take some time out” way.
Time to think and potter around my garden and stack some wood and work out a way to save tiny fledging birds from the jaws of my terror cat.
My last two weeks have been a flash of visiting the UK and flights and getting back home and coaching my brilliant clients and making sure I am home in time to put my kid in the bath and read to him before bed (our current read is this book, which I think should be mandatory reading for adults too).
I haven’t had much brain-space for anything else. My weekly email being one of them.
And I am ok with that.
I wouldn’t have been though, even just a few years ago.
I would have pushed and pushed, demanding more of myself—while not listening to some very OBVIOUS signs from my mind and body—ticking off the to-do list and saying yes when really I meant no and adding more and more appointments to my diary and always being there for anyone who wanted to talk and signing up to run marathons and ultra-marathons with hardly any break in-between and working over-time and answering late night calls from my corporate job (and then answering early morning emails from them too) and, and, and……I’d then get so exhausted and burnt-out and frustrated and fucked off that I’d either blow up at someone (usually my unsuspecting partner) over something ridiculous like how she hadn’t stacked the dishwasher properly, or I’d find myself hysterically crying my eyes out after watching a video on Youtube about a tiny kitten that got stuck in a water pipe.
I’ve learned though, especially since becoming a mum—and as my coaching business has grown and grown and grown at about the same speed as my son (which is FAST)—that shock-horror, I am not a Super Human. I am not a robot. I am not able to Do It All and Have It All and Be It All.
I have learned to say no. And really mean it. To the ever-so tempting emails from journalists asking me if I can ‘just’ write something for them—with a 24-hour deadline. To invites to parties that don’t even start until way past my bedtime (I am a Granny, I’m in bed by 9.30pm most nights). To emails from well-meaning and excited clients asking if I can please just squeeeeeeeze them in for a session this week when I’m already booked out. To myself; when I’m hankering to get out of the door and go and run some local trails….but my legs are achy from yesterday’s workout. To alcohol—it’s been 6 months now—because I’ve realised that the day after I drink, even if I’ve only had a small glass of wine, I feel anxious and like shit.
I have, of course, also learned to say yes. And really mean it. To early bedtimes (I am embracing Granny-mode, I tell you). To daily big, spacious boxes of time that are highlighted in my online calendar, that are simply titled “Breatheeeeeeeeee” (and I do just that). To meditating each morning (honestly: it took me years of a love/hate relationship with meditation to finally learn to love it, and even now, it still sometimes makes me want to scratch my eyes out). To walking for 30-minutes each day (and leaving daily voice notes on What’s App for my friends). To spending 5-minutes after waking up, and as I’m making my first cup of coffee of the day, to write down 3 things that would make the day a good day.
Simple stuff, really.
But stuff that slows me down in a good, soothing way. Stuff that reminds me that I don’t have to go so fast. And that, yes my to-do list often feels never ending, and yet most of the items on there can…. wait. That everything gets done in the end anyway. That the world doesn’t implode because I say no or don’t reply to an email in 0.5 seconds flat or I am not actively engaged in a Facebook group I can’t even remember joining, or worse, that someone added me to, or I let calls go to voicemail (I rarely listen to my voicemail now—sorry, if you’ve left me a voicemail).
Life feels easier and lighter this way.
Less a million miles an hour.
I think this is what life is supposed to be like, you know.
I don’t think we’re designed for go, go, go.
If you’re feeling a bit frazzled right now, can you slow down a bit too? Juuuuuuuust so that life feels a little less ARGGGGHHHH and more ahhhhhhh.
Here’s to slowing down and being more human, less robot.
Over and out,