This is a really hard blog post to write, but I feel like I need to. My whole mantra with this site (and life in general) is to ‘keep it real’. There’s no point showing up in business or life as something other than myself. And if you read right to the end you’ll find a little challenge. So, here goes…
The past year has been a little nuts. My third child was born and I birthed a business (kind of by accident – but a very happy accident!). I took it and ran with it. And I ran very, very fast.
I ran so fast that I didn’t even realise I was running! Life was one big movement in all sorts of crazy directions. But it was SO FUN! Well, most of it.
But the past month something shifted. The adrenalin ran out, perhaps. The reality of this new life and the pace of it smacked me in the face.
“Hang on – is this really how I want to live?”
Because I have a choice. (I had forgotten that).
Late nights working, early mornings working (because it’s impossible to work with three kids around!) started to get really old. I wanted to have a night off. How crazy that ‘a night off’ seemed like a luxury!
For a long time I didn’t want it any other way because I was so energised by the work. I’m just going to go right ahead and say that being a mother can be so boring. And repetitive. And lonely. So having something just for me, beyond motherhood was just so crazy enjoyable. And rewarding.
But a very clever lady has helped me realise that I cannot compartmentalise my life. I cannot put Lisa as Mother, Lisa as a Wife, Lisa as a Worker, Lisa as a Dreamer into separate compartments – because IT’S ALL ME! So if Lisa the Worker is feeling drained and in need of a break – I was bringing this to all elements of my life. I had no motivation to do anything!
There is no such thing as anything ‘beyond motherhood‘. If you really stop and think about it, it’s a crazy concept. I can’t wake up and not be a mother. I can’t go through my day and not consider my children. I cannot make decisions in isolation from them. As soon as I fell pregnant to my first child, I had stepped into a new paradigm. My world as a mother is now known as ‘MY WORLD’.
A business cannot exist outside of my world – it’s impossible.
But I had kind of been expecting it to.
This realisation that I cannot separate my children and my role as a mother from other aspects of my life put into sharp focus the need for balance and to start being far kinder to myself. (Which, ironically, is something I talk to Small Steppers about A LOT!) Here I was with no time to be creative in the kitchen (my absolute joy) and dragging my feet through my days.
Of course, I was giving myself a really hard time about feeling like shit and just kept ploughing forward as best I could.
Until I did take some time out. I sat under a big tree by the Brisbane River in the sunshine and I gave myself NOTHING to do. Nothing.
It was really hard. But I did it anyway. And of course you know what happened…. I took out a notepad and started writing. I wrote a ‘manifesto’ or sorts – or perhaps a mission statement. It just poured out of me and it felt so good.
And after a few tears about getting clarity for how I want to live my life and my purpose with this business, well then I turned over the page and wrote my twelve month business plan. The most amazing ideas came to me – and the timeline even came – a REALISTIC one! Ha!
Suddenly, the tears were pouring out because I realised that I was burnt out. I gave myself permission to feel what it was I had been feeling – absolutely fucking exhausted!!
And from that moment – I was re-energised.
That moment of silence was all I needed. To get back to myself.
If you could give yourself the same thing – an hour of NOTHING to do sitting in nature – I wonder what would come out? My manifesto is now my guiding light to help me make decisions – decisions that will keep me aligned and help me move forward with grace.
Now I’m so grateful for this month of burn out – I’m grateful because it helped me draw a line in the sand. And what I wrote under the tree was also the biggest gift I could have given my marriage. But maybe more about that another time…if you would like to hear more, check out Small Steps Back to You.
So – perhaps try it. Do you feel it might be time to draw a line in the sand? Have you been feeling a slow burn?