WOW… what a week, in fact what a couple of weeks this has been. I feel like I am in a tail spin with thoughts, ideas, actions to be done and hope for the future. It is hugely overwhelming but in a way that I have never felt before.
What does overwhelm mean…?
I would have previously described overwhelm as having a constant feeling of anxiety, pressure, fear of failure and being completely and utterly exhausted. It has taken for me to have a baby and start building the platforms of my own business for me to realise that this feeling of overwhelm wasn’t a feeling that came and went for me. It was how I felt morning until night. It was what I had accepted as ‘normal’.
Wake up at 6am and have my son waiting for the school gates to open at 8am, driving to the office, attending meetings, going away for overnights, making conference calls from the car while driving 400 miles to our regional office. Asking friends and family to pick up my son and arranging to have my step son for extra days when we could. I was literally running on empty 365 days a year. I wanted to fit in the gym, a hair cut, a night out with friends, a date night with my other half who also spent most of the last two years working away from home. I was a single parent for weeks at a time; I wanted to do everything but felt I was failing at it all. There was no way I would ever fit in learning Spanish like I wanted to.
Thinking back it is like watching a movie of someone else’s life. I see now that I wasn’t failing at anything. I was running a regional business. I was giving it my all. I was keeping a nice home. My kids knew they were loved and had me there as much as I could be helping with home work and planning family days out BUT it all came at a cost. It came at the cost of me spending every waking minute on the edge. I was juggling so many things that most days I felt like an OVERWHELMING failure.
Overwhelm over time…
You can’t sleep or rest or relax when you feel like this! You can’t be the best partner and mother and friend or even employee when you feel like this…
You can’t… or at least I couldn’t. I felt overwhelmed, fraught and guilty. Guilt came hand in hand with my overwhelm because I was spending 8-10-12 hours a day working and thinking about someone else’s business. In turn I was coming up empty for the things and the people that really and truly mattered to me. My partner, my kids, my home, my hobbies, the things that make happy. Although I still can not bring myself to say that there is anything inherently wrong with the life I lived before. I lived it for years. I committed to it, it funded my mortgage and contributed to my holidays twice a year. It gave me business acumen on levels I couldn’t even comprehended a decade ago and I will forever be grateful for the skills I gained and the lessons I learned. However after having my daughter I came to the sharp realisation that I couldn’t go back to it.
Changing the circumstances of overwhelm…
Accepting that what I was doing wasn’t making me happy was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, because as much as I was overwhelmed I felt safe. I had embedded myself into a corporate working culture and I had progressed my career from the ground up in this environment, it was where I thought I would always be. That changed when I had Ava. My beautiful 16 week old baby changed my life.
I now describe overwhelm as a positive. I will always be overwhelmed in some way because I thrive on it. I thrive on being busy and I love the pressure of working towards a new achievement. Being engulfed in different projects and pass times makes me who I am. I love being needed and being there for my friends and family. I choose to live a positively overwhelming life. It is a driving force behind why I get up every day. It pushes me to come up with new ideas and ways to develop my own business offering.
Overwhelm is now awesome, I am surrounded everyday with a million things I can do or want to do, but they are all for me and for the people that matter most to me, and that right there is exciting. That is an overwhelm that doesn’t fill me with stress and anxiety. That is an overwhelm that I not only live with but is one which I choose to embrace every day!
Looking forward to updating you all next week on how I have been perfecting the business values and missions of LMTailoring Time….