In a world where nothing’s forever and there are no assurances you’ll live to see another day (you never know, you may as well faint at the office, utterly exhausted), it’s essential we hold the phone already! Nope, nobody’s suggesting giving up on your fantastic abilities of being the best parent, spouse, daughter and professional there is, but rather finding a way not to flip. It’s tough. I know.
It was two years ago that I felt I needed to change something
I recall it as if it were yesterday; we were in a meeting (I (still) work at the Stock Market) and as I was looking around at all the (un)friendly faces of my colleagues and friends, everyone on the go for the next big monetary hit, I wondered – how happy are these people, really? How happy am I?
Added, I found myself thinking about my kids and how much I’d been missing them. Oh, sure – go roll your eyes, a cliché mum needed her kids, whatever! At least I’d got some sentiment left in me, and I was and am happy it’s so.
Stuck at the glass office for long hours (somewhat like a rat in a glass box) with an enviable salary and a job so exciting that for most part you feel like you are on drugs, I felt like something was off. To others – I was living a dream; to myself – I was not living at all.
Like always when I’d feel lost, I called up my brother for some love and comfort. At the time – he was (and still is) one of those people who have always known how to handle life with no compromise and yet – be successful at whatever they do. He is an SEO company CEO and owner, and is one of the most scouted entrepreneurs in the business. His wife is more Irina Shayk than she’s a regular person and his son is an adorable, blue-eyed genius who found it interesting to “research” constellations and planets at the age of four (4). Phew!
The moment he said “Hello”, I went “So I wanna know… How do you do it? I need someone successful and honest to tip me off on doing it all”. He laughed and said “I am a functional alcoholic, you can’t ask me that!” We both started laughing and he went on “Oli, have a talk with yourself and sort out your priorities. Whatever you do, you need to be okay with yourself… and you know I’ll always have your back.” And I did have that talk.
By the way, just in case you were wondering – he isn’t an alcoholic. The guy doesn’t even drink.
Reaching out to him was just one of those things when you feel you are on the verge of changing something, but you need just a little push in the right direction.
I am assuming you are in the same/similar jam as I was; and I don’t blame you, not at all. At this point, all I can do is tell you what I did and hope my “life recipe” would be just as beneficial for you as it was for me. Okay?
Okay, here we go:
Build a support system
You can’t live a successful life without relying on someone for help; whether it’s your parents, spouse, siblings, best friends or the help you’ve hired – you can’t do it all alone. And that’s okay, because nobody’s expecting you to. Once you realize asking for help is okay, things will get much easier.
Put yourself first, sometimes
Even machines need to be unplugged from time to time, just so they cool off – let alone people! Have a day in a week that’s just for you – whether it’s doing sports, seeing friends, doing arts and crafts with your kids, sleeping, going to the beauty salon, reading, catching up with your parents, reading all the trashy magazines or going on a date with yourself – it’s all good. As long as it’s just you in your personal space. This will be your weekly restoral to sanity and happiness!
Rely on the extracurricular help
Talking to a therapist once a week, doing physical exercises to de-stress, empowering your body and brains with supplements or relying on yoga for mental clarification – it’s up to you. As long as it feels good and is safe to practice. If you opt for supplements, don’t ever jeopardize your kids (to have their mum go crazy or ill) or your personal health by taking stuff that isn’t safe. My choice fell on lucid smart pills; you go figure what’s best for you.
Cut back work hours
If your financial situation allows it, cut back your work hours so you keep the money coming in while your mental and physical health remain – stable and thriving. Nobody enjoys an edgy, constantly-tired person around. And even more importantly – you won’t enjoy yourself in such a state. Let your husband be the dominant breadwinner now. You’ve shown him (and everyone else) you are just as good, but it’s your choice to rest a bit now.
It’s up to you, darling: chew them up and spit them out – or let be chewed up. I chose the first.