My previous boss was forever saying "Just go with the flow, Frankie" – and I never could...
Try as I might, I couldn't relax until I had ticked off all the items on my "To do" list, and knew what I was doing the next day, the next week (and preferably the next month too!) On the plus side, things got done, I kept the family going and life was busy. On the minus side I never put time into recharging my batteries which meant that I was often stressed, irritable and not very relaxing to be around. Another consequence was that when major family crises occurred, I simply rushed around even more frantically to fit everything in. Dropping anything to free up more time was simply not an option.
Why did I live like that?
Lots of reasons; lack of self-confidence, guilt and fear are the top three on the list.
1 Lack of self-confidence: I have long believed that everyone else is cleverer, more organised, more interesting, a better parent, a better colleague (this list is endless!) than me. So I was always worrying about whether I had done things "the right way" (whatever that is).
2 Guilt: I was top of the class with this! I always scored a "3" on this card. I never finished my "To do" list, you see.
3 Fear: I think my greatest fear was of losing control. How would the whole show keep going if I was no longer in control?
The trouble with this was that I lost sight of me, Frankie; take away Frankie, the mother, the wife, the sister, the daughter, the daughter-in-law, the friend everyone turned to, the supportive colleague, and who was left? Who was Frankie without all those hats? I had no idea... No surprise then that I had two nervous breakdowns in ten years, that my body decided to take over and said "enough is enough – you will stop, like it or not".
I have learnt the hard way; it is not selfish to take care of myself – it is essential. I need to have some "me" time frequently, preferably daily, so that I can support those around me more effectively. And, you know what? Doing so makes me more relaxed, so everyone else is more relaxed and life is much more harmonious as a result.
Today I will choose some music and sit down to listen to it properly.
What will you do during your "me" time today? (I would love to know!)
A Moodscope member.