“You do too much”
“Stop doing so much for other people”
“You need you time”
All advice I give out regularly, and advice I’m given on an almost daily basis by friends and family.
The truth is that I choose not to heed that advice.
I like to be busy. I like helping people and I’m not good at sitting around doing nothing.
The point where you get no more than 4 hours of sleep per night in over a week and you’re not Margaret Thatcher.
That’s the point where something has to give…
One year ago my Grandad died. We were very close and to be there as he passed away got to me more than I imagined it would. I struggled to concentrate, I felt numb and I drank a lot of wine.
Then, one day, something just clicked.
One week later, I ended an almost 4 year relationship because I was miserable and I threw myself in to work, training and everything else. It was like someone had flicked a switch for motivation and drive and I’d found myself again. I’ve thrown myself in to everything 100% since that point.
I’ve always been ambitious, I’ve had my life planned out since I was about 8 and whilst the career path has changed somewhat, the end goal has not.
I will do anything I can to better my CV, make myself a more well rounded person and learn new things.
I will set my mind to something and complete it, but sometimes that starts to take its toll.
Over the past year I’ve been working full time (and more) in a job where I’m on call 24/7, even days off and Christmas. I love my job, but the only real break I’ve had was when I was trekking Kilimanjaro, and that was only because I had no phone with me.
I volunteer for 3 separate organisations, trained to climb a mountain, rehabbed my knee, have been studying for 2 separate qualifications and prepping for a 3rd.
I’ve started to write a book, I run this blog, I attend blog events, I have blog deadlines for other people.
I’ve started climbing lessons (this one is actually super fun and relaxing though)
I’ve helped plan events for myself and other people, and have done all I can to help others get what they need to do, done.
I thankfully have some spare time free to GetOutside and have some adventures, often heading out on my own to reflect and defrag my brain!
If I didn’t I think I’d have hit the breaking point well before now.
Giving up my blog isn’t an option because I enjoy writing and the messages I get from people make it all worth it. Giving up cadets won’t happen, nor will ceasing to volunteer for the other organisations I help.
So I made the decision to not continue with one of my courses – my shipbroking course.
It was interesting, but I just didn’t love it any more.
It was becoming a chore, and for me, that’s when you need to stop.
If you don’t love it any more, then what’s the point?
I love writing, I love getting out and about and inspiring others to do the same, and hopefully just taking back those coursework hours will allow me back a few hours a week to do what I want to do.
Of course, me being me will no doubt find something else to fill those hours very quickly…
Perhaps it’s because I like to be busy, perhaps it’s because I’m so used to pushing myself to achieve that I know when I stop I will be bored, I’ll feel useless. I’ll be sat in that dark twisty place feeling like I’m not achieving something. I realise I do more than I should be, but I’m so used to it now that if I stop, I’ll feel like a failure.
Pushing yourself is good, but I’m slowly learning (through running myself in to the ground) that sometimes you just need to take a break.
With all this election talk still fresh in our minds, this is my manifesto, my promise to myself.
My promise that when I need a break, I’ll take it, and actually take it.
My promise that if I’m too busy, I’ll say no, not try & find time to fit things in as I don’t want to let people down.
My promise that I will prioritise the things most important to me.
My promise that I won’t be angry with myself if I fail to meet a self induced deadline/target/goal.
My promise that I will have one evening a week where I watch terrible tv shows and do no work.
My promise that I will reduce my stress levels… where possible…