I had a small wake up call yesterday. Every time I work on my blog, the websites or one of my many projects, time flies. I sit down open my beautiful Mac and swish…it is time to pick V up and get back to reality. I feel stressed, but more in a good way. I always wish I had an extra 2-3 hours before I have to pack up. Not because I’m stressed to finish, but because it is so much fun.
I was cleaning my documents yesterday and came a cross a text I wrote when I was working in Stockholm. It was during a tough period, a lot of work, the wedding was coming up and F was in SA on a project. I did an exercise that I picked up from “Rational Emotive Recovery method” called RET or KBT in swedish.
I first described the situation in short, for example, one of the projects I was working on. As honest as possible I tried to describe the general situation and the different problems etc. In the end I made a recap describing how I felt, how it made me behave, what my thoughts were, and how I was feeling physically.
I did this for six different situations; the project I was working on, the inter company projects I had, the out of office activities (mentor program etc), the wedding and the fact that F was in SA. It was a very interesting reading. I was definitely in a bad circle and it ended up making me sick and not able to work for two weeks. I think I was lucky and if I look back at the text, it could have gone much much worse.
The feelings were in general: Anger, sadness, frustration, hard to breath, not wanting to go up in the morning, swimming in honey, just wishing it was over. The possitive feelings I found was: feeling strong and smart, looking forward to it with terrifying joy (?).
The behaviours were: Not in the moment, stressed, can’t pause for 5 minutes, working late, angry, complaining, short fuse, anxious. The good ones were: curious, happy, energetic, motivated, and taking time to talk to F and my friends about my thoughts
Thoughts – Why don’t I think this is fun? (many times) , people are so stupid, I can’t organise my thoughts, I really do not want to do this, this is good for my carrier. Trying to think positively but it just goes back to the negative thoughts. The good ones were: This is so much fun, this is what I want to do, this is what I am good at. I love this, but how can I do this, I have no experience?
Physically – Tired, headache, stress, tears, powerless, stomachache, no appetite. Happy, energised.
I remember that I wrote this text because I wanted to reflect on the situation. But I didn’t. I can’t even remember if I draw a conclusion or if I said to myself, I have to change something. It is crystal clear, if you read it today, that something had to change. But back then I just accepted it. Life is not always nice and easy and I just have to deal with it.
To a certain point I agree, life is not just pink clouds, but you HAVE to have a balance. Just as many energising projects as you have heavy ones. You must do things that you love, that let you breath and feel good about yourself. In my text I found one. There could have been more but ones that should have been energising just fell flat and became a burden because I just couldn’t appreciate them. And on top of that I blamed myself for not having fun.
I don’t know how this happened but I think it went pretty fast. Probably a combination of hard work and not taking care of myself. And to be honest, I think everyone I know, has this in him/her. Some manage it better than others but, some people force the good things back into their life, they find a way to be energised (my husband is brilliant at it) and the result is that they appreciate even the though things. I think I have a tendency to just dive in to the deep end and try to show everyone how good I am at swimming. Even if I was drowning I would go – No worries folks, I’m just resting a bit, I’ll be there in a minute.
To make a long story short, if you are still with me, I think I have changed a lot. I think I am much more open for help, if I need it. I think that my life at the moment is overflowing with positive projects and things I love to do, things I am good at. I still have thoughts like, am I throwing my carrier away?, I studied Engineering Physics in french for god sake, what am I doing? I’m not bossing over people and I’m not earning shit loads of money, which means I must have failed in some way.
For the first time in my life, I am trying to create something of my own. Depending completely on my curiosity and the drive to learn more and develop. Not pushing down any crazy ideas but, if I have the means, try them out. It is so scary and both takes and gives me energy. But as I said in the beginning, time flies when I’m working and my head is just popping and longing for my next session.
I’m not saying I won’t go back to my old profession (which I actually think suits me quite well), I’m just saying, if/when I do, I am not going to be a super hero, I’m going to ask for help if I need it. I will not negotiate on things that are important, such as my creativity and curiosity to learn more. I need this in my life to be happy!
What do you need in your life to be happy?