Live a blissful life on your terms
I just had this Facebook memory pop up in my feed and it reminded me of such a powerful lesson that I just had to share.
The top photo was my beautiful new renovated kitchen. I'd chosen everything myself, designed it with loads of drawers and cupboards, just the way I liked it.
And then we sold our house, a little sooner than we anticipated.
The second photo, is the kitchen that I moved into - a 1960's kitchen in a hot, cold, very 'original' house that was to be our home for 9 months while we built our dream home.
And just to be clear, the kitchen you can see in the photo, is the entire kitchen! There's no other benches, or space. You can just imagine the state of the cupboard shelves.
"How could you live in this?" my friends all asked at the time. "You've had a beautiful new kitchen and now… this ."
"It's 9 months. You can do anything for a short, defined period of time, knowing it will end" was my repeated answer.
I'm not going to suggest living in that kitchen, or house,...
I have bad news.
If you're anywhere like I was a few years ago, the new decade won't be any different unless you start doing these three things.
It was December 2017. I was in a job that had me feeling trapped. My role had evolved away from my core expertise and I found myself being the person who could hustle and get sh*t done, rather than someone who was truly doing what I loved. As the primary breadwinner, fear of making ends meet had me paralysed.
At home, hubby was working part time in the only job he could get. A good 10 rungs below what he was capable of and so his mental health and ego was taking a beating every day.
The kids were in a lot of before and after school care and I became a drill sergeant who was constantly yelling at them to hurry up, go faster and keep moving because we were always late and I always should have been somewhere else by now.
I could count on one hand the number of times hubby and I had talked of anything but logistics or life admin. Talking car...
I was talking with a client recently who was whinging about having to eat pizza for dinner on her Saturday night.
I inquired why the tone of voice - it’s tasty and usually doesn’t involve having to cook so it’s a win-win in my books!
It turns out, Julie HATES pizza! And yet her family got pizza every Saturday night because it’s what they all wanted.
And what did Julie want?
So why was she having pizza every Saturday night?
Julie had set up her life in such a way that to be a good mum, she always had to put herself last. She sacrificed her body for her kids, so that should continue and so their needs should always come before hers.
If she put herself first, she was selfish. And mums don’t get to be selfish. That would make her a bad mum. If she was a bad mum her kids wouldn’t love her anymore.
And so she continued to begrudgingly eat pizza as if it’s a testament to her love for her children. Sacrifice of the mozzarella kind!
Yet deep down, every...
Do you ever feel like a duck?
All calm on the surface, meanwhile underneath paddling like your life depends on it.
This is something I hear from women all the time, but even more so from those who are bucking social convention as the women bringing home the bacon, who for some reason seem even more determined to prove that they're effortlessly gliding along the surface.
Meanwhile… on the inside…
There's a hole lotta "oh sh*t, oh sh*t, oh sh*t", going on as they attempt to stay on top of every aspect of their life.
This is taking fake it 'till you make it to a whole other level.
Let's take my dear friend Kate. We spoke at 5pm one day as she finally admitted she was desperate for help. She'd just received a promotion after months of hard work and knew she should have been excited. After all, it's what she's wanted for years and this promotion would deliver a bigger remit and of course, more money to go with it.
However the moment she found out, she had it she was overcome with...
We can have it all right? Well... maybe... just not all at once!
Many of you have read the famous Anne-Marie Slaughter article where she was one of the first to come out and say women can't have it all.
There was lots of pushback and dismay that we have to make sacrifices... and yet many of us pushed on.
Here is another take on the same message, albeit written by a man.
The Four Burners Theory asks you to imagine that your life is like a stove with 4 burners on it - family, friends, health and work.
It suggests that in order to be successful you have to turn off one of your burners. And to be really successful you need to turn off two.
The premise being by putting your energy and focus into a smaller number of areas you'll make greater progress, faster. Trade offs and compromise is what will get you results.
Yes, you can try and outsource, you can change your mindset around the constraints or you can take a seasonal view, knowing that where you are today isn't where you have to...
Last week was our school fete, and somehow I found myself on the organising committee…
I went along a few months ago to a meeting, thinking that I'd find out what they had planned and maybe meet some of other parents.
When they asked for who could help out with a tiny bit of marketing for the fete… it was crickets.
I can't just sit there knowing I've done this for 15 years, so I said, "if it's just some posts to social media, I can do that."
I must have missed the look of glee on the organisers face. "You'll be great, it's not much at all" I was reassured.
Well, didn't I get taken for a ride!
Do you know what I've done over the last few months since that fateful (haha, pun intended) day when I put my hand up?
"My way is just different, it's not wrong" is something hubby said to me recently.
This is on the back of me deciding that the shower needed cleaning at 10.15pm at night when I should have been going to bed.
Turns out, he'd already cleaned the shower the day before.
One of the biggest things I've had to come to terms with in being the primary breadwinner is that things aren't done 'my way' when it comes to the kids or the house.
I've never been that pedantic about cleaning, but what we've discovered over the past few years is that we value different things when it comes to cleanliness.
I value clean bathrooms and a floor that's not covered in dog/cat hair.
In the early days we'd fight like cats and dogs (hahaha, pun intended:)) over things like this.
But it's only been in the last few years that we've managed to stop (ok, reduce) these types of issues causing friction between us.
Because did you know what he said when we sat down to talk about it?
"All you ever do is tidy or clean the actual...
Someone recently shared some wisdom with me, and it resonated so strongly that I want to share it with you too.
You are holding a cup of water when someone comes along and bumps into you and you spill your water everywhere.
Why did you spill the water?
"Well, because someone bumped into me, of course!"
You spilled the water because water was in the cup. If milk had been in it, you would have spilled milk.
Whatever is inside the cup is what will come out.
Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you (which will happen), whatever is inside of you will come out. It's easy to fake it until you get rattled.
So we have to ask ourselves... what's in my cup?
When life gets tough, what spills from you?
Joy, gratitude, peace humility, kind words?
Anger, bitterness, harsh words, hurtful actions?
If it's the latter, wouldn't you rather it be the former?
There are strategies we can implement that will turn your anger to joy, bitterness to gratitude and much, much more.
Refilling your cup...
Don't you just love how some philosophies from the past feel even more true today than they ever have!
I recently came across a simply brilliant article on The Tribal Wisdom of the Dakota Indians from 10 years ago that was published in The Guardian.
It shares a different perspective on how modern business is finding many creative ways to "beat a dead horse," when in fact the best strategy should be to dismount.
If this is new to you, "beating a dead horse" is an idiom that means to continue doing something is a waste of time as the outcome is already decided.
Take a read, and I dare you not to chuckle knowing full well that this probably applies to your company, but could also apply to many other facets of your life…
The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from one generation to the next, says that when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
But in modern business, because heavy investment factors...