Does life have to be a hamster wheel? I remember when I was working at Rolls-Royce Aerospace, for 17 years, I thoroughly enjoyed being there, I enjoyed the work, the people, the team. So what was there not to like?
My husband of the time was very eager that I climbed the corporate ladder and gave me incentives to go for the next level of promotion. As the scale raised so did the incentives. It began with a lovely meal out. Then a weekend away in the UK. Next it was a week away in the sun. One time I presented to the promotion board in the morning and that evening I was getting on a plane to fly to Sri Lanka, where I was able to ride an elephant (one of my life dreams).
There was a weekend staying at the Ritz in London, which was fabulous. We had a weekend away in New York, that one was saved so we could go for New Years and I also got to eat Waldorf Salad in the Waldorf Astoria. The last one was a night in Raffles in Singapore, drinking Singapore Sling, letting peanut shells fall to the floor and I have to say (sorry Mum) it was the best Sunday Lunch I have ever had in my life. Mum’s is the next best of course.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because I was on the hamster wheel of life, I was doing the day job, managing the team, striving for promotion, running a home, there were family and step-family to cherish, a house to run, friends to see, outside jobs to do like dentist, hairdressers etc and the list went on and on and on. There was never any time or space to breathe.
To meet the ambition of climbing the corporate ladder I was at my desk as 7am each morning and worked till 7pm each evening. I only left then because the security man wanted to lock the building and go home. At home it was a quick bite to eat then the laptop came out and I working till 2am sometimes 3am. Sleep. And it started all over again. Day after day. Week after week. Yes I was making progress in the company, yes I was achieving things, yes I had a lovely home, yes I drove a lovely Mercedes car. But at what cost?
Yes, I crashed and burned. Spectacularly. Ending up off work with exhaustion for a few weeks whilst my body recovered. Life has a way of slowing you down, whether you want to or not. The Universe really does have your back. So I had some enforced leave and time to reflect. To catch up on sleep. To replenish and re-nourish my mind, body and soul.
If you find you are on this hamster wheel of life then the first thing is to GET SOME SLEEP! You CANNOT function properly if you do not have enough sleep. I thought I was doing fine on 4 hours sleep a night, but I was kidding myself. Your body only has so many reserves and when the reserves are all gone then you crash.
The other thing I learnt was to prioritise. I had a list of jobs to do for home and a list of jobs to do for the office. The lists were endless and I never seemed to make any real headway, no matter how many hours I worked.
Here is a tip….. what is keeping you awake at night? What is the one job that is causing you such anxiety? Set the intention on Monday morning to have this one job completed. Just that one job! It doesn’t matter what the priorities are, if that is the job that is keeping you awake then that is the job that you need to do.
Once you have done the job and it is off your mind then you will manage to get some decent sleep. Having had some decent sleep your body is replenished, your mind is refreshed and you can concentrate on the next job. One thing at a time.
You cannot eat the whole elephant at once, so do not overwhelm yourself. Just start with one thing and get it done. Then you can do the next. And alongside all of this? Get some SLEEP (have I said that already?). It really does make all the difference in the world and you see life in a lot better light.
Yes life throws curve balls and you will need to respond, however these should be by exception not as a constant. Enjoy life, we are only here once.
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With much love and thanks. Chat with you soon.