So, Arianna Huffington’s defining moment with regards to knowing that change needed to happen was when she was so legitimately burnt out? She collapsed at home [from exhaustion] whilst checking emails, and woke up covered in blood and with a broken cheekbone.
For me? Not *quite* as extreme [thank f*ck], but It was a couple of weeks ago being wheeled in for a medical procedure, and with my phone right next to me [and dinging legitimately every ten seconds] I asked the doctor if he could just hang ten so I could quickly pump out a couple of replies to all o’ the “Cherie, I know you’re about to go in for xyz medical treatment, but I just wanted to quickly ask …” etcetera’s.
It’s the moment I realised, “my God. I am infinitely available to everyone, all the time”.
Days. Nights. Weekends. Public holidays. Pre-surgery. Post-surgery. Just … infinitely available, because #empath and #lowselfesteem and #postworkplacebullyinghangover.
Before work? Infinitely available to my little people, and understandably so [i.e they’re little], but gee, it’s exhausting. During the work day? I’ll arrive to work with a board full of Asana tasks, and clock off for the day wondering how I didn’t complete a single task, but instead? Managed a team. Literally? … just managed a team. Eight hours. Zilch tasks “completed”, and so – as a result – subsequently pushed out to the evening. In the evening? Infinitely available to the little people again. And the house. And the chores. And the meal prep. And the bathing of dirty little people. And the grooming of them. And the getting of them to sleep, and staying the feck asleep [a rare occurrence, ha!]. But when they’re down? It’s drill-sergeant time with the huz, “Cherie, where are you at with this, and that?”, and “how come you didn’t get back to me on xyz?”, and “we need to work out how we’re going to pull off both us interstate on xyz week” etc. etc.
Four nights out of seven last week? I fell asleep, fully clothed, uncomfortably twisted, and not-properly-covered-with-warm-blankets on the loungeroom couch, because … too exhausted to move, and when I woke? The huz appears at 6am “you’ve got to stop falling asleep fully clothed like this”.
Duly noted, sergeant, ha!
So? What do you do when your leadership style is genuinely empathetic, incredibly gentle [too f*cking gentle, if we’re being honest], and one that prides itself on rolling up your sleeves in order to get sh*t done? I’m afraid I don’t have the answers to that, but lately? I’ve been more afraid of the impending burnout. Mostly attributed to the x9 solid months of hardcore turning this TDP ship around, which – alas – unlike the x4 hour work week book suggests, have required x4 hour work weeks … times, like, 15-17, ha!
In TDP’s last accounting meeting, it was so blatantly obvious that I have – in fact – completely turned this around [to anyone who’s ever had to seriously turn something around, I know you’ll appreciate the significance of that last accountant meeting], but now? … it’s really time to recover from what was mentally and physically required to get us to the point we’re at now.
Today? I take my very first mental health day from work. It’s a HR policy I was incredibly proud to roll out at work [i.e x1 mental health day per month], but up until now, have never benefited from myself. I need this day. Jesus. So BAD. I want to spend this day doing things for me, that aren’t able to be done when you’re working days / evenings and weekends, i.e waxing, grocery shopping, batch cooking, tidying the house, life admin. I want to find time in my day today to really try to work out how to reduce the level of ‘infinitely available’ I’ve allowed folks to believe I have, from an availability perspective.
I hope to resurface a little fresher [let’s be honest, I’m gon’ need a coupl’a mental health days before I restore the gruelling hours of the last x9 months, but today’ll be a wonderful start], and I’ll undoubtedly share with you all what I arrive at, from a solutions-perspective, because I’m a solutions-driven human being and f*ck me … solutions to all o’ the aforementioned above need to happen.
*n.b – please. No “hustle-shaming”. We occasionally cop it a little on the ‘gram, and one day? We’ll tell you the story of where TDP was at financially x9 months ago, compared to where we’re at now, and maybe then … you’ll understand that short-term “hustle” [we hate that word] was required, in order for longer term happiness.
I am seriously nearly there, but first? … the physical recovery, post-financial recovery 😉