I don’t think I’m alone in saying I feel like I am constantly running on the Hamster Wheel of life and getting absolutely nowhere. Just like the poor little Hamster. Fortunately for the Hamster he doesn’t have a business to run, a fiance, teenagers to worry about, a dog and a household to manage!
I know we all feel this way. The lovely Jayne from Sunny Days most recent blog is all about balance. The gorgeous Ms Dovic also posted about this recently here. It seems we are all feeling the pressures of being pulled in too many directions.
I have spoken before about my procrastination habits here, here and here. I also spoke about my loss of mojo here. Sadly, since those posts, it has all been down hill. My productivity has blown out to an all time low. I’ve been in a constant state of disorganisation. My finances are, well, not in the best of shape. Actually my finances match the current state of my body right now. Not pretty. I’m tired, uninspired, bored and in a constant state of apathy. I’m not happy with this. I’m not happy with me.
Last week I caught a revolting flu and have been feeling very sorry for myself. This could be called wallowing. Perhaps I’m even having a little pity party? What I’d really like to call it though, is reflection time whilst sitting at the bottom of the well. You know that well don’t you? The well of despair. Men have a cave. I think women have a well. I do believe we have to reach the bottom before we can actually do something to really turn things around.
I’ve been hovering up and down in the well for most of this year. I go down a bit then up a bit – never hitting the bottom and never climbing out. To be honest I’d much rather go straight down to the bottom and then begin the climb out. At least I’d be moving forward. Hovering around in the middle of the well achieves nothing. It’s like being stuck. That’s exactly what I’ve been. Stuck. Last week though, I did hit the bottom. Feeling very ill, lacking all form of motivation and finances (or lack thereof) giving me a bit of a scare.
For the past few weeks I had been thinking about seeing a Life Coach. I really need someone to give me a good kick along. Last Tuesday I was chatting on MSN with my lovely friend Paige, who, wait for it, is a Life Coach. She is one of the members of our Awesome Women’s Group. I asked Paige to help me. She said yes!!! She’s beautiful.
Yesterday we met at a coffee shop and started. We talked about my schedule. We talked about the things that really pull me down. We talked about what “lights my fire” and we talked about my business.
Working from home can be great, but it can also be all consuming. For me it is both. It is great. I can choose my own timetable. I have a beautiful office with a view. I am home for the boys when they need me. Whilst I complain about how “boring” the work is, to be honest it really isn’t and I am good at what I do. Lately I’ve taken my eye off the ball and have convinced myself that I hate it. Yesterday I discovered I don’t really hate it. That was a breakthrough. It’s not what I ultimately “want” to do. However, if I have to do something, this job is perfect for me right now. I have plenty of clients and plenty of work. I am in an enviable position that I don’t have to market myself or worry about lack of work.
My biggest problem has been planning my day. I am not a natural planner. I’m a Gemini. I’m spontaneous. I like to flitter from one thing to another. I get bored easily. I need to have “carrots” to inspire me to complete the boring things. I know this. I struggle to manage it effectively.
The biggest thing I realised yesterday was that I spend every waking hour feeling guilty that I’m not working. I have reached a point where nothing gives me pleasure or peace because everytime I take any time out, it comes with a side serve of guilt. Of course I deserve time out. We all do. However, if I’m not really working in the first place then I don’t really deserve time out. That’s where I’m at. I’ve been spinning my wheels for months and getting absolutely nowhere.
As a result of our meeting we decided I would change my expectations and start living my life again – without the side serve of guilt. I have been avoiding work because it doesn’t soothe my soul. It doesn’t light my fire. It doesn’t stir me. It pays the bills. That is all. I’ve been searching for the stuff that will soothe my soul and I’m close to finding it. However I have let this search consume me and I’ve been avoiding the actual work that fills my pockets so I can then enjoy the things that I want to do, guilt free. Which brings me to where I am now. The bottom of the well.
Today was the first day of a new schedule. It felt a bit unnatural and it was hard not feeling like I should be working constantly. I now start work at 9.30 am every day. From the time I get up in the morning until 9.30 is family time and my time. I like to get my family off to work. Feed them, talk to them, love them. When they are gone I can do whatever I like until 9.30 am. Today I tidied up, got dressed, tweeted, wrote half a blog post. By the time 9.30 arrived I was actually ready for work. I had a really productive day until 2.00 pm. I only had 1 tweet break (we have allowed a tweet break every 1.5 hours of chargeable work). Unfortunately at 2.00 pm my friend Jill, who is leaving tomorrow (you can read about that here) stopped in to say goodbye. I was a mess from that time onwards and work was a no go zone. I didn’t feel guilty. I had already accomplished a day’s work. I liked how this made me feel.
It is all really simple stuff, but I had lost my way. I have truly been stuck. When you are stuck it is really hard to imagine there may be a simple solution to it all. It is going to take me a while to get “unstuck”, but with the help of Paige and the realisation that I am the only one who can change things, I know I can do it. I hope. Don’t tell Paige I said “I hope”.
Are you stuck right now? Have you been stuck before? How did you get unstuck? I’d really like to hear how you deal with “stuckness”.