I haven’t blogged for a month now, probably the longest stretch of time I’ve gone in my eight years of blogging without having the desperate urge to write something on here and share it. The reason for that is because I’ve been busy and not in a particularly good way. I have been wracking my brains over the last four or so weeks trying work out how to strategically plan for months when everything seems to go a little crazy. When jobs that you had budgeted time and hours to run chronically over because of a mixture of factors and when family matters seriously matter. After this month-long endurance quest (It’s not felt like a race hence me avoiding that word) I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, sort of, but the journey has left its mark on me. I feel tired, drained and not entirely sure that I can keep on doing ‘this’. I woke up this morning with the poem ‘If’ running through my brain (well the bolded bit anyway). I am calling it my ‘sign’ from the universe – yep, I do believe in that stuff. Messages from my sub-conscious.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
I didn’t remember that the second line was ‘are losing theirs and blaming it on you’ and now that I see it written I feel sort of weird about it but nevertheless I have felt like I’ve been surrounded by a bubble full of people losing their heads over the last month and at times it has been hard for me to avoid picking up and adopting some of those ‘blame’ vibes, rationally or not. Behind the head losing crowed marched those ‘on a mission’. The people who just needed their stuff done quick, right, passionately and now. This crowed is pretty normal for any business but I’ve felt wracked with doubt over whether I managed the tone and speed of their march very well given that they were marching into my quagmire. Those that I did manage to keep time with saw me pay the price with sleeplessness, physical and mental exhaustion and personal pain.
I don’t think I have to worry about the last line of this verse.
I feel like I’ve arrived at a relatively safe place to rest right now, a cliff face cave safe and sheltered from the wind and rain. From here I can appreciate how far I’ve come, I can see the land beneath and remember each unsteady footstep, hand grip and overhang. But I know that I can’t stay here, that when I’m ready I have to go on, keep climbing, scale the cliff face and then walk away liberating myself from the physical traumas of the task while at the same time letting each foot step rhythmically soothe and cleanse me allowing me to let go of any shreds of negativity that I popped into my pack.
I’m writing this as I know that many of you are in business or want to be. I love having a business and love the fact that I can be here physically, mentally and financially for my family when they need me and when I need them. That said I also feel the pain of not being able to switch off and walk away from my home office, my phone that serves as a lifeline to family over-seas, myself. This last month has been a ‘perfect storm’ of personal and business challenges, each one manageable but served together made for what seemed like an insurmountable mountain. Business stress ebbs and flows, can be broken down into bike sized chunks and methodically worked through given time. The psychological side of business endeavours can be discussed, strategised and turned into ‘best practice’ procedures to help prevent them happening again. Family can be prioritised, listened to, loved and held but not so easily forgotten or procedurised – people don’t work from an ISO manual. But doing it all together without losing my own head? Keeping it all together, being the un-affected 9-5 worker bee before switching to the caring, compassionate mum outside of those hours? Now that’s a tough call, life just doesn’t seem to work that way and I question if it ever should.
I look to the rest of the ‘If’ poem and find some solace, not least in the fact that these feelings are human and have been felt and dealt with before.
I am not alone in my quest for a fulfilling career; a company frequented by happy; contented customers; a family physically and psychologically strong and thriving and me? Well I hope that willing myself not only to survive but to also thrive and grow isn’t too much to ask.
I’ve been looking rather old this month and that hasn’t gone un-noticed by my family whom, I guess, are worried about the level of stress that I’ve been under. I comfort myself in the knowledge that as a cosmetic chemist I should be able to find something in my bag of tricks to correct those worry lines, heavy sags and under-eye bags once the pressure eases.
I will carry on, not because I love the feeling of being over-whelmed and bogged but because the smell of freedom, success and achievement is just around the corner and I owe it to my self, my family and my clients – in THAT order- to keep on climbing.
And then I’ll be a woman, a wise-ish one only minimally scarred by wrinkles and saggage 😉
If you can dream and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!