Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Hardest Thing You'll Ever Go Through.....

Image by the chesire smile via facebook

Today I went to see a psychologist so that I could talk through how best to support my Little Man in this huge transition. It was really great to talk through what's been going on and to just have someone objective to talk to. My family have been so helpful and supportive where they can be, but everyone has their own lives and issues and, at the end of the day, we are all just trying to figure this out as we go along. I got some great advice regarding Bailey but also a reminder of just how huge a thing this is for me to go through. Back when I went through the postnatal depression, that was obviously the hardest thing I'd ever been through. While I really do believe that event has given me the strength to face this one, I need to acknowledge just how huge what I am going through right now is. I am doing my best to keep it all in perspective but it is certainly overwhelming me at times. So it was refreshing to have a reminder from someone outside my 'everyday realm' remind me of what's important. ie:

  • My mental health. Without it, I can't be the best person for my son (or myself). I need to be able to think positively, make rational decisions and stay true to who I am and my values through everything. I must make it a priority to have some time out to devote to self care, to the things I enjoy, to what inspires me and to what brings meaning to my life. and to also just 'be' (I'm a chronic do-er; can't sit still.....).
  • My physical health. Exercising, eating well and getting enough sleep. I thought I was doing my best to be on top of these things but in all honesty, they are the first things that slip when I am under the pump and feeling low in time and energy (which then keeps that cycle going). For me a huge part of this is being organised, so its time to start locking all of these into my diary each week. (This also means letting go of guilt in the areas of life that may just need to take a back seat right now. Trying to do it all and stay on top of work, family, friends etc is also sapping my energy).
  • Take one day at a time and live in the moment. I am going to state that I have been waaaaaay better at this in the past year or so than I ever was prior to the postnatal depression. Having said that, it is a conscious choice I need to make and re-make each day (and minute really). What matters is what I am doing right now, and I need to keep from allowing my head to get too far ahead of me.
  • My Little Man. No, it isn't a mistake that he wasn't the first thing I listed and it doesn't mean he isn't the most important person in my world - because he is. But, if I don't have the things above taken care of, he will suffer. He is dependent upon me for everything and the only way I can support him through this time (and the rest of his life), is to support myself first. If I am anxious, over-whelmed, tired, sick, negative, sad etc etc, he will pick up on that immediately and will be negatively impacted.
So over the next couple of days I will be directing my thoughts to how I can better take care of myself and re-build my strength (I've been flattened by a virus over the past week, which has taken it out of me physically and mentally). Its time to keep it simple and take care of myself so that I can take care of the most precious Little Man in the world.......

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hello Old Friend......

My poor little neglected blog. I think this is the longest time I've gone without updating you. Days turn into weeks in the blink of an eye right now. I'm also at a place in life where a million different things are fighting for my attention and I just can't do all of them. Anyhow, we do what we can when we can..... So to get up to speed with what's been going on for me, I've been in Melbourne a couple of times for work, which has been great. I've been taking on some training and development stuff and it feels so good to get back on my teaching path a little. In the next year or so thats the role I aim to be having at lululemon athletica, although I'm happy managing my store and team for now and soaking up everything I can to be great in that role before I move onto the next one.

I'm faced with challenges every day in regards to my family/personal life but just keep focusing on being the best me and mother I can be for my little man. The guilt of how my decisions could be affecting his life is getting to me a bit lately. I know that deep down I have made the best decision for myself, Lachlan and Bailey but that doesn't stop those 'what if?' thoughts entering your head. Last week was really emotionally draining for me as my little man cried every time I took him to daycare. I also found myself second guessing everything and wondering whether behaviour he was exhibiting was normal 2 year old stuff or whether the separation is affecting him etc. Boy, its tough..... All I can do is keep trying to do my best each day and trust that things will be ok.

On the note of trying my best, thats something thats been a real focus of mine in the past few weeks. I've read two amazing books that have had a huge impact on me. The first being "The Leader Who Had No Title" by Robin Sharma. Such a brilliant book about personal responsibility and being the CEO of your own life and whatever role you have, regardless of your 'title'. Really empowering stuff that makes you think about how you are choosing to live. I've recommended it to so many people and have added it to our library at work. The second book is "Linchpin" by the phenomenal Seth Godin. Its all about your choices, your future and your potential to make a huge difference in whatever field you choose. He discusses that there used to be two teams in every workplace: management and labour. But now there's a third team: the linchpins. These people invent, lead (regardless of title), connect others, make things happen, and create order out of chaos. They love their work and pour their best selves into it . Linchpins are the essential building blocks of great organisations and in today's world they are the people who will get the best jobs and the most freedom. I cannot agree more with Seth's views on society and the workplace and what really excites me is the fact that I work in a company who supports this view and that I recognise myself as a linchpin. As such, the only limits to what I can do in my role and in my life are the ones I put on myself. Anything is possible and I can make a difference in the world - and thats such an amazing way to look at your life and to live each day.