It’s been a year since I went back to work, & what a challenging year it’s been. I’m not going into the deets, but I can describe what impact it’s had on me.
After having nearly 4 months off, I dived straight back in the deep end. My choice. And I loved it. I got my team to run, and now I am one of the most empowered Women in my Industry. Such a proud feeling after all that hard work during the last 20 years, especially in such a male dominated Industry. Personally I haven’t felt I was ever discriminated against for being a girl, as my job is quite technical and needs a lot of experience in order to make the right decisions – we are dealing with millions of dollars with every decision we make.
Only in the past few years though have I really been given the opportunity to show what I can do. Why? Well it’s all down to my behaviours and attitude. After losing Mum, and nursing Dad, I realised That if you want something you need to man (or woman) up and show it. That’s when I took control of my future. From that day I never looked back.
That’s not always easy, especially in such an Industry. Over the years I haven’t helped myself by not listening, partying too much and quite honestly not working hard enough. So I made the decision 3 years ago to jump over that wall & land on the ‘grown up’ side.
My timing was pretty poor. Dad was very ill, but work was my sanity. Bizarrely that hideous time also gave me the thick skin I needed to be the professional I wanted to be for my job, & so Al the Adult was born… (Note – work only. Still a big kid and a softy at home!).
So as always I threw myself headlong into my new role earlier this year – and it certainly has been a challenging time in my industry-more than usual – however I love a challenge!
The problem is, & the skill I was, and still am missing, is getting it all done. There quite simply are not enough hours in the day. Believe me I have tried. I have spent the last 6 months giving up evenings, weekends, cancelling holidays, nights out with friends all in the hope of being the perfect boss. Being the best. Has it worked? Ofcourse not. Does it for anyone? I’ve watched others and learnt so much this year, including when to take a break.
How to do that? The only sanity has been my house in Kent and my wonderful friends who know when I need help. I try to be Miss Independent and keep smiling, as I believe positive vibes can get you through your darkest days – I should know. The brain is more than 70% negative & it needs a bloody good kick up the backside sometimes to want to be positive.
Cognitive behavioural therapy has been a lifesaver for me. Practical tips and processes to stop my brain freaking me out, stopping the panic and anxiety taking over.
All good? No. The bit I forgot. To take time off and let your brain rest. I’m a busy bee, I like to be busy & I put a lot of pressure on myself to be everything to everyone. During a tough time it’s finally all taken it’s toll. I didn’t realise the effect of physical exhaustion. I haven’t been sleeping well due to the stress, not eating great, drinking way too much booze – a vicious circle. Result – Al ending up very poorly. My body had enough. My brain has been trying to tell me for ages to stop, slow down, have a break. I tried to ignore it & tell it all was alright. Big mistake.
So after a horrible day of illness & realisation being told in no uncertain terms by a wonderful Doctor & Nurse (thank you so much), I have made a deal with me. I have nothing to prove at work. I have nothing to prove at home. It’s alright to take a day to relax and eat loads. It’s good to have healthy days too. Balance in the brain, not just in the kitchen. I loveKent, love my seaside walks, blogging, cooking, eating & drinking-all those things.
I’ve been given a yellow card. I’m taking it as a lesson in life, & a warning. So on that note, I’m off to book a holiday, pour a cup of tea & snuggle up on the sofa.
Tomorrow is a beautiful new day! Als Adventures maybe not so adventurous for a little while, but always fun and smiling!
Speak soon, have a fab fortnight 😘