Taking it Slow
love the first few months of a new year. The sun is shining, time with family is prioritised and the light lingers long enough in the evening for meandering walks on the beach. Some of the stresses of the previous year can be compartmentalised as “the past” and we can look with hope to maintaining a better balance this year.
My aim for 2016 is to slow down and find a way to be more grounded. For the first couple of weeks I found myself wracked with guilt, as I was no longer doing many of the things I’d convinced myself I “should”, but the calmness and clarity I’m discovering is refreshing and leading me to be more receptive to insights that are drowned out when my brain is constantly alert.
There will always be times in life that require us to step up and give more than we were expecting. I am still learning how to recognise when to bring down my energy and output after responding to these urgent demands, rather than continuing at a heightened level.
It’s so easy to mistake franticness and anxiety for achievement, and not to question the value of constantly striving for success in our study, career, community and family roles. It’s fascinating to observe the internal and external resistance when we challenge the notion of perpetual motion. Many of us have developed beliefs that unless we end every day exhausted, we haven’t worked hard enough. We feel like we can’t afford to stop, but the longer we operate at this pace the less effective we become, and the harder it becomes to see the wood for the trees.
Another challenge to this philosophy is today’s business environment, where service expectations are constantly increasing. My second challenge for 2016 is to create an environment for my team in which everybody is supported to find an improved balance in their life, while recognising that we work in a sector where our clients’ needs cannot be predicted and must receive a swift and professional response 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
As we strive for this together I’ll keep in mind that there’s nobody in the world who has the answers we seek. We’re all doing our best with the resources we have and if we work together in good faith, we will continue to build better lives for ourselves and our community