Compassion and shame

I’m not proud of the traits I have shown over the last few months. In times of turmoil I move into protect mode and that means I get mean. I’m a brick wall. Ready to argue with words that will cut to the bone. I attack before the enemy can lash out at me.

I recognize this and though I try and temper it, I come out fists swinging.

So now I need to hold myself with compassion and not judgement or shame.

You are allowed to protect yourself. It’s amazing that your body will go to this other place in order to do what is needed to make you feel safe. It will look after you until you are in a better place where you can look after yourself. Love your body, love yourself.

This doesn’t mean all my actions are forgiven. It’s means I have much to learn. At 41, I’m only just beginning to really understand cause and effect within myself. How external forces and internal forces play and war. How fascinating.

I feel my body still has much to share with me, and now that I’m listening hopefully I will hear what it needs to tell me.

The why

I am a control freak.

In the last year I have moved countries, changed jobs, moved house, sold a house, bought and sold a few cars, bought a tiny house, applied for residency, travelled to 3 countries and all over NZ. I was in control at all points.

In the last 4 months my work life has changed causing me to question a lot of things in my life. Simply put, my values don’t align with what’s happening at work. That sentence took 4 months to figure out.

At first I tried to fit in, then I fought it, then I compromised and tried to figure out what it was life was trying to teach me.

Believe me, walking out without a job lined up is just not a financial option and yet I ran the sums just in case. There are only so many days of crying I can endure.

If you know me, you will know I am strong. And yet in the last 4 months I have questioned everything about my abilities and doubted that I should even be in the agile world and the coaching world. That is what a toxic environment will do to you. It breaks you.

Luckily I have figured it out finally. And today I return to work with peace and calm and clarity. This too shall pass and I will find my way again.

Away from home is still home

This week I find myself traveling for work. It’s close enough to home to drive (3hrs) so the whole family came with. It’s nice having my dogs and wife with me though the first day is tough with everyone adjusting to a new house, sounds, smells, routine etc.

It allows me to see how little we need. How easily we could live anywhere as long as we are together.

We get to walk around a new neighborhood and meet different people. We get to experience a bit of a holiday life whilst working.

When we return after a week we will be moving house. This is always a crazy time simply because of all the scheduling that needs to happen in a very tight timeframe. I’m looking forward to our new adventure!

Stress and your body

I had a particularly rough day at work on Wednesday. This resulted in me being woken by a migraine around 2am. I ignored it and went back to sleep. At 5am, sweating with waves of nausea I stumbled to the kitchen for some drugs, and tried to pass out whilst wanting to sever my head from my body.

At 9am I found out my colleague had tossed and turned and couldn’t sleep all night also due to the previous work day.

Your body will send you very clear signals when you don’t listen. “Take care of me!” was literally being screamed at us.

So we both stayed home and did our only commitment remotely. Then we looked after ourselves.

It’s 2 days later and I’ve still got a low grade migraine, stiff neck and shoulders. I feel like I’ve been in a car crash. Stiff and sore. I am blown away by how vicious my body can be under stress. And I wonder how vicious I have been to it for ignoring the obvious cry’s for help for so long.

For about 3 weeks (and for the next 4) I am so busy I don’t have time to be sick or take time off. I am also moving house and work is not going well and over the 7 weeks are about 8 work trips. That’s a lot. Too much.

Cancelling affects many people and time and money, so I feel I can’t burden others with my need to rest. And then the cycle continues. I recognize it and have cleared space for a few days (to move house), and it’s not enough.

How fascinating. What else is possible here?

Many people have this problem. And oddly the world will not stop revolving if I did cancel something. I know this.

Self care is difficult

I’ve gotten to the point where I understand what self care means and what I need for self care. And at first glance this is just not how my world is currently setup.

There are things I need, like time outdoors, reading, learning, quiet to think. And these are needs that will arise at all sorts of times. Most of the time they do not wait until 5pm when my work is supposedly finished. That said, I can’t recall the last time work ended at 5pm either. How fascinating.

Does this mean that self care and a 9-5 job can’t co-exist? I don’t think so. It does make self care challenging though. It’s fascinating how we as humans have all these neat time boxes for when things need to happen. No wonder we are constantly under pressure or stress.

I wonder what a world without timeboxes would look… my brain just screamed chaos. I wonder if that’s true though.

I’m the mean time I have constraints. A 9-5 job that seeps over way too often, and air of travel. So self care for the crazy busy person…