Tag: work

Glorifying being busy

Glorifying being busy

Why does it always seem like there is a competition of who is the busiest, who has the most stress and who works the longest hours?

When I decided my intention word of 2023 would be Balance, I made the call to try and find more balance in my life this year. To try to push back on the busy culture, find better work life balance, time for me, quality time with the kids, and not fill every moment. However I feel like this has meant I am noticing more than ever how we glorify being busy. As much as I try I still fall in the trap. When asked how my day is going the automatic answer is something like “good but busy/crazy/hectic”. It is like I feel saying it is a good day is not enough. Do we worry that we are seen as lazy if we are not busy and stressed?

When asking someone how their weekend is it seems they have a need to have a long list of activities they have done. I noticed my youngest who is 11 is constantly asking where we are going next as he feels a need to fill each day with activities like he thinks his friends do.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have the balance right yet. I work full time, am a single mum with two kids. Some days are long and full and I limp across the line at the end glad when it is bedtime. Other days I manage downtime, meditation, baking or catching up with friends. Each day for the last month I have found time for a walk to centre myself while listening to a podcast or talking to my youngest if he joins me.

What worries me is that I have friends who are always busy, their life is always a drama and they never have time to catch up. When their life actually goes through a rough patch, as all our lives inevitably do at some stage, will other people notice? If you always answer that life is crazy, you have no time, work too hard and can’t take a breath or minute to yourself, what happens when it actually occurs. When you are really in that state is it a case of boy who cries wolf and no one notices? Do your friends stop asking because they know how you will answer?

With three weeks left of March I am going to try and pause when people ask how my day is going and not automatically answer with busy. More importantly, I am going to try and make sure that I don’t have to answer busy because I am starting to get closer to the Balance I desire. With my kids quickly growing up why do I want to look back and realise I missed the moments because I was too busy. Where is the glory in that?

If I knew then…

If I knew then…

If I knew then what I know now, would I still be in the same career?

Don’t get me wrong I like my job. Like every job there are good and bad days but in general I like what I do. And as a manager I love my team who are supportive of me and their fellow team members.

However the other day I caught myself thinking about what would have happened if all those years ago I understood my passions and what parts of work I enjoy the most. Would I have gone in a different direction?

When I was young I always wanted to be a primary school teacher. Maybe that was because I saw women doing it every day. I don’t really remember there being any male teachers at my primary school but it was a long time ago.

As I moved into high school I got more creative. I had always been a dancer but I added every form of arts and graphics I could into my school schedule in my later secondary school years.

So when I finished school I naturally thought about what I could do to continue these interests, especially graphic design. As you needed science, which I had dropped as soon as I could, to go into architecture I started to lean towards advertising. Incredibly competitive and difficult to get into I went and studied business/advertising.

Life rarely goes as planned and after I finished studying I needed a job, which was very hard to find with my qualification. So I took a job that was close to home, interested me a bit, and allowed me to use a few of my skills. That job led to another job starting at my current employer.

There I showed a keen interest and passion in Training and development so a role was created. Fast forward many years and many roles and I am still working in the Learning space at that company. Isn’t it funny how I started wanting to work in teaching with young kids at the start of their journey and ended up working in Learning at the other end of the cycle with adults in the workplace.

Over the last few years I have spent a lot of time working on my mental health and well-being, self awareness and understanding my triggers and strategies. Through this I developed a passion for these topics and read books and articles, listen to podcasts and discuss with other people. Through reflection I realise the parts of my job I love the most are when I am connecting or helping others. In my team we are often discussing work life balance, mental health and burnout. Problem solving with them to come up with solutions to their work issues, or developing and mentoring people in the organisation are things I look forward to and plan to increase over the next few years. I have been known to “geek out” when I discover new solutions to trial to help my team or our customers.

In my home life, I am a single mum to two boys – one tween and one teen. That brings a whole new level of understanding and skills in this area, especially as one of them grapples with mental health issues.

When I reflect on where life has taken me so far over my 25 years of working I love that I have ended up in a place where I have the opportunity to support and develop other people. However if I knew then what I know now about my passion for mental health and well-being, and my quest to understand human behaviour and emotions would I have taken a different path?