So last week I shared my new found ‘lack of celebration’ of being busy and the most beautiful things happened. A lot of you commented and shared your similar views- that ‘being busy’ seems to be ‘the norm’ and that perhaps by focusing on how busy we are we are in fact missing out on actually ‘living’ our lives.
And then another great thing happened! A colleague and friend of mine decided to send me her thoughts on my topic of ‘being busy’. Jenny is a talented and respected professional working and living in Queensland. She is a powerhouse when it comes to her work. And over the last two or so years my friend the ‘powerhouse’ has been shaken to the core with serious illness. It meant she very quickly had to slow down and stop being ‘busy’ as there were far more pressing matters to focus on. Over the past few months she has started to get her health almost back into check and so re-emerges my friend the powerhouse! But as Jenny describes below- her experiences this past year or two have had a lasting impact on how she now tapers her enthusiasm to ensure she is still ‘living’ in amongst the busyness that is work. And so here are Jenny’s thoughts inspired by our ‘celebration of being ‘unbusy’ from last week’.
Clarissa was kind enough to offer me an invitation to write for her blog, and for the past month (or perhaps longer) I have ‘hummed and hawed over what would be the ‘right’ thing to say. I was offered the invitation as Clarissa knows that I do enjoy writing, especially when it comes from the heart. My problem was I was trying to force something and that is never helpful or honest.
And then today I read an article from Clarissa expressing how she stopped celebrating being ‘busy’ and that seemed to hit a chord…
We are also so busy, but I think with everything attitude is the key. From the outside, my life is quite full, I haven’t been blessed with children as yet, however I run and operate a boutique forensic accounting firm, that is still in its growth phase and me being me hold huge dreams for it. So there are decisions to be made left, right and centre ranging from which chairs and fridge to order for the new office, to the right internet plan to the all-important question of whether it’s the right time to invest in an in-house coffee machine just yet! There is marketing galore, and all those articles come from the depths of my head. There is the bookkeeping, networking, the office admin and then finally someone has to do the work too.
I have always had dreams of writing a novel, so have been slowly building character and plot lines for that and I’ve also recently started another enterprise, completely outside the field of professional services.
I found myself thinking this very morning, that I was becoming so busy and how was I going to fit everything in. For those who know me, may also know that I was recently diagnosed with a rather serious incurable disease that whilst under control still requires regular attendance with my various doctors and my wonderful hospital nurses.
So I found myself this morning, with my brain buzzing at a million miles an hour and then I had the sudden thought that all this worry was a bit silly and all I needed was a good diary and to be organised. With that thought I suddenly felt calm again and was able to focus on the task at hand.
Whilst my office is in the heart of Brisbane, I am fortunate enough to live in one of the most gorgeous spots in the world, the Tallebudgera Valley. When people find out that I live in that part of the world the next question is ‘so do you drive in every day?’
Yes, of course I do. I am fortunate in that I quite enjoy driving and I have a lovely car to do so. Also the fact that I am now the boss and I can time my trips to avoid peak-hour, does help.
I find I actually enjoy the time that I have in the car, in the mornings my hour long journey (sometimes more) is usually filled with me listening to the local radio station, keeping me up to date with the latest news and Facebook gossip.
Although, it is the evening journey that I enjoy best, I find that I spend probably the first half of my trip effectively filing. I file all my thoughts on the various issues of the day away in my head and effectively clean the slate so to say. I spend the second half of my trip with my car turned into a make-shift karaoke nightclub and usually end up almost losing my voice with the volume so loud flying down the M1.
I always enter my home with a clear mind though, I leave all the worries of the day and stress of various decisions back at the office. I find before I leave, I make a quick list of things that need to be urgently attended the next day and because they are written down, I no longer need to worry about them until the next day.
So I put it to everyone to leave their work at the office, step out into the world and enjoy the roses. It takes practice and a little bit of dedication but it is well worth it, to be present in every moment!!!
In her ‘work life’ Jenny Letts is the Director of Jenny Letts Valuations and Forensics offering assistance to families working their way through separation and divorce by providing strategic valuation advice on businesses and entities. She does lots of other great stuff too and I think of her as a bit of a number wiz being a forensic accountant and all! Oh and she has the most amazing shoe collection ever!
You can learn more about Jenny and her services here www.jennyletts.com.au
So can you accept the challenge? Leave work at work and get out and smell the roses! I know some days it is a lot easier for me than others. Living only a few minutes from my office has many advantages, but it also comes with a small challenge- that there is little time for me to ‘unwind’ between leaving my office and arriving home. And so, like Jenny, I have found that I need to make a conscious decision to ‘switch off’ in the evenings- at least until my daughter falls asleep! I find that getting out of the house, going for a walk, a ride or a run (there has been less of that lately thanks to Brisbane’s lovely summer humidity and heat!) is the perfect way to ‘switch off’ and enjoy lovely conversations with my little one and my husband all at the same time.
Jenny- thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. I love nothing more than hearing the views of others and so if you, like Jenny have something you would like to share with me and even have published on this blog please send it on through!