“Death twitches my ear;
‘Live,’ he says…
Lovelies, I remember one particular morning so clearly.
It was the day we all thought I would die.
None of the treatments had worked. There was nothing more to be done. And so I waited through the long hours of my last night, wrote my will, got my head in order and watched the dawn.
I had only a few regrets. I hadn’t spent enough time with Ben. I hadn’t spent enough time doing nothing. I hadn’t finished writing my books or put them out into the world.
And then, of course, I turned the corner, and I lived.
My health improved. I became busy again, and that morning, while not forgotten, receded in the face of my endless to-do lists.
Then came the recent drought, and Australia’s catastrophic bush fires. Something changed in me. I knew I couldn’t live the way I had before, hoping that at some unspecified day in the future the things that mattered to me would just get done all by themselves.
I eyed off 2020 and I knew it was time. I cancelled all my live events. All my retreats. I put a line through the year. I declared it my sabbatical and writing time.
But then the pandemic came. My team and I sat down and redrafted everything. I put myself back on the coal face, front and centre. Suddenly I was busier than I have ever been. How fortunate that I’d cleared my calendar ready for chaos that has been 2020 thus far.
At the coal face is where I intend to stay this year – serving my community, coaching, doing consultations, investing time in my membership – teaching the things I would have shared on the retreats I have cancelled. It’s where I am needed. It feels right. We are getting brilliant feedback from our members and clients – it’s all going so well.
But it also feels right to find a new balance. To find chunks of time just for me, and for my stories, and for doing nothing, and for being with my darling man and our pupsters down on the farm – just us, hanging out and living life deeply engaged with one another. Because my personal dreams matter just as much as anyone’s.
So, last night I took out my chunky highlighter pens and I carved out rows of days like links in a chain. Each month I found strings of days to block off – to reclaim as sacred and private space.
I carved out space for my team too – putting several four-day-weekends into our calendar where we will all be unavailable to answer messages or be on Facebook or deal with day-to-day stuff. We have been so busy, and we love what we do, but we can’t work at this pace indefinitely. That’s how burnout happens.
Instantly my body relaxed.
I let out the breath I hadn’t realised I was holding.
Death comes for all of us, maybe sooner, maybe later. All I know is I intend to do my best to meet my own death, when it comes, without regrets. (And hopefully it is still a long way off!). So, I will continue to serve you, but I will honour my own dreams too – RIGHT NOW and not at some future date that may never come.
How about you? Can you go back to the way things were, or do you need a better way forward? Let’s make these changes together. It’s time.
Love, hugs and a belly full of optimism, Nicole xx