The Struggle to Juggle
So, when myself and my best friend since childhood embarked on this venture/ adventure we never in our wildest dreams anticipated the learning curve we were about to take on. With backgrounds unrelated to the new venture we were creating we were very much going at it blind...but we just sensed we were on to something. With 40 years of life experience, years of third level education behind me and a career as a tutor in a Dublin College, I felt confident in my ability to learn a whole new set of skills ‘on the job’. How hard could it be? The answer, pretty hard! Considering how much my life has changed since I took on any other challenge in my life. When I decided to travel, when I chose to go to University, when I took on a very challenging role within the Irish juvenile detention system, and when I changed path and decided on teaching, I embarked on each challenge exclusively and without other balls to juggle. This time around throw three crazy kids, a house to manage (The cooking. The washing. The taxiing. The refereeing. Relentless!) and a ‘real job’ into the mix, the result is ‘The Struggle to Juggle’. One of the main symptoms of this is feeling as if there is so little time to do all the things I needed to do and feeling as if I was not doing any of these things well. I love cooking but felt I was losing the will to live every time I boiled an egg as it was eating into the time I desperately needed to do 50 other things. I love spending time with my kids but felt I wasn’t being a ‘good enough parent’ as I seemed to be constantly saying “hang on a second” or was never really present due to the continuous to do list jumping into my head. And as for the house! In my head it felt like it was just never tidy..even though to be honest it always was considering I have three boys (I’m sure I don’t need to explain the constant puddle on the floor beside the toilet situation).
In saying all that I was in absolute heaven on this journey of learning how a totally new industry, to me, worked. Figuring out the most effective way of getting things done and making connections that I never realised would be important to me in a professional capacity. Exciting to say the least, I woke up buzzing with energy every day!
The pressure was still there though, pressure put on myself by myself to have everything done perfectly. My mother in law, who is the best support I could ever hope for, in passing one day said “lower your standards in some areas so you can give 100% in the other areas that are really important.'' It was so simple and I can’t even count how many times I have said something similar to people both personally and professionally but something clicked with me when she said it that day. It was as if I had been given permission to take the pressure off, when in fact I really only needed to give myself permission. Since that day that notion of lowering my standards in things like housework, washing etc my whole outlook has changed. I feel like I am ‘good enough’ at those things and have more to give to my family, my friends, my job and my business.
Coincidentally around the time I had this epiphany induced by my mother in law we had Siobhan Murray, author of The Burnout Solution as a guest speaker. She really reinforced what was already beginning to sink in about self kindness and prioritising what’s important. And acknowledging that being good enough is good enough. Needless to say I went home after that event armed with my copy of The Burnout Solution and never looked back! Don’t sweat the small stuff and embrace the fact we are here for a good time not a long time so enjoy it.