This month marks ten years since I last walked out of the office of my previous life. Having spent thirteen years managing record producers and developing artists I was stumbling into a world of uncertainty and change.
It wasn’t my choice to leave that world; even though I’d become so unhappy and stressed I was labelled severely depressed by my GP. Leaving had been forced upon me, I felt betrayed and and I had no idea what I was going to do next. My work had become my identity and without that role I honestly didn’t know who I was.
It’s taken a while and been quite the road of discovery and exploration – all very organic (meaning unplanned!). I’m often asked about this journey by those considering a change in life and / or career and I suspect they’re expecting me to have some words of wisdom about how to do that successfully. The truth is however, I didn’t have a plan. I couldn’t. I had to let go of so much to create space for something new to show up and that is still going on. Getting clear on what interests me, following my intuition and saying yes to opportunities has worked well but it’s not the easiest thing to do.
A decade later and it’s hard not to reflect on change, where I’m at and what matters. As always, the clients I’m seeing mirror where I’m at and lately a similar theme keeps returning. The perceived importance of being busy. “How are you – are you busy?” tends to be the the first thing people say. Now maybe it’s my interpretation but there’s a sense that the “right” answer is “yes! I’m so busy I can barely keep up” – this means I’m successful right? Because to NOT be busy means I’m a failure…
Perhaps I’m over exaggerating (I don’t think I am) but I had to carefully, consciously, craft the honest reply that “I am as busy as I want to be.” And it’s true.
I spent twenty years being busy.
It’s taken me ten to learn the importance of NOT being busy.
I now set my own hours. I work with whom I choose.
Those that I do have my undivided attention and care.
I make it a priority to schedule down time and adventures with family and friends. That work / life balance is elusive for most of us and it’s a constant recalibration, but I’m getting there.
I was talking with a guy this week who’d been hanging his “feeling better” on moving out of London. Because it’s just so frenetic and the expectations and lifestyle dictate a certain way of being he, like many that come to see me, was suffering a lot of anxiety and depression.
It hit me then that I’ve been able to create the feeling of being on holiday in my whole life; and I’d done it in London!
That fine balance of enjoying all that London has to offer; the energy, the creativity, the openness, always something new to discover – with creating an idyll, a safe space for connection to nature, to the rhythms of the moon and the seasons, a community where I know the folks running my local businesses and feel a part of a locale.
It’s taken me a decade to figure this out and to be more than OK with it.
To know it’s essential to my wellbeing and work.
To celebrate this ten year anniversary of change I’m sharing my top ten tips for managing emotional wellbeing in times of change which you can find here. If you’d like to dive deeper in to creating a meaningful life take a look at how I work and drop me a line. I’d love to talk further with you about where you’re at, where you want to be and the various tools available to help you get there.