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What Women Want - With Abby Crawford Image

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What Women Want - October 2012

01 Oct 2012

They say that busy people are happy people. Hmmm. Well, I agree that if you have a purpose, you generally feel a bit happier than when you’re at a bit of a loose end.

But I have to say, I think there’s a whole lot of grey in that statement!

OK, perhaps I’m particularly talking about when you’re REALLY busy … the kind of busy that even when you wake up before the alarm goes off, you’re already late. The kind of busy that it doesn’t matter how many “ticks” you make against your list, there’s chapters still to go, all of them with a simple deadline: Due Yesterday.

To be honest, I’m kind of dreaming of a day of listlessness. I am not sure that I will ever get there, not with my current list, but I dream of it. I see pictures of people doing something as simple as camping with their kids, in a tent, by a river (I’d settle for a puddle at this stage) with their feet up, cold beverage in hand and smiling.

My smiles have been more grimaces that I am conscious of making less aggressive looking – and I remember to smile to encourage the person I am having the meeting with that everything is under control and we can wrap it up.

Because, I am late for another meeting that I really need to get to.

I don’t particularly think this is a sustainable type of busy, but the trap is trying to reduce it and find that balance in life – I’ve heard there are even people out there in this world who have succeeded in not working weekends! Outrageous!

No, in all seriousness, I envy the ones who do find a balance and can maintain that – it appears from the outside at least, that they haven’t had to make major sacrifices (like permanently camping, as they’ve decided to sacrifice trying to pay the mortgage for a more “balanced” life) to have this balance. I believe these people are truly skilled!

Now I can see and understand my own path to being ridiculously busy – which is as simple as believing when you are a consultant, you take the work when it’s there. Make hay when the sun shines, and all that. But I am starting to see the downfall in my logic – and am starting to believe that seeing the hours of 9pm-1am as windows of billable hours may not be the sanest conclusion I’ve ever reached. They are clearly, very decent drinking hours – I mean relaxing and unwinding hours.

The other reason I find myself in this spot of being so ridiculously busy, is actually that I am really, really fortunate. So whilst I’m frantically checking massive to do lists and returning emails at 5am from a week ago, I actually love everything that I am doing. So it is going to be hard to work out how to achieve more balance, as I feel that dropping any of my contracts is sacrificing something that I love, for a more sustainable existence – sometimes we just can’t do everything that we want, at least not all at the same time!

So, if like me, you’re finding that you are running yourself ragged because you are involved and committed to so many things, then I would encourage you to ask yourself the same question I am now asking myself – yes, I know you love what you’re doing, but are you happy? I’ve realised I’m so busy doing things I love, that I am too exhausted to really appreciate them and to reflect and allow myself to feel happy with my own achievements.

A busy life is a happy life – but it’s also important to take the time to reflect and find some calm in all the craziness! This month, I’m going to try swapping something stressful (washing the dishes springs to mind) for some peaceful time out to look after me, rather than spending every available minute working on my business contracts.

Take care of yourself this month: sometimes we can all feel like we’re running the biggest race of our life, and taking some time to nurture ourselves could be just the solution to ensure we are able to sustain all the “happy busy” things we are doing!

Till next month,

Abby x

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