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The world is a battlefield. Fight, but without exception, choose kindness


What women want - October 2013

01 Oct 2013

There’s a little cool breeze that’s lightly touching the back of my neck as I stare at the lengths of green bamboo I’ve just “restyled” the corner of my dining room with.

I’ve put a gorgeous cracked-enamel tall vase, in an aqua-turquoise colour, filled with long green reeds and they are gracefully swaying, seeming to reach out to dance on the breeze. I’m sitting on my couch, white leather. I’ve just removed all the oranges and reds I warmed the room with through winter, and instead have placed cushions in neutral raw silk, white Indian cotton and emerald green patterns. Candles scented with white tea and ginger sit in glass jars, and fairy lights are all thrown into a tall crystal vase – ready to sparkle, and fragrance the night air.

I realise that I am cooling and calming my house down. The wooden floor boards reflect the view of the mountains and light bounces around the antler chandelier I lovingly imported from the states. The high, angled ceilings throw shadows and I’m tempted to get up to check to see if the big fat strawberries growing on my deck are ready to eat. Ice clinks in a tall glass filled with water and lime slices, and the condensation runs down the outside in small little rivers, pooling on my coasters with illustrations of race-horses.

There’s a fat fly, buzzing low and lazily just out of reach, the first of the season. I don’t move to swat him away. Instead, I lay on my couch, aware of the calm consistency of breathing and the joy of simply observing all that is around me.

I have been working at a pace and rate that has virtually consumed me over the last 10 years. And the last six months, well it’s been one long blur, a battle of endurance without a moment to reflect on the victory of surviving each day as I am launched head first into the demands of the next.

I thought it was empowering. I felt important, and felt that business was on the verge of “taking off”. I worked through the days of double-booked meetings, not missing a beat. I did my paperwork at night, into the wee small hours of the morning. I quoted, and cross-quoted, I booked out dates in the calendar until well through 2014. I filled every moment with plans and actions. I was the picture of motivation, dedication and determination.  

And then something interesting happened. Something quite unexpected. Something unplanned. I. Stopped. And I wondered why on earth I was doing it all. I realised, that it was time to re-evaluate. I realised, that I was fighting too hard (most people seem to naturally know that trying to work three businesses whilst launching a fourth is a battle with small odds of victory) but more importantly, I realised I was missing too much of what’s really important.

I am at an interesting internal cross-road. As I look around my home, I realise I want to spend time in it. I want my weekends back, to plant herbs in my garden and water my gardenias. I want to watch my son jump over the sprinkler, and the dog chase the chickens (it is quite funny).

I want to go on a holiday, a proper holiday that involves a plane trip, cocktails by a pool in bikinis, and long siestas. I want to laugh and sleep at night without running through a checklist of what I didn’t manage to get through that day. I want to stop, more often, and smell the fragrant candles on the night air.

In a brutally clear – and quite cruel – moment of self awareness, I realise I have been over-filling my life with business commitments because it’s been filling the gap of what’s really missing – a partner.

I’m missing a partner in life.  It has been easier to be in business alone, than to be in life alone. I’m not quite sure how to change it. But I do know I’m going to get some balance back.

No matter how busy you are, how important that business call is, don’t make the mistakes I’ve been making and forget what’s most important – your own happiness.

Till next month, Abby x

Don’t forget you can email me at (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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