To celebrate turning 40, I’ve challenged myself to blog for each of the 40 days leading into my birthday. This is post number 32. You can read all the posts here.
In the second half of 2013 I took time away from our business to have Mia.
I so enjoyed those early, pressure-free months with her.
If she fell asleep on me, I’d lie there on the couch with her on my chest for two hours. Nowhere to be. Nothing pressing to do.
It was glorious and so different to when I had Jaden.
I eased my way back into the business towards the end of 2013, but in a very part-time capacity.
Then, as the start of 2014 rolled around, we had that enviable problem of too much work. Everyone in the office was under an insane amount of pressure and before I knew it, I was working full-time hours. Making this difficult was that we now had a child in kindy. Jaden was attending school five days a fortnight and day care the other five days.
Those school days make for short working days don’t they?
By the middle of 2014 things were starting to get dire.
Ant’s stress levels were off the charts.
My own stress levels were ramping up as I was trying to be the buffer between Ant’s stress and the people in our office and in our home. I was also the point man for the house build we were about to begin and trying to keep a household running smoothly.
I knew how this would play out if I left it alone.
All the stress would trigger anxiety which would then tip me into depression. I really didn’t want to go there again.
So, I set up a meeting with Ant and outlined my plan. It wasn’t good for our family for both of us to be working in the business full-time. He needed to bring on some more admin help for the business. And I needed to find myself a part-time role outside the business. One where all my work could be done during school hours given Jaden would be full-time at school in six months’ time.
So said, so done.
The very next month came an offer from Flying Solo. Would I be interested in the Editor job I’d interviewed for three years earlier but had missed out on? It would be 24 hours a week. School hours.
‘Wow,’ I thought, ‘It’s amazing what happens when you put things out to the Universe huh?’
The role would start at the beginning of 2015.
Meanwhile Ant had read Chris Ducker’s book on outsourcing and created a small virtual team to support our Perth team. It was taking the pressure off everyone.
Gosh I felt smug at the start of 2015.
Unlike times past, I’d seen the writing on the wall and taken immediate action. I’d set a vision for our family and made it happen.
January and February were just a delight.
Then March happened. A massive disaster in one of our businesses. One that damaged our reputation, relationships we’d spent years building and (literally) threatened to wipe out everything we’d spent the previous nine years building.
It was great that we’d been so relaxed and available to our kids for the previous few months because for the next six weeks they’d be shipped off to my parents every second weekend. When they were with us Ant and I were tag teaming constantly – one person with the kids and one with their laptop, desperately responding to whoever was shouting the loudest.
To say I was aggrieved is an understatement.
I was a good person who’d been through a rough time and learned hard lessons. When things got dire again, I didn’t sit around waiting for a knight in shining armour to swoop in. I identified the life I wanted for our family and then made it happen.
I felt entitled to happiness and couldn’t believe what the Universe was delivering up here.
By the time the dust settled I’d learned a new and important lesson. Perhaps the most important of my life.
The world owes me nothing.
The Universe could care less about me.
This could have been crushing to discover but it was actually quite freeing.
And it laid a vital foundation for another important life skill. Acceptance.