A few days before I posted the video on the importance of recovery, I unexpectedly and completely LOST MY SHIT. I suddenly reached a breaking point where I whipped a bag of carrots at the kitchen wall, they exploded all over the floor and down the basement steps. While this surprised the hell out of me (as well as my wife), it didn’t stop there. The flood gates opened and I was filled with what I can only describe as rage. I stomped. I huffed. I not-so-gently “returned” the laundry basket back to the basement. I cried. And scared the crap out of our 16-year-old daughter.
I say I “unexpectedly” lost my shit because this is not my M.O. It takes a lot for me to lose it, to cry or to be out of control. For most of the time, I’m totally fine…until I’m not. And then “all of a sudden” I’m REALLY not fine. And it surprises and shocks me each time it happens.
But if I’m to be honest and reflective, there’s nothing sudden or shocking about these rare but epic events. While I am really great at exercising regularly, eating well, getting 9-10 hours of sleep a night and getting alone/downtime (airplanes, hotel rooms, home office) as recovery, it’s not always enough. And I don’t do a good job of acknowledging how stress is affecting me. I’m tough. I can get through anything. Keep pushing.
I’ve been in constant pain relating to my back and my rheumatoid arthritis. It’s winter: cold, dark and a season I loathe. What’s going on politically and socially has been upsetting. And a bigger part of the picture is that I’ve been under a lot of stress with my business lately – traveling a ton (while other months are slower), launching new content, trying to increase sales and revenue, dealing with a difficult but important client – all while NOT having a business degree. Oh my god, let’s be honest, there are so many times when I feel like I have no business running a business!
And a couple of days ago I had the realization that what I do in my leisure time is clean and organize. No lie. I used to do aerial trapeze until my back got worse. I used to do duathlons. I went online and found a bullwhip instructor (god bless the internet!) to teach me how to use it because I saw it in Zoomanity and thought it looked fun. I know how to knit, weld, weave a basket, do stained glass and bellydance. I used to be an interesting person. I’m now someone who works a lot and gets their jollies from vacuuming and neatness. SNOOZE. I’m also an incredibly social person who loves being around other people, but I work from home. When I travel and speak I’m surrounded by other people, but there’s not much of a deep connection that happens. I am a hermit. A really boring, stressed out, tidy hermit. Who throws carrots.
Just for reference, here’s the level of excitement in my office right now.
Before this gets too long and convoluted, there are two things I want to share with you.
- No one is immune to stress or self-doubt. Whenever I bump into people (special days where I leave the house) they often say “How are you? It looks like you’re super busy and things are going well.” And depending on the day, I might die inside. I might be feeling super stressed or like nothing is happening. And I often tell them so. I’m sorry if online I only come across as having it all together or totally invincible. If you meet me or know me, you very quickly realize I’m really human and there’s nothing “super” about me.
- A multitude of forms of recovery are vital. And it’s important to use them often. While I listed exercise, nutrition and sleep as things that are helpful to me, they’re clearly not enough. I need more social connection. I need to show myself a bit more compassion. And I need a damn hobby. If you have any great ideas, please leave them in the comments section.
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