Be Gentle

When Steve said it today he hit the nail on the head – I am one of the boys, and I love being one of the boys. Ever since I can remember I have always related better and easier to boys. Let’s say we were a group of friends at a dam, girls and boys pretty much in even numbers, I would be the girl sliding down the foefie slide with the boys while the rest of the girls talk girl talk. I don’t do girl talk very well, not only the shoes and shopping and hair and make-up stuff, but also the feeling stuff. At Harlequin Andrew also said that we are business women in a man’s world, and he was looking at me when he said it. At the time I knew I’ve worked hard in the business world, but at the tine I didn’t think that I am one of those business woman who lost the softer empathetic nurturing part of me. Hindsight is beautiful, but fortunately this is a hindsight where there aren’t detrimental consequences for only realising it today. He was talking ABOUT me, TO me.

I am extremely hard on myself, I expect a lot of myself. More than I would ever expect of anybody else. At work I am a machine, I can put my head down and slog away for hours without taking so much as a 5 minute break other than when nature calls. In my sport I can focus myself on a goal and stick to the most rigid training programme in aim of the goal, sacrificing sleep to put in the hours, cutting short me time to put in the hours, pushing my body past boundaries and beyond perceived limits. At home I will put in lots of planning to ensure the people around me and myself have healthy meals that are interesting and taste good, boring dull meals aren’t an option. I have always considered these awesome qualities in me – I still do, but I have forgot the balance. As said in one of my first posts, I’m a fixer. Generally I only notice the things around me that need fixing, and then I’m busy planning how to fix them. The good things I do goes unnoticed, unapproved.

After Harlequin I got sick – to be expected – and I took it pretty well, not trying to force the illness to go away, not putting myself on a guilt trip for not training. But Friday I had a bit of a breakdown, still feeling crappy and still feeling sick, expecting to see at least a little improvement after 4 days. The majority of my support are men, and all of them had the same advice – take it easy on yourself. My body needs to adapt to the sudden emotional growth, and it is asking for a bit of a break. They all gave me awesome advice, and all of them made perfect sense. But most of them are fixers, like me. For me to feel I’m dealing with stuff I need an action list, a plan, stuff to do – all of this my boy [space] friends gave me, which is awesome! I had a plan to change my situation!

John spoke to his girlfriend Lizette who said that maybe the fixers need to back off a bit. We spoke on the phone for a long time, and she is one of only a handful woman who I’ve gained support from in the past couple of months. I realise now that all of them have the same message, take it easy, but with a softer message. Their message is one of just accepting, sleeping in, not doing anything but just doing things that bring me peace – read a book, close my eyes and breathe, stopping for a moment.

Both of these are good strategies, and both have their place. I have been spending my life in strategy A, do stuff, all the time. Worry about the fact that I’m not getting to stuff, trying to make stuff work. It is time to apply some of strategy B – sitting back and taking a break, a breather, reflecting on what I’ve accomplished, what has worked, what I’m happy with, the things I appreciate in life. And also finding what didn’t work. But instead of jumping straight onto it, I need to take a breather, regroup myself, explore options and then take small steps forward. I tend to bulldoze, and looking back now, bulldozers generally do more harm than good, not necessarily so much to other people, but more to me because I get angry that the mountains aren’t shifting overnight – I get impatient.

Is backing off easy for me to do, hell no – the blinding headache I woke up with this morning is evidence of that! Will this lesson come up again, hell yes. But what I do appreciate is the female view I have gained in my life, that will probably push me back into my seat some days and tell me to just sit down and breathe. Go for a massage, get my nails done, tan, sit, lie, just be. Thank You ladies!

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