If I had a dollar for every time someone has asked me lately if I’m pregnant, I’d have enough money to buy a …
… well, I’d probably only have a enough money to buy a cheap bottle of wine, but the moral of the story is that I’ve been asked the question a lot lately.
I don’t have a growing baby bump and I’m not suffering from morning sickness. The reason people have been jumping to this conclusion about me is because I’m soon to take six months’ leave from my day job.
This news has been a lot for some to wrap their heads around.
Whenever I tell someone about my leave they’re certain that I’m pregnant AGAIN or I want to stay at home and ‘do the mummy thing’.
They look at me a little strangely when I tell them I simply want to take time out. I then of course feel like a freeloading Norm-type person and compensate by saying I’ll be focusing on my writing and seeing if I can knock out this children’s picture book I’ve been banging on about for so long.
Truth be told, the real reason I’m taking this time out from work is that I recognised some time ago that I’m burnt out, I’m overwhelmed, and I feel like a hamster on a wheel. I recognised that I wasn’t happy and things needed to change.
This of course is nobody’s fault but my own. I’m a people pleaser, I have an inability to say no, I want to do ALL OF THE THINGS, have ridiculously high standards and have virtually forgotten the meaning of relaxation. I have every second of the day accounted for and if a space does appear I fill it with work, or helping people.
I just can’t seem to stop and it sucks. I want to stop. I want to recalibrate and I want to get back to being me – all parts of me – mummy, wife, and me.
I was given a book recently that I’ve found incredibly useful in helping me to understand what I’m experiencing at the moment. If you find yourself feeling a little burnt out or overwhelmed, I’d love you to read it too. It’s not a long read. I was able to devour it from cover to cover over the weekend. The book is Practical Perfection by author, self-confessed perfectionist, and blogging extraordinaire Kelly Exeter.
Practical Perfection discusses burnout, overwhelm and the feeling of being a hamster on a wheel and what drives this behaviour.
It was an eye-opening read for me. After reading the first chapter I was convinced I was burnt out, after the second I decided I was overwhelmed, after the third I thought oh crap – I think I’m burnt out, overwhelmed and a hamster on the wheel. Thankfully, Kelly provides a number of simple strategies to manage these things.
Practical Perfection couldn’t have landed in my lap at a better time. A time when I really, really, really needed a guiding voice to help break me out of this hole I feel like I’m in. My anxiety is close to the worst it’s ever been and my spark has dulled.
Kelly’s book spoke directly to me and has given me the kick up the pants I needed to take back control of my life. I can’t wait to kick off my leave in just under two weeks’ time and start putting some of these strategies into action.
While I undoubtedly will fill up my leave with writing, Jamberry, and my volunteer work, I’ll also be consciously working on getting some semblance of balance back into my life, so I can be the best mum, wife and version of me that I can be.
Please note: This is not a sponsored post. I found Practical Perfection incredibly helpful and am sure many of you will too.
Are you a perfectionist? Are you highly driven and work yourself into the ground to meet your own expectations? Have you suffered from burnout and overwhelm? How did you overcome it?
Linking up today with my mate Jess for IBOT.