I’ve entered a very strange and quiet period in my life. I’d say my recovery from burnout is more or less complete. I have figured out my calling and selected a path that is aligned with my strengths and talents. I’ve become a writer and I’ve written a book. My rough draft, which is referred to as a printers proof, is with the printer and on its way. I have one last chance to check for errors and then we are ready for print.
It seems like time is going so slowly, however, in this time while I wait for printing. I’d prefer to arrange speaking engagements when I have the book on hand to sell as to maximise the opportunity to sell the book. So this period of waiting is very strange. After years of recovery, I’m finally well enough to be working but I’m not very busy.
In the few years it took for me to recover, I often felt that I really wanted to clean out the cupboards in my house but I lacked the energy. Now, I’m tackling a room or a cupboard every few days. It is a rewarding experience. I bought a few clear plastic containers to aid in this process and I must say I feel a great sense of accomplishment when the cupboards are clean, free of clutter and organised. I’m telling myself that this is the time to do it because life might become very busy once my book is published.
Occasionally I have this feeling of panic and guilt. Why is my inbox so empty? Why is no-one calling me? Why are the opportunities drying up? I have this voice in my head telling me that I should be working. In talking myself out of the panic, I realise that I have not been actively chasing many opportunities lately because I’ve been focussing on the final stages my book. Also, I have to keep reminding myself that what I’m doing is work. Sometimes I feel guilty that I’m enjoying what I do in the day so much that it cannot be work.
I wrote recently about my idea for a deck of cards that accompany the book and I am having great fun working on them. It’s a chance to be creative every day and it’s actually work, which is awesome. My brain starts to get lost in the worries about the next steps. Who will help me with the box and the graphics? How much will it cost to print? How will I get it to look professional and not home made?
It’s really hard to stay in the moment and to appreciate what is happening right now. For years before my burnout I was so unhappy. For years of recovery, I was so frustrated about not being able to do the things I longed to do. And now, here I am, with enough energy to do many things in a day, including a hard yoga class. I’m clear on my life purpose, I love my family and home and I’m doing the work I love. I’m also weeks away from achieving a lifelong dream.
I have to keep reminding myself to slow down and to appreciate the moment. I need to remember to celebrate small things like the fact that I can clean out a cupboard without feeling exhausted. In the wait for printing, I’m spending more time meditating and trying to truly appreciate this time of quiet. I have no doubt that at some point in the future, I’ll look back and wish for days as quiet as I have now.
Sometimes, even if we are enjoying ourselves, we let our worries interfere with the moment. I’m letting my worries about waiting for the book, being idle and the logistics of the cards get in the way of the great progress I have made. I keep reminding myself that this is good and that all I need to do is to focus on the next step. Once the book is printed, I can get going on promoting it. Once the cards are finished, I will be able to find the help I need to take it forward.
Mindfulness is about focussing on the current moment and not worrying about the past or future. It’s something I have to work on at this time of quiet as I prepare to embark on this great new career I’ve created. All the pieces are falling into place and I have faith that the path ahead will be filled with excitement, fun and a challenge or two.
Are you celebrating the progress you’ve made or focussing on your current frustrations? Are you so worried about the future that you’re not enjoying the present? Are you able to enjoy the quiet moments without panic and guilt?Follow me: