Creativity doesn't just happen, and I've found it sure doesn't happen if there is a lot of stress or chaos going on. Last April I headed to Salt Lake City to attend a creative blogger conference. I went knowing I would probably not personally know a single person, but I needed something new, I needed inspiration and I needed to start “finding myself” again. I felt like I had lost my focus, or as we say in my house, I needed to find my happy. I didn’t know which direction I was going and I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to fix it, or even what the “fix” would be. Then I heard Julie Hanks speak.
Julie is full of energy, enthusiasm and wise words. I really can’t tell you what I specifically learned that day. Nor can I quote anything she said. Yet I remember coming home, knowing I felt like I had a new direction a new goal to strive for. I needed to re-find my happy self. I didn’t make a plan, I just knew there was someone out there that understood whatever it is I was struggling to figure out.
Months later, The Burnout Cure by Julie Hanks entered the stage. I heard Julie was releasing a new book about taking care of ourselves. Emotional burnout and healing information to share and I had to read it! I had to be reminded of the message she had to share.
My view of a perfect mom or wife is not a picture of me,
that is going to change.
I’m a work-at-home business owning mom of 3 (ages 17,10 and 6). I don’t volunteer much, I don’t hold any positions on any councils or committees and I don’t take time to visit friends nor neighbors like I’d hope. Sometimes I cook meals and sometimes we eat at McDonalds 3 times a week. The laundry piles up, there are usually dishes in the sink and I didn’t even plant my veggie garden this year. Yet I feel like I have no time. I’m constantly on the go either traveling or connecting with a variety of people for a variety of reasons. Although I work from home, right in the middle of my kitchen, I always feel like my kids suffer. I’m forever working on a project of some kind yet I set out, over 15 years ago, to build a work-at-home style business so I could be available to my kids. The balance of things is never balanced here. I feel guilty, I feel unsupportive and I feel like I should be doing a better job yet I struggle with feeling unappreciated.
Burnout, now I see and recognize and I know it’s ok… I have a guide.
I haven’t “finished” the book. I don’t think I ever will. There is far more information, ideas and “working through” than a single read will cover. To me The Burnout Cure is more of a work in progress workbook kind of resource. I’m taking notes, pasting quotes on the wall and rereading. There are pages with ideas, examples, stories and questions to answer and revisit. I’m using The Burnout Cure as a guide like I would a recipe book. Just randomly opening a page and reading the ideas again is helping me regain a focus with reminders of what I want to accomplish and where I want my mind and heart to be.
My take away for today? I’m making time to take care of me. No matter how busy we are, we need to stop, breathe and check in with ourselves.
We don’t have to work through everything by ourselves. We don’t have to be perfect but our mistakes and shortcomings don’t have to be secrets we hide on our own. We can be the superhero moms we strive to be, but it’s ok to ask for help and it’s ok to make mistakes. The key is to be willing to acknowledge our own weaknesses and reach out to work with others to grow. I’m positive, the more we strive and learn to care for and be our own best happy selves, the more fabulous impact we will have on those around us.
To find out more about Julie Hanks or her new book The Burnout Cure, check out the following links:
Thank you Julie for sharing so we can all work at becoming our best selves!