With absolutely no notice, the thermostat on my hot water heater had done exactly that. Burnt itself out.
The synchronicity was a real wake up call. On reflection, I saw that it was far from the first warning that I’d been neglecting my wellbeing due to being in what Sara Howard aptly refers to as a timeflow trap.
My favourite pot plant is looking crusty around the edges because I’ve forgotten to water her. Hmm, come to think of it, when did I last drink water instead of coffee?
My computer has been taking ages to close down when I finally log off at night. After which I’ve been lying in my bed for hours, wondering how long it will take for my mind to turn off. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
In an attempt to cope with my workload, I’d pushed exercise, meditation and socialising onto the back burner. But those are the things in life that sustain me. Without them, I’m not as energised, not as creative, and nowhere near as happy.
That pop made me realise that if I didn’t make some changes fast, my body would make them for me. So I sprang into action.
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First I scheduled an impromptu mini-holiday by asking some of my favourite clients if they could cope without me for a week. (Thanks Robert, Peter and Sam!)
Next I informed a fellow soloist who’s been putting in similarly stupid hours that I had scheduled a de-briefing meeting and that his attendance was compulsory. On the agenda: time for each of us to unload and take stock of what’s been going on in our businesses and our lives. Plus a couple of cocktails.
Robert is often heard saying that nobody gets their best ideas at their desk. That’s certainly the case with me, so I’m looking forward to what happens now that I’ve lightened the load a little.
Just two days in, and elegantly simple solutions to three problems I’ve been grappling with for months have appeared unbidden in my mind. I’m on fire! (Which is lucky, considering I still don’t have any hot water).
Do you get signs too? How do you know when to pay attention? Please share your experiences, just in case I’m missing something obvious. Again.