Giving Yourself Permission.
Maybe it was the advent of smart phones. Maybe it was the advent of social media. Maybe it was the rise of accounts on social media encouraging us to “be the best versions of ourselves”. I mean it’s not new. Before all this I was reading as many self improvement books as I could. But at a certain point it made me question, for all of that forward motion, do we as humans every now and then just require some Rest and recovery? That might come in the form of a lie in or just having an easy afternoon on the couch. I’m not sure where or when it started but I’ve surely fell foul of this. As you progress through your life professionally and personally and you end up with more responsibilities until one day you turn around and realize, damn, there is a lot of stuff we’re dragging along here.
Its not a bad thing, but the other day it did make me realize. I have a pretty full on job where I learn and have to learn how to constantly evolve everyday. I have a couple of rental properties that mean some evening visits to fix things and of course the general admin that goes with it. I have a wonderful wife and two kids. Raising a family on its own is a full time job but thankfully me and my wife have found a great balance. Of course with all this I like to think that balance is achieved through going to the gym at 5.30am I mean, thats what those instagram accounts tell me anyway that the worlds most successful people do.
On top of this since I seem to enjoy this pace I committed to a couple new goals, one was taking a business strategy course online and to learn another language and then me and my wife added running our first half marathon on to the plate for good measure.
So with all these things the thing I have realized is that there’s always something that needs doing. Always an email to read. Always a child to read a book too. Always something to get after, fix, a trip that needs planning or taxes that need filing. It doesn’t stop and I guess I’ll never go back to being 16 when there weren’t smart phones and you even had the opportunity to be bored.
But with all of these to dos and distractions its just made me realize, one of the hardest things to do, is just to give yourself permission to just “be”. To get off the hamster wheel of self improvement for a second and relax. Thats why having kids has been an amazing time and taught me clearly that sometimes you just have to go at their pace. No amount of rushing or hustling will help.
But its bigger than that, its a wider issue, for me anyways, maybe its generational or culturally handed down but its also giving yourself the permission to understand that with all of this forward momentum its ok to reward and (I shudder as I write this) maybe even celebrate sometimes.
For example, I have a thing for surfboards. I love them. I have more gear than I should for someone with my scant ability. However much I love buying a new board I cant hardly ever seem to make myself do it because its one of those things that no matter how well financially I’m doing, it seems extravagant and I cant quite give myself the permission to do so.
I was the same with taking vacations. When me and my wife got together, I hadn’t taken a proper vacation in a while and one year after a particularly busy year on the road I came home in the Spring and she had booked us a holiday to Egypt. Food, drink, Golf all included. Very much not me usually but it felt amazing to just relax, read a book and chill. We try and do this each Christmas when we can too. Allow some time for self reflection, some planning and relaxation. Whats odd is, when you have the opportunity to take these breaks, reward yourself, its more often than not, me that cant seem to allow myself to do so.
Yes its a weird goal to work on as it’s not that tangible, but something I am going to begin working towards.
Giving myself permission to take the day off or take the trip or just be totally fine with being here, present and doing not much as all.
It might take a while, but lets give it a go.
Anyone else dealing with this?