We Get One Shot At Life. Please Don’t Lose Yourself.

First presentation back today….whoooohoooo!!!! I’ve just got home. The presentation went great. The kids are both in bed. I’m having a coffee. All is well. My heart is happy.

Last night was a completely different story.

Last night was pretty much a crazy hectic hurricane mess for our family. My beautiful friend who was watching Billy today is sick and had to cancel. Our Babysitter was busy. I have no family in Perth to call on last minute so ended up booking, cancelling and rebooking him into child care about 10 times over with my anxiety levels increasing by the minute. For some strange reason Billy refused dinner and caused a crazy hour of strong willed “you can’t make me eat my sausage Mum!”. Vahlia projectile vomited over herself, her bed and her hair – not once but 3 times. I went for a walk to ease my anxiety but instead spent the entire walk thinking about the very things that were making me anxious. Brandon eventually ended up proclaiming that he’d stay home with the kids to help settle the nerves of his wife, who had managed to morph into a crazy person within the space of a couple of hours.

It was not pleasant. It was not fun.

To anyone else in the world, the question would have been asked ‘Amy, is this presentation really worth it?’ Despite the craziness of it all my answer without a doubt would have been yes. It makes me happy.

There is so much pressure put on us to be all things to all people, pleasing everyone that we come into contact with. Life continues to increase at a pace that flys by so quickly. It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in the day to day functionality of ticking off the to-do list whilst completing the jobs that comes with our titles of Mum, Dad, Husband, Wife, Friend, Employee, Boss etc.  It really is far too easy to lose yourself.

I used to put every one & every thing ahead of myself and as a result, I lost myself. I managed to not only stop but completely forget what aspects of life made me ‘me’. I forgot what hobbies I enjoyed. I stopped finding time to do things that made my heart sing and my individual soul come alive. I prioritised everything I ‘should’ do and everything I ‘had’ to do over and above the things I really loved to do and not just sometimes but all the time.

Are you busy? Yep, we all are. My life couldn’t possibly get any busier right now. However, that doesn’t matter because it’s not a matter of having the free time to do what makes you feel good.  It’s a matter of making the time to be free.

A really effective way to increase your mental health and wellbeing is to find your ‘happy place’; an action, hobby or interest that’s fun. You love it. If you had a thousand spare hours you’d probably spend them doing that. It brings you back to the present moment. It has the ability to quiet your thoughts, calm your emotions and completely switch off the over-thinking, over-analysing brain. It almost instantly releases any stress or pressure that you may be carrying. No matter what’s going on within your world, when you go to your ‘happy place’ you feel good.

I knew that the moment I got present with those teens today and reconnected with my purpose, the craziness of last night would dissolve away and it would all be worth it. I knew that because speaking is my happy place. So is writing, music, walking, the beach, outdoors, adventure, trying new things, going new places, laughing & having fun with my Husband, being creative, open fires, sitting in the sun, playing with my kids, candle lit bubble baths and the list literally goes on. I have big grand ‘happy places’ that take up a lot of time and I have many simple and small ones that I can do daily. The more ‘happy places’ you have, the more you’re able to go there, easily and often.

If you don’t have a happy place, find one.  If you’ve found one, don’t ever let it go. No matter how busy life gets. No matter how much pressure you may feel to stop. No matter how silly it seems to everyone else around you. No matter how many not eating sausage wars, projectile vomits or stressful walks you have in the lead up. Protect it and go there often!

We get one shot at life. Please don’t lose yourself.