Tinder burnt my toast

Tinder burnt my toast

You know that feeling when you only have one candle and not enough ends to burn it from?

You’re flinging washing in the machine while poaching an egg, burning the toast while responding to Tinder messages, opening 15 million tabs and trying to attend to them all at once until your browser crashes and you can’t remember why any of them were important anyway?

You’re cramming the weekend with breakfasts, brunches, coffees, and dates all before lunch, then afternoon missions to buy a bed and some hand soap for your new Airbnb listing.

And three days later you realise the washing is still in the machine?

Since the beginning of the year, I have been capital letters OVERWHELMED with shit to do.

I thought my life was busy before I started a business!? 

I was rushing around telling people that I was overwhelmed and busy and that I didn’t have much time to catch up, up to my eyeballs in adrenaline, feeling as though I didn’t have time for yoga or meditation.

It all culminated in me bursting into tears at JB HiFi because there were just TOO MANY ROUTERS to choose from.

I didn’t have a single decision left in me.

I’ve learnt this lesson before, and like everything in life I’ll continue to have to learn it until I’ve learnt it. Which might possibly take forever.

You see, I’ve noticed a pattern I follow. I wonder if you might do the same?

I start off on top of the world, feeling great, doing lots of exercise and yoga, meditating most days, making the time to do all the things that I know are necessary for me to stay on top of my bloody good life. I wake up bursting with energy and inspiration, it feels like life is too good to be true. 

I feel invincible and fearless, so I fill my life with more life. I start new projects for Project Self, write a million blog posts, start building things, writing cards, doing a lot of yoga.

I start dating up a Tinder storm, and my newfound energy and zest for life attracts loads of eligible babes into my life. So I try to date them all. I start listening to new music, experimenting in the kitchen, and trying to catch up with every friend I know.

I move heaven and earth to cram as much life into my life as possible.

And then, at some unknown high point, at the peak of the wave, I realise that I have massively, massively overcommitted myself.

Too many dates, too many catch ups, too many tabs open, too many projects.

There is a fine line between living at the edge of your limits (where the magic happens), and falling over the edge into overwhelm and panic.

When this happens, I let go of all the things that got me to the high point in the first place.

>> Yoga, exercise, meditation and getting outside fall by the wayside.

I cancel on friends and dates and retreat into my cave. I try to get on top of all the work I’ve created for myself, but since I’ve locked myself in a room with my overwhelm and hermitted myself away from everything that lights me up, I no longer feel inspired, so I can’t write or create the content I need to create for the projects I’m working on, so I procrastinate.

I start eating more sugar and chocolate, and I stop cooking healthy food (who has time for that). The procrastination then causes me more guilt, and before I know it the most productive week of the year has crashed into the least productive week of the century, all the while I continue to feel overwhelmed, panicked, and guilty.

I recognise the pattern, yet I keep doing it over and over again. I still haven’t learnt.

Eventually I reach the bottom of the wave and realise that shit has gotten dire.

I realise I need to pick myself up again and start doing all the things I know I need to keep myself stable, balanced and inspired:
  • Meditating at least once a day.
  • Yoga a few times a week.
  • Getting outside and going for a run.
  • Taking time to rest, read (away from screens), and do things I love.
  • Eating proper food – lots of vegetables and not lots of sugar.
  • Writing a few things that I’m grateful for each day.
  • Seeing friends in manageable timeframes.
  • Cutting down on erratic dating.
  • Focussing on the most important projects and accepting that everything else can wait.
  • Working on becoming more mindful again so that my laundry doesn’t go mouldy in the washing machine.

Life goes in cycles, this is the way it works.

Just like we wouldn’t appreciate the blue sky without the clouds, we can’t appreciate the highs without the lows.

So let this be your reminder:

If you’re at the peak of the wave,

packing your life full of Things and Stuff, calm that shit down before it gets out of hand. Don’t forget to do the things you need to keep yourself in balance.

If you’re at the trough of the wave,

feeling uninspired or overwhelmed, remind yourself that it’s just a wave. A peak always follows a trough; you’ll be on the up as soon as you decide to be. Have a think about the things you know that keep you balanced, (or use my list), and go and do them, no matter how much you feel like resisting.

If you’re thinking, what the hell, what peak?

– how do I get to this peak you speak of? – Check this out.

Life is full of highs and lows. I can show you to take the midline up a few notches so that your new lows are your old highs, and your new highs are just fucking awesome.

For more straight up takes on life – Sign up for not-your-average newsletter. I promise my emails are more exciting than most! And I’ll send you a G-Book – How to stop a bad day in it’s tracks.

Comments

comments

  • Michelle Swenson

    I love all of your blogs (seriously, they make me laugh out loud) but found this one particularly relevant. Since the start of this year, it really feels all or nothing. Go, go, go, life is awesome, gotta take it all in, my calendar is so packed, look I’m so popular. Then, crash, back into my cave to recover and recharge. Only to be hit by feelings of guilt because I’m not doing enough and I’m cancelling plans then wondering why I feel lonely. So I start packing the calendar and begin the vicious cycle again.

    Thanks for the reminder to consistently tune in and listen to my body and soul to notice when I’m reaching that peak so I can pull back before I crash. It’s all about finding balance and, for me, not comparing my life to anyone else’s. Just because the chick next door goes out every night, it doesn’t mean her life is “better” than mine or that she is any happier or that it’s the kind of life I should try to lead.

    Great stuff, Andrea – keep it up!

    • Cheers Michelle! Really stoked you like reading the blogs – thanks for taking the time to say so! I think it’s a beginning of the new year thing as well – I’ve been feeling it a lot – the feeling that we have to cram a million things in, until we cram that one too many in and have to retreat. The chick next door is probably thinking the same thing! Here’s to noticing when we’re about to tip over the peak of the wave and pulling back so we can surf comfortably on the back of it! I think that might be my new new years resolution!

    • Ps – love to hear what things you do to keep yourself balanced when you’re in a busy period? Have you got any tips to add to my list? :D

      • Michelle Swenson

        Not surprisingly, we have very similar lists. I’m an Ashtanga yoga practitioner. I love the practice and it’s changed my life. But it can be tough practicing 2 hours/day, 5 days a week.

        The biggest lesson I’ve learned from my practice is to notice when my ego is taking over and not nurturing my body and soul. Now when I feel a crash lingering, instead of pushing myself too hard physically, I might do only part of the asana practice, focus on forward bends, slow the breath down, do more meditation, change my prananyama. Alternately, if my energy is waning and I need to pick it up, I’ve learned how to energise my practice, do more backbends and opening postures, increase my breath.

        I’ve also found disconnecting from technology helps. Don’t read my phone on the tram and instead just watch the life around me, get off Tinder, FB and Twitter (but still read your blog, of course!), stop using my laptop and iPad. Instead, pick up a book, walk in the park, take a nap.

        Am reading a great book on relishing solitude called “Celebrating Time Alone” by Lionel Fisher. It caught my eye at School of Life while waiting for my flat white. Have found reading that with a cup of Pukka Peppermint & Licorice tea and some Ben & Jerry’s chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream works a treat to keep things balanced!

        • I love these! Especially getting off the phone on the tram – I need to do that. I now leave my phone upstairs and don’t look at it until after I’ve meditated, done some yoga (sometimes!) and had breakfast. It’s amazing the difference it makes to my day – I used to wake up and flip straight into anxiety with all the notifications to attend to!

          Yoga for sure – I always know when I’ve not done any for a few days, everything seems off. Don’t think I could manage twice a day five days though, wow, that’s amazing. I’m looking at doing my teacher training soon (for the knowledge and self practice more than anything), where did you do yours? I’ve not tried ashtanga, where do you practice?

          Your book reading ritual sounds amazing too – I think I also need to get back into it, I used to love reading and learning new concepts around self development, but now I often feel that I’m ‘too busy’ to read!? Maybe some Pukka tea and some coconut icecream (have you tried Zebra Dream??) will do the trick!

  • I was curious about your list – the newsletter version said “Get back to doing the things you know keep you balance (or use my list)” but the link didn’t work. I can guess yoga, mindfulness, exercise… but what else are you keeping from us? ;-)

    • I think the link must have worked because it brought you to this full article – which has the list in it :D (Brevity in written form is not my forte, I chopped a bunch out of the newsletter and put the links to the full article here to try and give the illusion that I was being concise!) Haha. The list is about a third of the way up the page. I’d be interested to hear, what are the things you know you need to keep balanced?

      • Ah, I think I glanced at this and assumed it was the same as the newsletter.
        Your list is good. For me, I’d have yoga, a mindfulness practice, swimming, long walks and making sure I get out and connect with people. And balanced eating.

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Gidday, I'm Andrea

I'm a mindfulness advisor and former cynical pessimist.

I used to be an awkward, pessimistic, mediocrely happy overachiever.

Life looked good on the outside, but on the inside things were average.

I was indecisive, I didn't know what to do with my life, I self-sabotaged the hell out of my relationships.

I had a feeling I was going to keep f-ing things up for myself unless something radical changed.

The life handbrake-turn that followed over the next few years came as the result of learning what I now teach in Bloody Good Life 101. Just practical, relatable techniques without any rainbow and butterfly jibber jabber.

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