Keep the main thing, the main thing
I was given this advice from another working mum when I returned back to work recently after maternity leave. Her wise words have stuck with me and provided inspiration for this blog. I reflected that the main thing for me at this time is focusing on relationships with others.
Keeping perspective whilst back in the workforce
My few couple of weeks back at work were great. I was on a high in the strategy and ideation phase of a new purposeful role. By the end of my fourth week I could start to feel some work pressure after multiple back to back meetings, a couple of big deadlines and a backlog of emails.
After leaving the office on Friday I unplugged and met husband Owain and baby Ethan in our local village and headed down to the beach for our triathlon club’s aquathon. I took Ethan to play on the grass and watching him grab the grass and babble at the birds immediately took my mind off the busy week.
Through my own experience and connection to many corporate workers, I know it’s easy to fall into a routine of longer work hours, cutting out lunch breaks and not being present with others when things build up. I question, is this good for our relationships? Shouldn’t we be keeping the main thing and getting home to family and friends. The to do list and emails will still be there tomorrow.
Some wise advice
I feel lucky in my life to have people around who help me keep perspective when things get ‘busy’. I remember asking my mentor a few years ago how she dealt with email overload in her GM role. She shared a thought that you’re not going to be remembered for having a clean inbox. She suggested creating a few check ins a day that you will be remembered for. I often think after a day at work have I helped someone today?, have my actions progressed towards some greater good? and have I appreciated something? What would yours be?
My aunty, (now a great aunty – which she says has always been the case) turned 60 recently. During table speeches at a celebratory dinner I asked her what she’s learnt along the way. The stand out thing she shared in her humerous ab fab style was ”most of it is bollocks, the things that matter most are your relationships.” My uncle shared a similar life learning at his 60th – ”don’t sweat the small stuff.”
My biggest inspiration for keeping the main thing the main thing is Owain who does it naturally with his strong values and laid back nature. He helps me relax and appreciate the ordinary, which I now treasure more than the extraordinary. Watching the beautiful interactions between him and Ethan every day helps me keep perspective. On our weekends, time together, no matter what we’re doing is the most important thing.
A piece of inspiration
I’m just coming to the end of Turia Pitt’s book ‘Everything to Live For.’. For those who aren’t aware Turia survived after being caught in a fire in an ultramarathon sustaining over 60% burns to her body. What grasped me most reading her story was the power of her relationships, especially with that of her mum Celestine and now fiancé Michael, who called themselves the three amigos supporting Turia to her recovery.
We had the privilege to train with Turia and Michael at the Energy Link New Year triathlon camp in Jindabyne. Turia who has an infectious zest for life is now signed up for an Ironman this year after first being told she wouldn’t be able to run again, inspirational! With a network of great relationships I believe we can all become the best versions of ourselves and that anything is possible.
To finish, a couple of thoughts to help us all keep the main, thing the main thing:
*Spend some time reflecting on what the main thing/s are for you?
*What can you do better today to connect with someone you love?
After a great weekend with family and friends, some overseas family skypes and card writing to my Grandmas, I encourage you to keep the main thing, the main thing.