08 Aug FEELING LIKE A FAILURE IN THE FACE OF SUCCESS
Just a few weeks ago, I was buzzing in the afterglow of a brilliant financial year for my business, Resource.
What a 12 months we had growing, growing, growing.
I don’t know what you’re like as a business owner, but I’m guilty of letting negative thoughts into places where they, by rights, have no business. So, like clockwork, after the high, came the low whisper…
How will you ever do better this year? You know 18-19 was a fluke, don’t you? Don’t you think you should have spent more time being a Mum than running a business?
I really hate that voice. I do my best to keep it quiet but it can be persistent.
With that echoing around in my head, my kids’ Great-Grandmother’s physical and mental health took a terrible turn. It’s not a medical term, but I’d describe it as a ‘full dementia meltdown’. My husband—the most Australian-est man in the world—and I became carers unexpectedly, fumbling and navigating our way through the experience as best we could, sitting by hospital beds for days on end and trying to find the right nursing home to take a lady that had gone from sweet and lovely to completely lost. In an awful psychological and emotional freefall, she no longer recognised us and was prone to outbursts of fury.
It was an eye opener, and it all unfolded as I was dealing with those damn doubts, running a business, fending off tonsillitis, helping my husband recover from his own minor (maybe not so minor) surgery (*The Snip!), and running a family.
Not surprisingly, perhaps, something had to give….
I was at a school-readiness forum for my youngest, and listening to the teachers speak about home environments and how ‘rituals’ are essential for family bonding and connection.
Rituals? I barely have time to make an effing cup of tea. Family meals and conversations? My kids catch their meals like Frisbees and inhale them. In fact, the few quiet minutes I get before they ask What’s for dessert? are about all the me-time I get.
And weekends together exploring the outside world? Ours are typically spent in the car hustling from one sporting event to another, with the littlest one dragged along like a tiny piece of human cargo.
Cue: Feelings of utter failure.
As I sat there, very close to quite a public emotional meltdown, I was convinced that things needed to change. And for the next few weeks, I pursued these ‘perfect family’ goals. I failed at that, too.
You’re a terrible Mum, the voice reminded me quietly.
It was only after confiding in a friend that a few things were put back into perspective.
Max, she asked, is Kobi a happy, healthy boy?
Do your kids know they can come and talk to you about anything?
Do they feel loved?
Is your business on the trajectory you want it to be?
Then just stop and enjoy what you have and all the things you can manage.
It was a light-bulb moment. What she was saying was that I shouldn’t feel guilty for doing my best in the new world we inhabit where family dynamics and work are very different.
It’s a few weeks down the track now. I’m back on the path of knowing I am doing my best in all areas of life, the doubt has left the building, and Nana passed away on her terms—she lived a full 100 years. I inherited the Wedgwood tea set, and found a new perspective on dying—that it’s OK. That’s what she wanted us to know.
All Kobi wants to know—bless him—is whether or not there are toilets in heaven. The Australian-est man in the world’s response?
So, every time it rains, mate, that’s…
You know the rest.