When You Realize Your Hustle is Not Sustainable… Stop. Drop. Renew.

by | May 9, 2022 | Work, Life Balance

Hey, women and womxn. Last week there wasn’t a blog post because I was at the emergency vet trying to figure out what to do with my oldest dog. While I don’t mean to put her issues out there on the etherwebs, it does explain my own deterioration last week, too. So, in a poignant lesson for me, I hope to share a lesson with you, so you don’t repeat my shenanigans.

A Doggie ER Trip = Hustling 24/7

The last seven or eight days have been quite hellacious, to be honest. A week ago, we could’ve made the choice to end Lizzie’s life but it didn’t feel like the right time and she wanted to come home… Also, full confession: she’s my best friend and has been in my life for thirteen years. Tomorrow is her 13th birthday, actually. I was going to make her a little pumpkin cupcake but right now she’s only craving proteins and taters, so, it may be a chicken and potato cupcake of sorts.

Honestly, when bringing her home on Monday (and most of the day not knowing if she would come home), I was a wreck. Tuesday, same wreck. By Wednesday, I was a wreck with a purpose… I promised to keep her alive if she wants to be. Then came Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday…you get the idea. It’s been a very stressful and grounding number of days. Each breath she breaths gives me one more; each little nub wag she does makes my heart burst. Every moment her soul stays here, I’m grateful for, but I’ll honor her soul’s decision to transition onward. It’ll be tough AF.

Let’s be real with each other: I’ve been through a lot in this lifetime, but I didn’t know I had that many tears in me. I didn’t know that I could break open that much. That being said, my caretaking of her meant I wasn’t caretaking me. Tea is not a food group, by the way, and sleep is not overrated. After a few days of my unsustainable choices and stubbornness, my loved one had a “come to Jesus moment” with me. Focusing on Liz 24/7 meant other things slid, like my own health. Also, the stress was carrying over into other areas of life. This was, and is, not sustainable friends.

By this past weekend, I was getting lightheaded and shaky. So, I realized I needed to do something different. Also, last week I didn’t do much of my “work work,” because I was hand-feeding Lizzie and playing Mama… On Monday I barely cared about anything but her, but this week I’ve realized I needed to share this experience for a newsflash: sustainability can coexist with our mission and our work.

Our work or our focus, isn’t sustainable if we don’t at least give ourselves basics, my friends. I did a poor job at Maslow’s hierarchy; I’m trying very hard to eat and stay hydrated. That’s also why I can tell you to check this out and simplify, when you’re also in the thick of things. Check out this page for a visual–if you’re not feeling the top of the pyramid, regroup with the bottom.

Yes, I help women with their self-actualization, but if you and I can’t also pay attention to our baseline needs, we “can’t go up.”

But Can’t I Just Keep Up My Pace?

It’s been a tough lesson because I like to think I can get through anything if I just put my mind to it. This has some validity, but my body and mental well-being went, “Um, no, Virginia.” I needed to find my homeostasis, or my balance and harmony, again. I can’t serve Lizzie to the best of my ability, or do the work you and I are here to do, if I literally do not keep a baseline of health.

Ironically, the situation created an opportunity for us to discuss this very critical piece: our holistic living.

This situation did put me back a week on my work overall. Still, it also taught me what I really want to prioritize in my life:

  • Living a legacy where I walk what I talk.
  • I definitely learned what I’m grateful for and what I won’t tolerate as much.
  • I’ve learned about boundaries again.
  • It’s taught me how to live in this present moment, literally between each breath.
  • I’ve had to re-learn how to delegate and rely on other people versus stubbornly doing everything by myself.
  • While I didn’t need a fresh lesson in this, my rawness has shown me how to hold space for women who are struggling with their stressful event or life chapter.

I’m reminded that I need to stop, maybe drop, and renew, because I can’t do the work I’m here to do if I can’t even move myself. Last week and into this one, I was playing the role of the mother. When my heart was cracking open and the tears kept coming, I was feeling like a maiden and a hurt child. But now I see that I can regroup and be those, plus be the crone… She’s the one who understands the tears and the heartache, but also sees the big picture.

Am I still watching for signs of Lizzie needing me? Yes. Has this post taken twice as long to write? Definitely. But now I’m back in my office, only about 15 feet away, and it feels good to write to you all again. I know I’m needed for her, but I also know I’m needed here with you. And in the work we do together, this fills my bucket so I can keep “fueling up” to be my best self.

So, I’ll keep you posted on this “new normal” or how things progress. Whatever happens now, I know I did everything with my whole heart and soul. Maybe that’s the best we can do sometimes, especially when facing challenges? So, love on yourself this week friends, and remember Maslow’s hierarchy when feeling all the feels.

That’s it for this week! If you’re looking for more direct updates on the FSW world and want more direct connection, check out the FSW Circle. Want more independent research? Hit up the FSW Quiz, and if you have any questions or comments, leave them below or contact me 1:1 this way. Chat with you soon!

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