Sunday, March 28, 2010

As young as you feel

I met a fabulous woman named Audrey this week.

She is 82, with hot-pink streaks in her 'punk rocker' hair, she goes to the gym for an hour most days of the week and she recently scored her first High Distinction at uni.

In her time, she has overcome alcoholism and depression, and has been sober and anti-depressant-free now for 39 years. She is just starting a new business now, at 82, and is looking forward to graduating from uni.

When I asked her what the secret was to her amazing vitality, she said it was simple. When she was about 78, she told herself to 'get out of this chair, Audrey, and GO DO SOMETHING!'

Start today

Is there anything you've been putting off? Losing weight, having a healthy lifestyle, picking up a course of study, starting a new business?

Think of Audrey, get out of your chair and go do something!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Work hard, relax hard

On Friday afternoon, I was given an urgent job from one of my corporate clients, just after I'd accepted a major task for another organisation. Both roles are on a mutual trajectory over the next three weeks, and I knew I should get a start on the work this weekend - even though, after a big week, I needed a rest.

First thing Saturday we went shopping. It was my husband's birthday, and I wanted to buy him some books and music in Borders.

I'd almost escaped the store without succumbing to any personal purchases, until I noticed the latest release by one of my favourite 'chick-lit' authors - Catherine Alliott. Five hundred delicious new pages of scandal, wit and humour!

I was beside myself with anticipation!

I couldn't get home fast enough! I put my feet up, started reading, and have only stopped to compose this email.

I feel great! Relaxed, refreshed, and ready for the challenges of the week.

Start today

The harder you work, the harder you need to relax. As elite athletes know, our bodies perform best when we allow time for recovery. Pushing yourself to work without a break can result in sub-standard outputs that take twice as long to deliver.

If you're feeling stressed by all that you have to do, you've been working hard and you want your tired brain to produce something really professional - grab a good novel and put your feet up for half an hour, go for a walk or have a chatty phone call with a friend, then notice the creativity flowing again.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mothers are burning out - is anyone listening?

Journalist Jennifer Sexton has organised a public forum this Thursday evening on the topic of burnt-out mums.  I was invited to speak with my 'WorkLifeBliss' hat on, as a 'reformed frazzled mum' from my Wits' End days.  All are very welcome to attend - it's being held at St Thomas More, Campbell, ACT from 7.30pm.   Here's a radio interview that a couple of us did today.

For further details about the forum, click here.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Down the rabbit hole

How nice to see a Canberra girl playing the role of Alice opposite Johnny Depp. She's the sister of my step-son's friend, which the girls like to think makes us practically famous.

The movie has such a great message for young (and not so young) girls. Make your own decisions. Stand up for what is right. It's better to be loved than feared.

It also shows how distracting it is to go down rabbit holes.

Start today

Confuscious says 'if you chase two rabbits, you catch none'.

Which rabbit holes are tempting you today, and how far off track are they likely to take you?

Before jumping down the rabbit hole of 'just checking email quickly' or accepting a colleague's 'have you got five-minutes?' interruption, ask yourself which rabbit you're supposed to be chasing right now and don't let it get away.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Taking a leap of faith

In my daughters' school assembly last week, one class performed the outrageous Australian classic, 'The Wombat Wobble'.

The song involves an array of ridiculous actions, which had the 500-strong audience of kids in stitches.

One little boy in the class performing the item is blind. He threw himself into the actions - the audience laughing along with the song - and it occurred to me how brave he is.

From his position on stage he would have had no idea what he looked like, whether he was doing the silly actions right, whether he was in time with his classmates, or whether the audience was laughing at the class as a whole, or at him individually. None of these thoughts seemed to cross his mind - so why did they cross mine?

Start today

How often do you hold yourself back from your best performance because you're afraid of what people might think. If this boy can close his eyes and do the Wombat Wobble in front of a laughing audience, what excuses can we possibly make for being self-conscious?

Think of something you've been holding back from because you're not sure of yourself. Get out of your own way - and shine!