Head & Heart is designed to be “a monthly capture of my feelings and doings, in the raw.” This month’s instalment is a little late (my primary excuse is related to toddler sleep (or rather lack thereof))…
What I’ve been doing
- May has been a massive month… I’ve:
- Produced two YWCA Canberra conferences that were held in May – She Leads College Conference (5 May) and the She Leads Conference (19 May). Both were amazing and I feel like I’m still processing all the insights and learnings!
- Delivered a full-day of design thinking training as part of the For Purpose Bootcamp series.
- Shared a story about motherhood at the Feminartsy Story Share.
- (It technically happened in June, but before I finalised this post, so I’m including it here…) Completed an Executive Certificate in Event Management from the Australian Centre for Event Management (UTS).
- I also completed my #100happydays photo project (most of the photos are on Instagram and Flickr). It was interesting to notice and be actively seeking out happy moments each day, and it reminded me that even on days that I might not rate as ‘good’ or ‘happy’ overall, there are still small things to smile about and be grateful for.
- I’ve also been doing a bit of ‘life admin’, which has involved declaring Pocket bankruptcy and deleting over 2200 items in my to-read list. While I feel a little anxious about what awesome articles, posts, videos I may never read again, there was no way I was ever going to get through the 2000+ items.
I’m grateful for
- The fabulous contribution that so many people made to the She Leads conferences. In particular, the amazing women who stood on the She Leads stage (and who shared their stories and advice with so much generosity, authenticity and vulnerability), and the awesome team that I work with at YWCA Canberra. Working on events (including TEDxCanberra) I really get to experience what real teamwork looks and feels like. As a public servant, most of the collaborative work I did involved pieces of work passing from one person to the next in a linear way. Events provide this fabulous (often fairly stressful) focal point where everyone needs to come together to do their bit, and support each other to to theirs.
- The flexibility we have with our work / child care arrangements. I still feel like we have a fair amount of stress in our lives trying to do the juggle, but nowhere near as much as we’d have if we didn’t have this flexibility. With Jason and I working from home, good childcare just minutes up the road, and a lovely babysitter, I feel like we manage what we need to do at work, and are still able to easily be together at 5.15pm to eat dinner! As my work ramped up this month, Jason was able to take on more of the childcare without needing to negotiate time off or put in place any complex logistical arrangements.
I’ve been thinking about
Self-care, and how I can practice this better. By the time the She Leads Conference rolled around I had caught a cold, wasn’t sleeping much (with a toddler, that’s mostly not my fault!) or eating terribly well, and I could feel how physically stiff and tight my body was (from too many nights at a computer desk and not enough moving my body). On a related note, this month is 6 years since I first started personal training with Rose Males, and I remember her saying at our first meeting, ‘if you don’t look after yourself, you can’t look after anyone else’. I need to get better at finding simple ways (that don’t take up a lot of time) to ensure that I’m taking care of my body and mind.
Motherhood. Speaking at the Feminartsy Story Share forced me to analyse, sort and articulate some of my muddled thoughts about being a mum. I spend so much time in my head thinking about mum-related stuff, but rarely do I actually have to share these thoughts! At the Story Share I briefly met Joan Garvan who spoke about motherhood as a relationship rather than a role. I often think of being a mum as a ‘job’ – probably because it essentially replaced my paid employment and because it involves a lot of job-like tasks and obligations, but I know it’s easy to get hung up on job ‘performance’. Thinking about it as a ‘relationship’ seems to be less stressful as it allows for change and growth over time, and obviously involves (at least) two contributing parties. It also seems to provide a useful perspective at times where I’m not sure what to do – instead of asking ‘what is the correct thing to do?’, I can ask ‘how can I strengthen our relationship?’. I feel calmer, more compassionate and connected as a result.
I’m excited for
- Applying all the new tools and ideas from the Executive Certificate in Event Management to future She Leads events.
- Having a bit of a break from the intensity of the preparations for She Leads, and taking the time to focus on ‘me’ a little bit more!
I’ve been reading
- Motherhood & Creativity by Rachel Power. Clare Bowditch recommended this book and I really enjoyed it. I particularly liked (and connected with) the idea of the ‘third shift’ for creative work. The story about Clare having to wear dark clothes to gigs so her leaking boobs would be less obvious, also made me think about what a great leveller motherhood is! No matter what your job, personal circumstances, fame etc, you still have similar experiences and have to deal with the same body weirdness!
I’ve been listening to/watching
Working podcast, including episodes with a comedian, home-birth midwife and child abuse detective
James Altucher has a great interview with astronaut Chris Hadfield
The most recent couple of Chat 10 Looks 3 episodes
The ‘Given Names‘ series on RN Showcase
- 20 Feet From Stardom. 2014 Academy Award winner for Best Documentary. I love docos about music/bands/the creative process and this was no exception. Highly recommend.
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