When thinking about my life and two words that I have realised are key to my happiness and wellbeing, they are FREEDOM and BALANCE. Having a business, combined with being creative, gives me so much freedom and I couldn’t be happier. Free to meet new people, new ideas and new experiences that I choose. After all, choice is freedom.
In saying that, one thing I have not quite mastered but know is so key for my wellbeing is BALANCE. I am an over-achiever, a workaholic and addicted to the adrenaline of “success”. I have always set such high standards for myself and put myself under a lot of pressure. When I was in London and struggling with a very high-pressure job (combined with being homesick and at the end of a long winter), my Dad said something that I will never forget. He said, ‘Tara, success is balance. Successful people don’t have all of something, they have a little of everything.” I loved that new definition of success; it instantly took the pressure off and I realised how much I was sacrificing… and for what? My idea of success at that time was consuming me, leaving nothing left for anyone else.
Since then, I sometimes imagine my life as a pie. All sliced up into parts that are important to me, according to their priority. The more important a facet is, the bigger the slice. Then I look at the way I am currently living, and ask myself, I am living true to my pie? If family, friendships and health take up at least half of my ideal pie, and I have been working 60 hour weeks for the past month, skipping social events and not spending any quality time with my husband, then I suddenly realise I’m not balanced in the way that is important to me. So I look to re-adjust. I like this visualization, as if we only have one pie (life) and we can cut it up as we choose.
But don’t forget to keep a little slice for yourself. One rainy day you will want to curl up on the couch in your slippers and eat it.
Try it for yourself. Write down 5-7 things that are really important to you in your life. Then draw a circle and shade in a piece for each “thing”. Then pick up the phone and call your Dad and tell him you love him, or better yet, bring him pie.