So, I’ve obviously taken much of the summer off from posting. But, I’m hoping to post on a more regular schedule this fall, perhaps once a week… We’ll see. To get back into the swing of things I’d like to share what I focused on this summer. I really tried to learn how to relax. That probably seems like a strange thing to work on, but it’s what I needed.
I grew up in Newton MA, a nice Boston suburb. Newton has excellent schools and a pretty intense academic environment. I pushed myself to take advanced classes and do well in them. With my level of attentional challenges and the fact that I’m not the fastest reader, this meant working very, very hard. Not that other kids, even the neuro-typical ones, don’t work hard. But what it meant for me was that I felt like I was always “grinding.” I took my sciences during the summer. No camp for me. I spent most of my vacations catching up on writing papers, except for the years that the stress of getting to the break left me super sick for my week “off.”
Also, in typical ADHD fashion, even when I wasn’t working, I was stressed about what I wasn’t doing. I took this mindset into an harsh, demanding, and unforgiving career as a professional chef. If you’re not “grinding” in the kitchen, you’re not going to get anywhere. For much of my restaurant career 14 or even 16 hour days were not unheard of. Not surprisingly, I ended up totally burnt out. So I started my own business. More “grinding.” There is always more to do when you work for yourself, especially when you are building that business.
I don’t say the following to toot my own horn. I build a successful business that started to “pay the bills” in two years and has become self sustaining in less that four years. I guess you can say that “I’ve made it.” So, my question to myself this spring/summer was, “now what?” How do I enjoy the place that am, where I worked so hard to get? I had the realization that I was still “grinding” and in my ways, unnecessarily. But I couldn’t seem to relax. The first important step was realizing that.
I use my own example because I find that many of my clients have similar stories. They’ve worked so damn hard to get where they are, they don’t know how to downshift and enjoy it. Is that you? More in the next post about how I spent my summer trying to teach myself to stop and smell the roses.
In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. An imperfect post completed is better than a perfect post that goes unposted.