Have You Ever Felt Overwhelmed?

Ever been overwhelme? Mind of Maus


How are you today? I hope you are well?

This year has given us the rare gift of reflection. We have had cause to see life from different perspectives and for the first time, that is a collective experience. What a gift.

I remember not too long ago, being a full-time employee and full-time mum of a 15-month-old while trying to learn the many skills that make you a good employee, a good partner, and a good mum.

What even determines what is “good” in such distinct roles that one person must occupy in this one life.

Good is what you make it abeg. It was the most mind challenging situation i had ever been in.

Every time I was doing well in one area, i was doing awful in the others and the guilt was constant.

I had a conversation with my supervisor, about how exhausted I was on most days. She laughed, having been through the exact same thing a short 20 years ago, she had become very familiar with the emotion I was struggling to put into words, she said to me

” Amaka there is not right way to do it, you just need to do it”.

We talked about how to prioritize, outsource and delegate tasks in general.

She introduced me to the concept of focusing solely on the things that matter and not losing sight of them no matter what. I was stunned that I had never had this kind of conversation with any older person in my life.  What did I spend the last 30 years learning biko nu?

This was one of the many serendipitous conversations I would have that year, that helped me to make some lifestyle improvements that have stayed with me to date.

Does this sound familiar to you? That feeling of being many things to everyone but yourself? and then even failing at them, so it now looks like you can’t catch a break?

Drag a stool and let’s talk.
I know it too well, and even reflecting on it can have me shaking my head in pity for that person I was. Mentally and physically drained and just keeping it going, barely surviving under the day-to-day weight of my own expectations and guilt.

Do you know the feeling?

What can you do then?
Nothing is working, you have tried everything, and you feel like a perpetually tired pigeon with no hope.

I have had this conversation with a few close friends and this is what helped.

Self awareness:  Ask yourself, What are my roles in life? In what order do they matter to me? 

You need to rank them for objectivity, so be ruthless in your ranking. If your friendships are more important than you siblings, put it down please, don’t deceive yourself, therein lies the confusion. We are trying to get clarity here. Rank with your full chest.

Intentional Action: Examine how you spend your time (internet, phone, physical), does it reflect the ranking you just did?
Check how you spend your money, does it reflect your values? Are you spending more money on the things you do alone rather than community activity, when you are someone who thrives on having people around them? Is your money going to keep up with expectations rather than keeping your health optimized?

Check how your day to day energy is spent, does this reflect your ranking? Are you spending time defending yourself, or telling lies to justify your decisions, or being someone else so you can fit in?

All in a bid to meet the expectations of people/situations that rank low on your list.  Would you rather not be yourself with people who rank higher on your list?

This is not to say that your time, money, and energy should not be spent on other things, no.

You just need to recognize that they are low on the list and don’t go at them like you would the high ones. That’s what kills you slowly. Some things don’t deserve your 100 percent. Be discerning.

This exercise will not end in one day or one week, you will keep editing that list as long as you have it.
It will help you gain clarity and be more focused on the things that truly matter to you.

You will suddenly realise, that some things fall off the list totally and you feel lighter and less weighed down by guilt because you have done the things that matter.
Do you know the story about the glass balls and the plastic balls?

So more good news. Yaaay!!!
There is a new episode up on the podcast, as usual, do tell me what your thoughts are, by replying to this email or on any of my social media platforms. It is  @mindofmakus on IG and FB.
Click on the button below to listen to the podcast, and feel free to share within your circle of influence and beyond. Catch up on old episodes too, I find myself listening too, to remind myself of these things.

My friend, it has been a great pleasure to share my thoughts with you today again, and I hope you feel the same way.
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Continue to live wholeheartedly.

I believe in your value,

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