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Gratitude, Burnout and the Performance Clock

So, I couldn’t work out this morning. I’m feeling MNFF. That’s the feeling of listlessness, of low energy, of low revs. Just a general dipping of the mojo. If you read last week’s blog, you would have noticed a bit of a rant. I should stop reading the Sunday papers, to be honest.

But I don’t think I’m alone. It’s the start of December, and in South Africa, the closing of the calendar year comes hand-in-hand with fatigue, a chaotic rush to the end (where we all take a break over the holidays), and the dichotomy of feeling MNFF but still needing to push.

I don’t know how other people deal. But for me, I sat in my car this morning, came into the office, and decided to anchor some gratitude. And sommer blog it while I’m at it. So here are three things that I’m going to reflect on to mitigate my bleh feeling.

COMMUNITY

Part of it is all the things. The yearend functions, all the stuff at the school with the kids, the last-minute client details, the catching up with friends before we break… it’s a lot hey.

And my, what a glorious privilege.

Among the multiple opportunities to go watch the Sound of Music, Liewe Heksie, Christmas Carols at Kirstenbosch, the Sevens, the Stormers… and dinner with friends at a restaurant, yearend karaoke functions, and client and supplier lunches and dinners and parties… it’s a lot, right? Think back a mere two years, with South Africa fresh off declaring Omicron is a thing. And none of us were doing any of this stuff.

We get to connect. We get to be with people. We get to move freely and without remembering face masks. We get to BE in our communities. What a win!

OPPORTUNITY

We live in Cape Town, people. That means I get to make choices. Will I take the family camping by the river this weekend, or will I stay home, and go to a show, go to the beach, or go walk on Table Mountain. Will I go out tonight to one of a thousand amazing restaurants or will I order sushi (or maybe just pick it up from the Spar) or braai on my stoep with the lights twinkling below in the city? My only real limitation is do I or do I not take the dog. And if I can’t, I have amazing neighbours and support to look after her while I take the boys golfing or fishing or camping. One forgets the glorious range of options and opportunities available to us, hey.

CONTINUITY

2024 is upon us. And, as with every year, it is both scary in the uncertainty that it brings (the entrepreneurs curse) but also exciting in the possibilities. I’m choosing to reflect that some things are uncertain (Will my kids be happy at school? Will I close enough deals to meet my goals? Will I be able to spend enough time on myself, my marriage, and my health?) but there are many many things that you can bank on. I can bank on the incredible support from the teams, both at home and at work. I can bank on that these people who assist Caroline and me in doing our best work know us well and have been with us for a while, and the momentum generated is vital. I can bank on that I love where I live, that I feel relatively secure there, that my neighbours are amazing, and that I can play with my kids in the street like in the old days. I can bank on having a rockstar spouse who juggles all the commitments and still finds time to pay attention to her husband. I can bank on the support from my mother and my mother-in-law in raising my boys. I can bank on my own ability and client momentum, and the unbelievable support I have from mentors, suppliers, clients, and colleagues. And I can bank on my kids remaining the biggest joy and the biggest challenge in my world.

It's late into injury time, and my performance clock is already way past 12 and threatening to nosedive to a 6. But there’s still some game time left, and I am going to choose to remember all the good things that made us smash this year and finish strong. So, I’m going to remind myself to keep those revs between 10 and 12. Easier said than done… but anchoring in gratitude, as always, is a great start.

Head back in the game!


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