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Last week was not the best. I did not see trouble on the horizon either, because the week started well. I reset the dreaded alarm, started going to bed at the same time, managed to get a couple of morning walks in and had two good business meetings. However, my hormones had other ideas, strengths and weaknesses were hurled in the air then crashed in a heap leaving me scrambling around to find the right attributes for the right tasks. I used to be the queen of organisation, multi-tasking and the loud passionate voice of reason. But on three separate occasions I found myself pinned upright in an armchair (and not in a good way) thanks to a tension headache creeping down my neck, accompanied by nausea that lasted a full three days. To make matters worse every time I thought about my never-ending list of things to do, the pain and discomfort increased. Yes, do buckle up, because I’m about to rant.

It used to be, when I was stressed, there was always some combination of exercise, yoga, wine and healthy debate to help me shake it off. But physical pain and discomfort are great levellers. All I could do was watch myself slowly drift off kilter, while usual coping mechanisms grew woefully inadequate or inappropriate. As a result, I clung onto any other readily available resource that might help. I took to reading young adult fantasy fiction, watched comedies, binged on news feeds and of course rabbited to anyone I thought might want to hear how this frigging ‘change of life’ is trying to kill me.

I thank my blessings that I am not alone in all this and the best advice I received was,

If you can cry, you can laugh

This multi-tasking bullshit has got to stop

Think like a man.

So back to basics, do one thing at a time and do it well. For me that should have been resting for a week, to allow my mind and body time to heal. I found resting to be damn near impossible and only managed about 4 days in total. It was difficult for me to switch off and do absolutely nothing. Even watching television, my head wanders either to a shopping list, journal entry or a writing idea distracting me long enough to make a note or two. I’m not used to nothingness, I need to practise, if only I had the time! Putting my mental, emotional and physical needs first should not be a chore, but there I was, forcing a state of stillness, so I could recover and get back to working. It was either rest, repair and restore or risk everything else – a stark reality of freelance life.

It wasn’t all bad. I found some way through the mental anguish by accepting the next step I have to take. It’s time to emerge from the creative cocoon and get my business wings flapping. I’m not killing my creativity or leaving it behind. It is possible, even if not advisable, to keep my creative writing as a gentle lift that helps me transition into the business writing world rather than the driving force. Despite all the moaning, aches and pains I have a creative outlet many women do not. Reading and creative writing may not yield financial gains, but they have led me to a place that is promising. This space will remain for now, however infrequent, but no longer front page news.

With reluctance I finally visited my surgery, got checked out and received prescribed medication. There’s been significant relief from the headaches, enough to enable some work, but as yet not fully recovered from whatever it is / was. So I’ve slapped on the muscle relaxant gel, liberally applied rubbing alcohol, dabbed pulse points with essential oils, ordered a soft collar and I’m soldiering on. After all, I am a business woman.

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