[The Epic 2018 to 2019 post! ] Oooh, school FINALLY starts today!! It feels so goooood to get back to my routine! Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed the holidays and time off with my son.
But I’m a Virgo. I like structure. I like knowing how my day will pan out.
June to Dec we’ve had waaay too many school holidays. School’s been functional an average of 10-15 days ONLY each month. Not the school’s fault – we have way too many festivals here in India!
Note that April and May school is closed for Summer Vacation.
So effectively, Jan thru March is really the only time school is functional, well 20 days a month.
I thought that as the kid grew up, holidays would become easier. That perhaps, just perhaps, my working hours wouldn’t be limited by his school hours.
Now that he’s 10, I find that’s still not quite true.
When there are only 2 of you in the house, and the kid’s a super active, extrovert who wants and needs human interaction through the day… well, I can’t be glued to my laptop / working away. At least not for more than 15 min at a time. 30 min tops if I let him watch TV!
During these extended holidays I’ve always found myself torn.
Wanting to spend time with the kid, trying to come up with “educational” and fun activities….
vs wanting to work.
Because for me, my work is fun. I enjoy working with my clients. I enjoy running webinars. I have big ambitions for my biz. I want to change the world through my work – make it a tad bit better for women.
So the mom in me vs the ambitious woman in me clash.
It’s a clash that’s been going on for 10 yrs now.
And I still don’t have an easy answer, or balance.
I still feel torn.
I still feel guilty.
Guilty when I’m away from my son (that I should be / could be doing so much more with him)
Guilty when I’m with him (that I should be / could be building my business and helping even more clients…. and make more money so that I don’t ever have to worry about taking more vacations and time off)
It’s an endless cycle.
And I haven’t found a way out of it.
It’s difficult to constantly switch back and forth from mommy-mode to business mode.
There’s always time and energy and “thoughts” that are lost / wasted in that constant context switch.
And as a single mom, being the sole bread winner and the sole decision maker on everything…
It means I have limited time and energy to grow my biz.
It’s one of the reasons I limit myself to 2-4 1:1 clients at any time.
It’s one of the reasons I haven’t quite reached my biz goals.
In fact, in all the years I’ve been in biz, I’ve never reached my goals.
Thing is, I set big, scary goals.
Because I’m an achiever.
Because I’m capable.
Because I know I can.
Because I assume I can work full capacity like everyone else.
Like my peers who don’t have kids.
Or who have a wifey to take care of the house and kids.
Or who have a husband to handle at least some of the stuff.
I tend to forget at times that it’s just the kiddo and me.
Which means I have complete and total responsibility.
Which means I have to be fully present at all times.
Now wait, this is not a pity party.
This is a reality check.
Because I know there are many other women like me out there, beating themselves up, that… yet another year gone by, yet another new year started… and they haven’t yet
* lost those extra 10 kgs
* grown their biz the way they wanted
* made it to consistent 10K months
* had that 100K launch
Especially in the online business world where everyone’s flashing their gorgeous travel pics and ah-mazing lifestyle at you all day.
This is a reminder to those of you who’ve berating yourself, like I have been doing the past few weeks.
This is a reminder to look back and acknowledge what you have achieved and how far you’ve come.
You’re not the same person you were in Jan 2018.
Heck, I know I’m not!
And while I haven’t still lost those 15kgs I put on when the kid was born 10 yrs ago
And while I haven’t still income goal I set myself 2 yrs ago…
I have come a long way from the woman I used to be.
Last Jan, I was still scared shit and doubting myself everyday.
I second guessed every decision.
I still kept waiting for the world to fall apart around me
For the Ex to take away my son
Or show up at the door and create a scene or worse, hit me.
I still thought of myself as a struggling single mom.
Fast forward to 2019 – I finally feel like myself.
For the first time in my life.
I finally feel free to be ME.
While I’m acutely aware of how being the only adult around and responsible for everything shapes my life and my decisions … it no longer defines me.
And with the divorce now done and dusted and the Ex out of the picture completely
I can breath easy.
For the first time in my life, yep, all 40 yrs of it, I feel I have the freedom to be unapologetically me.
I feel confident in who I am.
As a mother.
As a business strategist.
As a woman.
And for the first time in my life..
I feel, I have the space, the room, the freedom to grow.
To not cower.
To not be caught in endless battles.
Against people who’ve held me down, told me I was “less than” because I don’t have a Y chromosome.
For the first time in my life, I’m entering a new year, not with fear, but with expectations. Not constantly watching my back, but spreading my wings to soar.
This festive season, from Dushera in Oct to Xmas in Dec was a start reminder on how “alone” we are. Just the kiddo and me.
Unlike others around us, we don’t have very many friends and family around. We celebrated Diwali and Xmas and NYE just the 2 of us.
It was a conscious decision. I just couldn’t be bothered to put on a face and be around people.
In that aloneness, I’ve found the space to be me. To grow.
Here’s what I did achieve in 2018
* Got over my fear of FB lives & video!
* Ran 8 live webinars and 2 challenges (as opposed to 2 webianrs in 2017!)
* Launched two new programs Content Creation Bootcamp, and the MoreBootcamp.
* Ran two live rounds of the WebsiteBootcamp.
* Doubled my email list and following – inspite of periodic clean ups ( I halved my list in Aug – just removed ppl who weren’t opening/interacting).
* Helped 1:1 clients do 5-figure and multi-5-figure launches.
* And apart from clients and “students”, helped hundreds of women grow their biz in some way or the other.
* Oh, and 50% of my clients are in the US, 20% Europe, 30% Aus – while I sit here in India.
* Did a 2 week Himalayan trek to Annapurna Base Camp. When I signed up, I thought that would be my chance to finally prioritize my health and get fit ? That didn’t quite happen. I completed the trek in all my awesome un-fitness – usually being the last person in the group, huffing and puffing through it all. But I did it!
* Furnished an entire house, in 2 months, in a budget and moved in. March 2018, decided to move in to our own home. Got a bare shell. Got all the interiors done. Chased the carpenters and the plumbers and the electricians and the builder. Moved in in May 2018. 5 days after we got back from Annapurna 😉
My folks, and others, told me I couldn’t do it. That I couldn’t do it as a woman. That I was insane to even try. That if at all, I should do bare minimum and not push my luck etc etc.
But, I got it all done. On my own. With the kid cheering me on! Love our new house! Even tho the builder keeps creating issues!
* Got divorced. Finally!!! After 3 years in court, spending an average of 2-4 days each month between lawyers and court… that sword is no longer handing on my head!! It feels so freeing!!!
* And I think the best part has been watching this kid grow up. Something changed in the last few months. It’s like he’s no longer a small baby… not only is he as tall as me… but he’s growing into a fine young man. I love how our bond is strengthening and our relationship is changing.
Each of these is a big achievement.
[ though I’ve been beating myself up the last few weeks for not achieving my income goals!!! Sharing so that feel a little bit better if you didn’t meet yours!]
2014 was the year it all came apart for me.
* I quit my high profile, high stress corporate job.
* I booked an apartment.
* The Ex left ( and I didn’t let him back in!)
* I didn’t think I’d be able to manage as a single mom
* My biz is finally taking the shape I wanted it to back then – but didnt think was possible, not from India.
* We finally moved in to our own home
* The divorce finally came through.
* I finally owned being a single mom!
Life came full circle!
Sometimes people ask why I share so much of the craziness of my life on FB. Most other people just share their picture perfect moments.
I share because I care.
It’s my way of healing.
It’s my way of helping others heal.
Back in the dark days, there were times when I believed that there was absolutely no way out, that my life was over. Heck there were many times when I considered ending it myself.
I’m glad I didn’t.
Yes, there are still challenges.
Yes, I have a long way to grow.
Yes, I still don’t have a million dollar business or a best selling book to my name.
But yes, I absolutely totally love how far I’ve come and the life I’ve created for myself.
It’s not everyone that can afford to take 2 weeks off for Xmas
after taking most of Nov off from work ?
and going slow in Oct ?
I love that my business enables me to do that
While still creating an awesome life for my son and my self
AND helping amazing women from across the world!
Here’s to dreams we thought were too impossible to achieve!
And to achieving them… in 2019. Or whenever ?
If you can think it, you can do it!