I have a mentor buddy. We meet up every six months or so. It works really well for me (and I hope them too!). Instead of a traditional mentor/mentee relationship it is more about reciprocity and mutual support. We set some goals, we talk about how stuff is going, we review where we got to on our last set of goals. We cover both work and family stuff.
We met last week and at that point things felt great. I felt like I was riding a wave. Like I had been struggling to get up on a surf board for ages, but now that I had, I could see the whole beach and was riding in to shore.
It was a good opportunity to reflect on just how much had happened in the last six months. When I last met with my buddy in November I wasn’t even sure that we would get planning permission to build the granny annex. I thought we might have to sell up and move somewhere bigger and cheaper. I wasn’t sure our marriage would cope with the stress of three generations in one home; and I had just started out on my new business with only one client and a big gaping hole and a lot of uncertainty about how I was going to pay the bills.
Fast forward to last week. Now mum and dad are settling in to their annex and starting to be more independent. Preparation for my big run – my first half marathon-is going well back in November I hadn’t even started training. Hub is back on his medication and seeing a therapist and is incredibly supportive of the fact that work is super busy with around 7 different clients.
And all of that is still in place…
But we have had a hell of a start to the week this week and it’s only Wednesday. Part of me wonders if I am living in some weird version of the Truman Show (for those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s a Jim Carrey movie where he thinks he is living a normal life, but actually he is the star of a reality TV show he’s been in since birth. Anyway, feels like just as we manage to cope with everything and life calms down, it becomes ‘boring TV’ and the producers of the TV reality show that is our life start heading more crap our way.
My mum, who has a far stronger faith than I do, always says that ‘God never sends you more than you can handle’, and no doubt that is true and we will be fine, but I do kinda wish I just had a little time to catch my breath.
In fact, it is interesting that at my mentor buddy session I didn’t make any big commitments, which is totally unlike me. My plan for the next six months was to 1. Run the half marathon without stopping 2. Be ok with no major goals, just enjoy the relative calm, settle and try and consolidate 3. Explore a new business idea I have but don’t put any pressure on and 4. Put more time in at home with hub and get a better work-life balance.
And I will do all those things.
But on Monday lots of things happened. My sister in law (my hub’s sister) had a beautiful, healthy baby; my mum’s brother died (he had been sick for a while so we had been expecting it); and hub’s mum had a major fall, shattered her pelvis. She is now unlikely to walk again as they cannot give her the surgery she needs due to all the other health complications she has. She will be in hospital for 6-8 weeks. Hub is shaken; and I’ve not really been able to support him at all this week as have been all over the country with work. I think the right thing will be for him to go to be with his mother and help out his sisters overseas especially as one has her hands full with a three-day-old; but, equally I am thinking about how we then juggle work, and care in our home if he is gone.
In the end all we have is family and that has got to come first; and certainly before my client commitments. Not sure what will happen next, but certainly doesn’t feel like the ‘relative calm’ six months I was imagining last week.