In May, I went to Jo’s networking event in Guildford. Bev Tighe was talking about finding happiness. She talked about not being able to pour from an empty cup, and encouraged us to find time to fill up our cup. I had tears in my eyes as I was listening to Bev, realising that I’d been trying to pour from an empty cup for far too long. Having dedicated the previous five years to growing my business whilst juggling family and other life commitments, I realised I was taking very little time for myself (if anything). I came out of the meeting and I sent my husband a message to ask if it was ok for me to go down to our family caravan for the weekend (and go on my own) – he was concerned, but I reassured him I was ok, and just needed some time on my own. I also received messages of concern from my family – and wondered why it was so unusual in our society for someone to want to take time for themselves.
Our caravan is tucked away in a quiet part of Dorset – with nothing other than a beautiful beach, and rolling hills. I sat in a chair staring at the sea, I went for a walk on the beach. I walked along the cliff to a tiny wooden church where my grandparents’ ashes are buried, overlooking the most beautiful panoramic view of the sea. I made food when I wanted to, had a cup of coffee when I wanted to, watched a bit of TV. I went to bed when I wanted to – I woke up when I wanted to, and I didn’t have to think about anyone else other than myself. It was so freeing to be able to do whatever I wanted to do, without having to consider anyone else.
I wouldn’t say that I came back from that brief 48 hours significantly happier, but I was clearer headed, and I’d had 48 hours of relaxing (something that was a rarity in my life!). I took another few days off a couple of months later. I didn’t know at the time that that first weekend would send me on a path that I could never have imagined happening, knowing I’d lost a little bit of myself over the years, and that I needed to truly focus on reconnecting with myself, and work out what made me happy. I now make sure I take time for myself, even if it is just watching a film, going for a run or walk, or having a coffee with friends.
Tamsyn is the founder of Seed Accounting Solutions, check them out here.