When Life Goes On Pause Mode

take rest by Ovid

It’s been exactly two months since being away from this blog. I’m so glad to finally be back here.

For two very challenging months, I had to put certain parts of my life (including this blog and the business I ‘m building) on a pause mode. It was a struggle but sometimes, life forces us to prioritize and put certain things on hold.

My mom who is living with me is unwell; we believe that she is suffering from dementia. Her sudden behavioural changes had been hard for all of us to deal with. On bad days, it was almost impossible to get any decent amount of work done. I ended up reverting to working late at night after everyone’s asleep (or sometimes I’ll work in a café while my son is in school).

With limited sleep, I get frustrated easily, have little energy, and consumed more caffeine than I ever did just to get through the day (I used to limit myself to no more than 3 cups of coffee or tea a week).

Then one day, I was so exhausted I just slept. When I woke, it hit me. I was reacting to the problem rather than truly finding solutions. What I’m facing is tough, but I’m making it unnecessarily harder to cope by exhausting myself and stretching it too thin.

As difficult as it was, I decided I had to take step back and go on pause mode. I began to spend time on self-care in the midst of dealing with the challenges at home (but sometimes I struggled, feeling that I’m being selfish and unproductive).

I gave myself permission to take naps whenever I needed to…

Sleep

I  read a lot… to fill my mind with good ideas and positive thoughts…

Books

I attended  the two-day ‘Business Mastery Expo’ to learn from some very successful entrepreneurs and their stories inspired me…

bizmasteryexpo

I also got my son enrolled for swimming and inline-skating lessons. I’ve put these off for months as I kept telling myself I can’t afford the time because I have a business to grow. But I was wrong. Turned out it was the catalyst I needed to work more efficiently. More importantly, I am spending meaningful time with my son and we are having fun together.

Looking back on the ‘crisis’, I’m thankful that it has turned into a meaningful pause as I spent moments to rest, reflect and replenish.

I don’t have a solution yet but as I recharged, I feel more empowered to handle the challenges. The down time allowed me to gain a clearer perspective of the situation and I know bit by bit, we’ll get there.

And what did I learn from this time?

1. It’s absolutely alright to put life, and even our dreams, on a pause mode.

The world did not come to an end while I was getting a time-out.

As a mompreneur growing a new business, I couldn’t help worrying – I worry that it will die a premature death; I worry that readers will not return to this blog; I worry about what people will think of me when I was ‘neglecting’ the business.

But does all that REALLY matter? I asked myself:

Is it a matter of life and death? No.

Can I start over again? Do I have what it takes? Yes.

Do I need to seek the approval or understanding of others to do what I need to do to keep myself sane during this very challenging period? No.

At one point, I wanted to give up. The thought of picking up the pieces from where I’ve left off felt too difficult.

But when I asked myself those questions, it changed my perspectives and I was able to let go of my fears and worries.

Sometimes, we just need to stop being so hard on ourselves and give ourselves space to breathe and just be. Going on the occasional pause allow us to do just that.

As for our dreams? Don’t feel bad if you ever have to put your dreams on pause mode for a good reason. Know this: there’s a difference between putting our dreams on pause mode and giving up on our dreams. As long as you are not giving up, you can still fulfill your dreams and aspirations.

2. It’s alright not to have the solutions to all of life’s problems. But they will come, eventually.

When we go through a challenging time, it’s natural to wish that we have all the answers and solutions.

Living in the modern world, we have come to expect instant results. So we fret when we don’t have all the solutions to our problems, and as quickly as we wish it.

But that’s not how life is. At least not for every situation.

Sometimes, to wait and not do anything may be the best thing we can do.

3. Life is a journey, not a race.

Whether I want to go slow or move at top speed, it’s all up to me. It’s my life, my journey and I decide the pace.

Yet in this world where speed seems so important, it’s hard to go slow, it’s almost unnatural.

But when we go too fast, we miss the chance to enjoy the process, to savour the moments. I know it sounds so cliché but it’s the truth.

The same applies to business. Did you start a business in order to win in some competition? Well, at least that’s not why I am a mompreneur. I’m in it because it is my passion, I want to do meaningful work and serve other moms. I’m also in it because I want to create a lifestyle I love and that supports my family life.

Life is a journey, not a race. Even if it is a race, being fast doesn’t guarantee that you will win. And what will you win? Is the prize truly what you desire? What are the sacrifices you have to make in order to win, and are they really worth it?

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Are you facing some challenges? Do you need more clarity?

Schedule a meaningful pause and see the magic it can do in your life. Very often, the answers you seek are just there inside you. But without being in the right state of mind, you won’t see them.

So stop, take a pause now. Don’t wait till life forces it upon you.

As you tune in to yourself, from the stillness of your heart will come the answers you seek.

Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing! Just that sometimes i get worried the pause I’ve taken is a super long pause and it becomes procrastination instead! But i agrees with you that rest is important and especially naps. The power naps that can give short burst of energy to charge forward is so crucial and makes a whole lot of a difference. Thank you for your encouragement on not giving up our dreams :) Hang in there Ruth!
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