When is "So Much," too Much?

I’m tired but happy. I’m tired because I had an eighteen hour day yesterday. I’m happy because after a productive day, I had a fabulous evening last night with the ladies from the Women’s Cycling Forum. We formulated a number of ideas to take our group forward, all with the goal of getting more women to cycle.  A number of us stayed afterwards to get to know one another which was delightful.

veloaporter cycling in a dress cycling in heels cycling in a skirt cycling with style
Near my old haunt.

In this age of instant gratification and over stimulation, when is “so much,” too much? As many who are woman, wife and mother, I am constantly pulled in many directions. How do I balance the demands of each of these important roles? I think that cycling every day helps. I can get to work quickly. Going home, it clears my mind for my role as mum. I can meet my husband for a quick drink. My thoughts become clearer sitting at my desk after riding through traffic.

I am nearly unrecognisable to my colleagues now.

What keeps me on track now is listening to my inner voice. It’s that little voice that says, “You’re doing too much. Go to bed early tonight. Don’t apply for that role, it isn’t the right fit.” Or even, “That’s enough chocolate.” Combine that little voice with my need for intellectual, emotional and physical nourishment, my love for my husband and children, and things always turn out well.

Even with my helmet off...
Even with my helmet off…

I am listening to my inner voice today. It’s telling me that I chose a lovely dress. And that I need to slow down and get a couple of good nights sleep starting tonight.  If I ignore that voice, I know that I will get sick and be out of commission for the next few days.

This wasn’t always the case. I used to be an investment banker. When I had children and returned to work, I had to establish new boundaries for myself. I always breached them. It was difficult to say no. I ignored my inner voice a bit more back then. One day, I realised that I had reached my limit. I had allowed work to encroach on the rest of my life to the point where I had nothing left to give. I was depressed. As a mother, as a person, it was a frightening position to be in. The world had become colourless and flavourless.

How did I get out of this place? I went on sick leave. My GP offered to write a note to my children to ask them to be cooperative and helpful at home. She also referred me to a psychologist. With her help, I began to understand myself better and to make a positive change. Eventually, I resigned from the bank. I re-prioritised. I am fortunate to have a husband who can support us.  I cook more. I cycle more. I shop more carefully. I wrote a work of fiction and submitted it to the publishers. I started this blog with the long term goal to monetise but one step at a time. I tried to nourish myself without taking myself away from my children, my relationship with my husband. It was difficult but we made it through. We have the tools now for the difficulties that lie ahead of us.

...people I have worked with for years...
…people I have worked with for years…

The vantage point from here is much better. I laugh every day. Life is simpler. I am forging new relationships and collaborating with creative people. I am able to do the things that I love, namely write and connect with others. I feel I can be a positive force for change and have fun doing it. And I am cycling, every day.

...often pass by without any recognition.
…often pass by without any recognition.

Today’s ensemble: Zara dress, J.Crew earrings, J.Crew booties, Yakkay helmet, Cartier Santos, Dior sunglasses, Linus Eleanor Bag, eZee Sprint.

Happy Cycling!

X Sarah

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