Mindfullness, busyness and just lots of ‘ness’

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] little over a year ago, I wrote a post about going freelance; both in my blogging and writing endeavours. It was liberating! I loved it- I loved working from home, I loved dictating my own schedule, making plans, negotiating fees, taking photos, thinking up ideas- the whole shebang. It was bloomin’ hard work. I was thrown into it rather than eased into the situation, so financially, I lived month to month. I put a halt to any personal shopping; goodbye Asos sprees and Shu Ueumura treats! But there was no price for my sense of freedom.

As our wedding day got closer, I felt like I was just burning through my savings. The pressure to get regular, paid jobs was getting harder. But again…no price on my freedom. I was absolutely determined to never find myself in a situation where I was working in an intense job having to be told what to do by someone else. I was broke, but I was happy.

Fast forward to the summer and we got married, had an amazing, whirlwind day…and then craaaash. I had an epic panic attack at the airport on our way to our mini moon in Morocco three days later.

Clearly, it was my mind and body’s way of having a tantrum and telling me to change my ways! Anyone will tell you that I’m really laid back, which is always a surprise to me because in my mind, I am Queen Anxious from the Land of Anxiety.

I spent 3 manic years at a major advertising agency. I had spent the year after that in an intense and (sometimes) toxic industry. Working for myself felt great, but not having a steady income became a huge worry in my mind. And then there was that little life changing matter of getting married. All the stresses and adrenalin of the past 4 years came crashing down.

As chance would have it, when we returned from Morocco, a sort of job came up through a friend. Just casual work, a few days here and there. I could make it to blogging events and work around it. It’s a few minutes walk from Robin’s office plus, I get a kick out of kissing my husband goodbye at the station as he goes out one exit and I through the other. Also,the short journey to and from Shoreditch everyday is a huge relief compared to the battle that is Oxford Circus at rush hour. Or any hour to be honest.

Then along came some smaller panic attacks. They would pop up all of a sudden whilst I was out shopping, or when I was watching TV, or heading out to dinner with a friend. Like, GOD, feelings! Can’t you wait until after this burger to have a tantrum?!

So, what I’m trying to say, in a very longwinded way, is that I have taken everything down a notch. I’ve hunkered down and am pretty much full time at my ‘sort of job’ which is, well, now a job (albeit a nice one where people are normal, decent human beings) I’ve turned down lots of blogging invitations and been more thoughtful about the ones that I do accept. Basically, I’ve been searching for a happy medium. I let myself get into this mindset of always being Go, Go, Go and it wasn’t doing me any favours. It’s okay not to have every waking day filled with Something and instead, learn how to be more mindful in life, period.

Some fab links to read about:

Siobhan’s post about finding focus

Jaime asks if we are addicted to being busy

All of the Autumn Feelings and picture from my favourite blogger 

The other night as I was lying in bed, I clicked on the blog link from someone who had just added me on Instagram. 30 minutes later I was still reading her blog, having a good chuckle. Disasters of a Thirtysomething; give it a read. You’ll love it.


Author: Angela Shek

just a clueless mama in East London

10 thoughts on “Mindfullness, busyness and just lots of ‘ness’”

  1. It’s hard to have that realisation don’t you think? It feels quite alien and a bit uncomfortable to think ‘ok, so I don’t have to give myself a hernia or an aneurysm or some other horrid medical thing trying to cram EVERYTHING in ALL of the time’.
    Sending you lots of zen thoughts…I may be the worst person to attempt zennishness.
    M x


  2. thanks Michelle!

    it’s just weird, I can’t really articulate it properly! I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything and learning to stop being so hard on myself to do X,Y,Z number of things. I do feel more appreciative of my time now and being more present and just more thoughtful of life and lots of ‘Ohmmm’ like vibes.

    People have told me to take up yoga and pilates, but it’s like ‘hooooold on there’ let’s not get any crazy ideas!


  3. It’s so hard to find a good balance. I have a full time job in a busy agency, and doing my blog around it is so tough. About six months ago I realized I was burning out, I was out every single night and barely had a moment to breath, so ever since then I’ve been super selective about events and reviews I attend, and I’ve even turned down free press trips overseas because I just know that it would really stretch me emotionally and physically. Sometimes you just need a weekend with no plans, where you just sit on the sofa for 48 hours watching your favourite TV shows eating chocolate and french toast.

    C x | Lux Life


  4. it is hard to find a balance and I’m not sure anyone ever feels they get it right- but we can bloody well try! But yes on the burning out- the last 4 years definitely burned me out and I’m really thankful I’m in a place I can take stock and refocus!


  5. Some really brilliant points brought up, I would love to go completely freelance in the future, it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while now. Take a break, chill out. I’m going to go and read those links now 🙂 Stay positive!
    Jas xo Jas Poole Blog


  6. Loved this post even before I saw you link to mine – thank you. I totally relate, as you know. I felt like I was crashing yesterday. I realized that I couldn’t focus on what my friends were saying to me even if they were sitting across the table. And that’s not right. Well done to you for listening to yourself, to your body and your mind, and doing what’s right for you. You’re amazing! xo


  7. Ahhhh I can relate to this SO much! I’ve been a freelance education-copywriter for 1.5yrs now and I’m still in that tumultuous stage of trying to get enough work through the door versus not over committing. In fact, NO work stresses me more than too much work! The perpetual not-knowing where the next project is coming from, and no way of knowing how much money I’ll bring home at the end of the month is starting to push a bubble of anixety up in my chest…I’ve been pretty good at squashing it down up to now, but I suspect it’s going to creep up when I least expect it!

    Anyway, it’s great to hear that you’ve taken something a little more steady, even though you were concerned about losing your freedom. Super sorry to hear it took a bit of a tough time to end up in this place now, but ultimately I hope you’re happy with the balance you’re finding now and enjoying it!

    🙂 I’ve started to take some steps this week to sorting it out for myself too…I’m talking to my two favourite and most regular clients about negotiating a contract of sorts, so that I can stay self employed and working from home, but with more regularity in my work days and income. I’ll miss the impromptu blogging sessions, but I need the financial stability to take priority for a little while, I think! Just not to the extent that I end up in an office with not-normal, not-nice human beings…never again!

    I really enjoyed this post, and I’m sorry to ramble on at you. I think you just sparked something I’ve been thinking about and it’s nice to feel a connection with someone who’s been there, done that and got the t-shirt, so to speak!



  8. it was my mind and body’s way of having a tantrum and telling me to change my ways! – I like that line. It’s true we must listen to our bodies and change gears, so to speak . But, it is so unfair how anxiety creeps up on you and is like ‘BOO, GOT-CHA!!’ it can be really dis heartening. Hope you find that happy medium and take time out for yourself lady xxxxx


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