I love my husband. After almost 11 years together- nearly two of them spent in tiny accommodations on a tiny rock- I actually even like him. Don’t worry, this is not going to be one of those touchy-feely, overly-mushy, gross love stories. But I’ve got to say, I really do love my husband.
When I told him I couldn’t work one more day at my previous job, he said “OK, you don’t have to.” When I told him I wanted to start a fitness business from scratch, on an island with about 4500 people, he said “go for it” and proceeded to create my website and my logo (which wows me every single time I look at it), and encouraged me to order a bunch of equipment and t-shirts for the clients he was sure I would attract!
It isn’t always easy living with a person who obsesses over a new business, and I get that. The highs are high and the lows are low.
When I have too much downtime and start complaining like a child in the middle of summer that I am bored, Shaun suggests that I go to my trusty dry erase board and make a list of things I can do when boredom strikes. I kid you not, I wrote down shower and straighten hair, and I am literally laughing about loud that I listed that as an option.
Shaun never gets wrapped up in my emotional roller coaster of highs and lows. When I have so much energy that neither of us know how to contain it, he rides that wave. When I announce that I can’t even handle the thought of getting out of my PJs to do something productive (even though we specifically planned to play tennis at 5:30pm), he gives me a pep talk on how this mood will pass and tomorrow I’ll feel totally different.
And, like magic, the mood does pass and the next day usually does feel different. Nothing is permanent, is it? Not the over-the-top, crazy good times or the down-in-the-dump days. Everything changes- our mood, our energy level, our drive to accomplish a million things in one day, and our funk that prevents us from being our best, productive selves.
Lately, I am trying to be more mindful about how I feel. I’m trying to plan in advance, so I can take action when the ‘I’m-so-bored/ hot/ unmotivated-maybe-we-should-move-to-a-big-city-where-there’s-a-mall-and-a-Whole Foods-nearby’ mood strikes.
I’m trying to be honest with my friends about how I feel. I’ve decided that I can either sit in my apartment by myself (with Henry and Logan who nap… a lot) and be lonely or I can reach out to friends and let them know that I need some buddy time.
I’m trying to cut myself a little slack as well. Having a new career where I expend so much mental and physical energy is exhausting in the best possible way I could ever imagine being exhausted. I wish that my body would allow me to teach classes all day, every day. It makes me so incredibly happy, and four days a week isn’t enough!
But, realistically, I live on an island, where- let’s be honest- I probably can’t find people who want to Twerk and Tone more than 10 times a week!
So I will continue to find joy in the studio with my workout crew on the days I teach, and in my downtime, I will celebrate the fact that I am doing what I love. I will be forever grateful that I created my dream job on a beautiful Caribbean island. I’ll look for ways to spread happiness in other ways outside the studio, and I will ask my friends to share some of their joy when I’m down.
I’m curious to hear from others whose job creates serious highs and lows from an energy and time management standpoint. Do you work really hard but struggle in your downtime? What or who keeps you sane? If we talk about it and share ideas, I think we will all benefit and grow together- as business men and women and as people who don’t want to send their significant others over the edge!
Ashley Cates, St John USVI Blogger