Last Friday I had the great pleasure of attending Red magazine's #ThriveDay event. A breakfast and (rather early morning!) conversation with our boss, and founder Arianna Huffington. I knew of her ideas of the third metric and her recently published book Thrive, but I didn't realise the effect of hearing Arianna talk would have on me.
On 4th April 2014, my father passed away after a ten year battle with cancer. He was my rock, my solid ground, my guiding light and with a few other life changes going on at the same time, I'm currently feeling a little bit overwhelmed with life but underwhelmed in my career. For the last six years I have built a career in the produce industry, specialising in operations and logistics and being the right hand woman to an MD in a heavily male dominated industry. I cover all the "special ops" of the business and know it inside out, maybe too well. All those long hours, big deals, issues to contend with and weekend phone calls; over time it becomes life consuming - I remember signing off label designs during a weekend poker game with friends and after one too many glasses of wine; hoping that all will be ok in the light of day. It didn't phase me, but my friends thought it was crazy. I still love my job but I realise it has taken over my life. Do we live to work, or work to live? I'm somewhere in between. Passionate and committed but starting to feel like I'm treading water. Arianna talked at length about the key principle, that you don't have to compromise. Work/life balance doesn't have to be about giving something up - just making both work better for you and that comes from within.
I have six and a half hours sleep on average on a week night. Arianna Huffington thrives on eight. This is what she tells us is one of the first things to get right in order to thrive in life. I work hard with my fruit job but also have a passion for my fashion business as well, as well as keeping a home, hitting the gym, spending time with my partner. Eight hours... man, how will that work? I've been thinking lately maybe you can't have it all.
Reading Miss Moneypenny's "Career advice for ambitious women"; she has a whole chapter dedicated to "You can't have it all". But as Arianna said, on that Friday morning at BAFTA HQ (a beautiful venue!), it's not about having to give something up and compromising, but moreso it's about achieving that work/life balance by enriching and enhancing your life from within yourself and projecting and creating a world around you that makes life work for you.
It made me realise that I need to find that balance and that does indeed come from within. I need to feel centred but first I need for find my centre. Here comes my first task without having read Arianna's book, Thrive yet, it is on order... A "Digital Detox" is what I need.
Technology has advanced our lives so much and we have a lot to be grateful for but is does also take over our lives so much. I'm not one to sit down and not do anything; I'm not great at relaxing and even when at home, watching a film; I will still have my iPad or my phone out, browsing social media or fashion sites. I need to let go, to have down time and to focus on my centre, my thoughts, my life. So here comes the big switch off.
Perfectly timed with a weekend away in Devon at a cottage I know doesn't have any mobile phone signal. So that's a little help along the way of my first digital detox. Four days, no Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google. I will only use a phone for what it was originally designed for; to make and receive calls.
So my weekend to Devon, a birthday treat will see the launch of my Detox Diaries. A regular feature here on Huffington Post and something that I will maintain to do at least once a month. Now is the time to think about how I thrive and how I want to thrive in the future. I'll let you know how I get on...