I’ve spent the past week trying to get a new veggie garden in. I’d love to show you a finished product, but it’s one of those projects that has its own time frame.

When we moved into our house six years ago, I noticed the existing veggie patch was positioned in possibly the worst spot on the property. Within a metre of gum trees, almost fully shaded, and clay soil. A mistake the previous owners wanted to forget about.

A few years later, we brought in some apple crates and placed them in an area closer to the house. I was sure it would be the perfect spot, but I rushed things and ended up with two crates getting decent sun and two that won’t grow anything over winter.

The apple crates initially looked so farm fresh, but even with lining they began to rot. Last week I actually ripped them out with my bare hands. It was SO satisfying. I felt like Wonder Woman. I threw all the rotted boards in a huge bonfire, and so begins the cycle of starting again.

Gardening is mostly failure and learning as you go. Mucking up and not being able to ‘fix’ things until next season is, in my opinion, good for the soul.

So many of my mentoring clients are afraid of making mistakes, but here’s the thing – failing regularly and frequently is how you grow.

Here’s a glorious mistake I made when lockdowns lifted. My old patterning about the need to be busy and productive, in full glory, displayed on a whiteboard. All the while I’m writing copy for my new website about how I value slow living.
I wanted to show you my whiteboard of doom in order to show how susceptible we are to the voice that says “fill your space with stuff”, and “you must be productive on account of having rested”. Many of us, whether we like to admit it or not have been conditioned to feel safety in hustle. A full calendar, a busy whiteboard, and to do lists.

It is so very human to want peace from the chaos, find it, not trust it and then feel incredibly unsettled. We’re not used to trusting that we can go slowly, so we subconsciously return to a homeostasis of stress, rushing and busyness.

My whiteboard gave me anxiety every time I went to sit at my desk, so I changed it to something that makes me smile…
It’s on a small, portable whiteboard that can be put in a cupboard instead of it being the focus of the room. It still has the fundamentals of what I’m working on, but it feels less restrictive.

Mental load

I think every single woman I know is functioning on this fear that she isn’t doing enough right now. My idea for writing down all the things that’s in my head came from this cartoon by Emmawhich I refer to in my upcoming book about social media, motherhood and mental health.

The mental load of mothers in particular is huge and using the “you should’ve asked for help” catchphrase places all the onus on people to self-manage.

In discussing the Emma cartoon with a friend (a mum with a husband and two boys), she said that purchased a big whiteboard and placed in her family living area. They then sat down as a family while she wrote up her everything list. Every single thing she was working on, thinking about, reminders, projects, chores that need doing, important dates and anything that needs a note. She said that seeing inside her brain, and the mental load of everything she was carrying at any given time helped to create conscious, tangible reminders to split more of the load.

I now know that I can’t keep a whiteboard like that in my house because it would give me anxiety to see the contents of my head splattered on the wall every morning.

By all means, use the whiteboard method to plan and illustrate points to people in your life but then consider if it’s helpful to keep it around. Wiping it off and letting things go like a mandala might serve you better.

I know I’d be better off spending that time loosening my jaw, taking a deep breath and repeating “I’m enough, just as I am”.

Instead, I try to simply ask “what’s the one thing today, that would make me feel better knowing it’s done, if that’s the only thing I could achieve today?”

Weekly whimsy

You know those shows that you quickly bypass thinking “that’s not for me” then end up loving? I’ve been here before – with the Gilmore Girls, Schitt’s Creek and now Ted Lasso.

It kept flashing up in my recommended shows so I gave it a go. As a writer, the script is so whimsical and delightful it actually makes me LOL. For real life. Not at all what I was expecting for a show about soccer!

All the little quirks between English and American language are well observed. Like this gem:

Lasso: If I were to get fired from my job where I’m puttin’ cleats in the trunk of my car …
Beard: You got the boot from puttin’ boots in the boot.
Lasso: I love that!


Mum as You Are

This week on episode 19 of the Mum as You Are Podcast, I give you quick introduction to the concept of mental load. A good one to share with friends, clients and any of the parents in your life who are feeling anxious and overwhelmed.

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