By Sharon Shelbourne, Owner Beehive Healthcare
I recently attended a writing day at Gladstone Library with the aim of writing something relating to Women, as a part of the Beehive focus this month.
I have never given much thought to what being a woman really means? My philosophy is that “you are what you are and that’s that,” although I have always said I am glad I am a woman!
With women firmly on our radar, I sat there on a large table overlooking the garden with three friends, and remembered how much of an impact my own mother had on me growing up. I don’t ever remember it being a topic of discussion, but she did instil in me the value of independence, making sure I did what I believed in and the belief I could be who I wanted to be. On reflection, these things have stayed with me.
More generally, looking back in history, International Women’s Day is a day of celebration for fearless monarchs through to pioneering scientists who have fought, achieved and made their mark to shape our way of life today. Often overlooked, we women tend not to celebrate who we are and our everyday successes.
How Many Hats Do You Wear?
So what is it that is so great and so distinctive about being a woman that sets us apart from the male of our species?
I’ll start with a question.
How many hats do you wear in a day? A hat being a different role you play in life or task you perform.
No this is not a riddle!
When I thought about this I scribbled all my different hats on to a piece of paper. There were a lot! In fact, I had a WOW moment as I realised I was like an Octopus and more importantly, successful.
If we look at our lives like a play, we seamlessly move from many different roles and yet don’t give ourselves any recognition for the different skills, characteristics and costume changes that we play in each scene. Housekeeper, chef, chauffer, event manager, negotiator, stylist, confidante…and it isn’t even 8.00am?
Busy Lives, Busy Minds
We are very good at moaning about having no time (myself included) but really we should be congratulating ourselves that we can interchange up to 16 hats every day and not even think about it.
For most women who work, ‘busy’ is worn like a Blue Peter badge and we are proud of it. Does it mean that the busier we are, the more productive we are? Compulsively checking our emails or Facebook feeds. God forbid if we don’t have our mobile phones which, have now become attached to our torso 24/7 and are more of a style statement, adding a sophisticated touch to our profile, rather than a way of communicating.
This becomes even more relevant to think about when you are self-employed, as we strive to be entrepreneurs in a competing world.
For me, self-employment was an instinctive and reactive decision based on the fact I was fed up of being on a treadmill. Simple as that!! On a practical level, being self-employed means I have the power to do…. basically, whatever I want.
My life previously was very easily partitioned into boxes: work, family and me. My boxes were never equal, but I hopped from one to another. The ‘me’ box seemed to dwindle more and more over the years and my identity and purpose got a bit distorted. This carried on until I decided to do something about it.
Working in and running the Beehive has increased my thirst for new knowledge and I have met some amazing, inspiring people who surround me with positivity. I realise that the commonality in all my boxes is that I am happy in my own skin and that it doesn’t matter if my boxes are not equal. I can have it all, but not at the same time, which is fine. I have embarked on new ventures like yoga, meditation, whereby I schedule consistent “me” time. I mark myself as important without needing permission from anyone. It provides me time to let go of the daily buzz and allows me to de-clutter my roles and responsibilities of the day. This is my time for self -healing and helps me be more productive long term.
My other new hobby is writing which I used to love, unleashing my creative side.
Life doesn’t fit neatly into boxes anymore and feels more like a game of snakes and ladders, except that there is fun even when you slide down a snake! Admittedly, it is even better when you climb a ladder and challenge and discover new ventures and opportunities!
These days I love all my costume and hat changes as it defines me to whatever role I want to be, ruthless, funny, loving, sexy, naughty, serious and this is a cause for celebration.
So yes, we wear many hats and are so many things to lots of people, but it is still important to define who you are and make some time for things you may want to do or even not do anything at all.
What have you done for yourself this month
“because there is only one you.”