Are you ok? When was the last time you asked yourself this question? When did you last ask someone else this question. Let me tell you a story.....
Many years ago, I returned from maternity leave after child no. 2 and returned to my all consuming City job of the time. When I returned, my boss had been replaced by a rather unpleasant person. I used to walk past their office every day and say good morning.... it took her 3 weeks to look up and respond. I'd lost all my old files to the new lawyers in my team and I couldn't get them back. The little one was being challenging. I was seriously suffering with the lack of sleep. My home wasn't at its best.
Senior lawyers received a communique stating that we had to go on a 2.5 day residential course. I just despaired. I met the head of training for coffee and explained that I couldn't go. She encouraged me to go for lots of good reasons so hesitantly, I agreed.
I went on the course, managed to bag two good nights sleep and learnt a great deal about the "business of law". I was feeling good and so pleased that I'd made the step to come on the course. Then, during the feedback session, I heard the seemingly innocuous conversation starter question would ultimately change the course of my life.
"Are you ok?"
Three words that no one had asked me in a long time. I broke down in tears and cried for a long time because I was simply not ok. I hadn't realised how deep I was into the struggle of 'being ok' until someone stopped to ask the question, and more importantly, I'd stopped to answer it honestly.
It was the wake up call that I needed to take my situation seriously. I needed to be ok! Not just for me, but for my family, for my work, for everything. That experience put me on a path of self-discovery and I'm now a stronger person, mother and solicitor for going through that journey.
A strong business, a strong career, a strong family etc..... it all relies on you personally being strong. So what happens if you're feeling below par? I suppose what I'm trying to say is, please remember to look after yourself. If no one is there to ask if you're ok (or if no one has asked for a while), just take a quick break from the steam roller of life to check-in with yourself and see how your'e doing.
If you're feeling a bit battered and bruised, then here's a few ideas to work your way back to a good place:
1. Reach out to people in your support network - it helps to share.
2. Get some professional help (we found a sleep counsellor for the baby!)
3. Weigh up what you value, look to your beliefs for guidance, whatever they may be.
4. Meditation, mindfulness, reflection, taking time out....
5. Sufficient exercise, sleep, water, good food, they all go a long way....
6. Remember to have fun!
You may ask why I'm posting this level of personal detail here on my blog. I suppose it's a reflection of how I like to treat my clients. It really matters to me that my clients feel ok. The advantage of Andall Legal over other Law firms is that we really do care about our clients, we offer a personal service to everyone. We may even ask you 'are you ok?' and welcome an open and honest reply!
Yes - I am a solicitor. Yes - I give commercial legal support to my clients. Yes - you're absolutely right, this post has nothing to do with law! Just call it my "Maya Angelou moment" - I just want everyone to lead the best life possible.
Food for thought.