Sustainable Pace & Vulnerability - for real!

How getting towed triggered personal insights...

Jun 21
Cosima Laube

Today my car got towed. Unexpectedly (honestly!). After a long workshop day.
And I found myself pushed to the limit. Within seconds. Somewhere torn between anger, sadness and several other emotions. Almost crying.

Seriously?? For being towed???

After I pulled myself together, I phoned around, found my car, got cash, walked to the tower's area, paid 250 bucks. Done!

Still torn between anger and sadness, I started asked myself mentally "why did that happen to me today? what is the sense of this?".
While texting that kind of rhetorical question to a friend, I instantly felt the answer. It was like [Rubberduck Coaching](). I literally FELT it... and found myself crying like a child while driving home.

I've beeing spending way more energy during the last 13-ish months that I gained over all.

Sounds easy, right?

It has been a lot...

... so just a few milestones - not to brag or complain about. More to sort my thoughts myself. And maybe bits of my story are helpful for someone out there.

Last year in summer I started looking for a new more fulfilling and challenging job. Obviously that search was not that easy like after my first studies where almost any developer job was suitable to learn more, excite and challenge me. So that took quite some effort, time and travelling. And finally a really hard decision between to really great offers in autumn.

Then my yearlong relationshop broke up in September. We had to relocate both after living the last 2 years together in a big flat. So I did a quick moval to my own smaller flat in November. Easy as that. It is just a moval. Right?

In parallel I finalised my 6-months part-time internship for my psychological studies I did on the weekends besides the full-time developer job. Started my bachelor thesis end of December; it was a trade-off between having the topic I am really passionate about and doing it in 3-4 months or using the full 6 months of allowance and take "any topic". I chose passion and ended up delivering my bachelor thesis on Mindful Leadership right in time beginning of May.

Meanwhile in March I started that exciting and challenging new job. It turned out even more exciting as expected, topped with great people to work with and a really promising organisational surrounding. Sounds good you would say? It does! And it hit my wanting-to-be-deliver-as-much-value-as-soon-as-possible nail (a.k.a. perfection) quickly.

The new position was more than exciting and commuting using the ferry turned out rather exhausting, so I spontaneously decided to move again. This time to the other lakeside to spend more time with my team and colleagues and less time on the road. Decided within May. Searched and negotiated well, so the moval took place beginning of June. It already saves time... but concerning energy, it is not completely over yet. Plus it also took a lot of energy.

Yesterday and the day before my team had a two-day team setup and product kickoff workshop which I was responsible for. It went quite well... but my inner voice keeps poking me what could have been improved... . Today an insightful Management 3.0 training where I just was one of the attendees. Wanted to save another 20 bucks of car par fee. And finally: the towing.

Here you are.

Ignoring the warning signs?

Somehow I've been ignoring a couple of 'warning signs' of the last weeks: Just being busy all the time. No real weekends. Almost no time for friends. More self-shaming. Bad sleep. Rumination.

Also being mindful, curious and positive got harder.

One example: a friend helped me bringing my furniture the last weekend and she was superexcited about my new home which is in an old lady's old castle (and it is really beautiful here). She behaved almost like a curious child. She reminded me that I also felt like this... three weeks ago when first visiting this place. Then I somewhere lost that beginner's mind during the last weeks. It was replaced with (moval) planning and stuff. Noticing this made me so sad.

So, what are my learnings...

There a two main things:

  • Keeping a sustainable pace in my own life is hard. Harder than expected. And harder than helping others to managing their own sustainable pace.
  • Showing vulnerability is still tough for me. Something inside of me still yells "you're weak!" instead of acknowledging the braveness it took me and the positive impact it has on other beings to show myself vulnerable.

And what to do next?

I will say "no" more often or state boundaries in other ways... not to disappoint people or because I am lazy (hello self-shaming!) but to care better for myself and my energy balance.

Actually I will stop shaming myself and I will show more of my vulnerability.

I will be more kind to myself. Like I would treat any other person.

.

Thank you for listening. Let me know your story and/or thoughts.

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