I’m not ok

I’m not ok
Photo by Tony Tran / Unsplash

Hi All, I am not ok. Let’s talk about that.

I have just finished one of the most stretching seasons of my life. I am currently sitting in Abu Dhabi airport about to fly home. I had a very good first flight and managed to sleep in bursts totalling 8 hours. This means I now need to be awake for 18 hours straight (2 on the plane, 5 at the airport, 8 on the next plane and then 3 at home). This is like waking up at 7am and going to bed at 1am, this is very achievable for me.  On the way over it was much harder as I had to force myself to stay awake for 25 hours, so by the time I got some sleep I was awake from 7am to 8am the next day. You might wonder why I would do such a thing? Because when I do, I have 0% jet lag.

This is not the reason I am not ok.

This trip was my third away from my family in the last 2 months. Two and a half years ago my director (Dave) and I pitched a plan to revolutionise a media product we have made for the last 10 years. We wanted to show kids from around the world, visit them in their countries and highlight the cities and cultures. This was an amazing idea in Jan 2020, but in March 2020 it became a lot harder. We had already filmed the Australian episodes, but the European and North American episodes had not yet been done. Since then it has been a long and winding road of trying to make it work and we did. In July 2020 I moved to London for family reasons and was able to complete enough episodes on my own to make it work for our release schedules. It was extremely hard filming without Dave as he knows if he has got the shot. I was flying blind on my own.

This is not the reason I am not ok.

Finally, Dave has approved the travel but due to the deadlines, we had a very small window. Cut to the chase - on the 11th of May, we set out for Amsterdam, then onto Berlin, Copenhagen and Stockholm. We went back to London for 4 days before setting off for Atalanta, Chattanooga, Nashville, Houston, Los Angeles, and Corona (yes it’s a place), another city I don’t remember the name of, and then San Fran and New York. I then got home and three weeks later I flew to Australia. So in the last 63 days I have been away from my family for 38 days.

Funny enough this is also not the reason I am not ok.

We just pulled off a miracle kids conference. It was our first conference in 3 years and there was a lot to organise. I run a part of the conference called the Storyline. It is one of the most rewarding things I have ever created. Over the multi day conference a story is played out but the kids are the heroes. What happens is up to them, the offstage moments are as important as the onstage moments as the kids collect tickets to give to their tribe champion to level up and win the game. It’s so much fun but so difficult as I can’t make decisions on what happens until we are on stage. It all depends on how the kids get into it, so even with back to back conferences the outcome was different. This whole thing was so amazing but demanding and on the last day I physically was at the end of myself. But I knew I could do it so I didn’t stop. I have 4 members of my team look after me, gently and not so gently pushing me to keep going.

But that is also not the reason I am not ok

The reason is my math is wrong.

I make very calculated choices. My family is my most important thing and even though it may look like I am an absent father with my stats of being away so much, that is definitely not the case. My wife and I calculated these choices to be away to get what I needed to get done for work and made sure the family was strong. There are some long overdue hugs and kisses, walks, talks, movie watching with popcorn, bedtime story readings etc to do, but I have time and we will be all the better for it.

In fact I calculated a lot of things on these trips. I hadn’t seen some of my friends and family for years and I made sure I had time for them. This turned out to be so invaluable as I was able to listen and encourage them as a lot of them are facing crossroads right now. It meant a lot of late nights which didn’t help my energy levels but was needed. I also put in a trip to Tasmania which took  6 hours to get there due to delayed flights. I arrived at 10:30pm on Sunday and had to leave at 3:30pm on Monday. Again it was the right choice and I’m so glad I made the effort. Finally when I got back on Monday night, I got picked up, got in my car, turned around and picked up some friends from the international airport and hosted them right up until the next night where we both flew internationally. Again, the right choice because it was an amazing time together and I got to really help them. I had calculated everything to the tee and finished achieving everything I wanted to achieve.....


I am not ok.

My math had never factored in a very important person in all this ..... me. This is scary because I don’t really know how to do that. I am so good at the way I currently do things, that I would have to relearn again. So that is what I am going to do.

I would love your help. If I don’t blog at least once a week you know something is wrong and I have fallen back into the trap of spreading myself too thin. Not that the bloging is sign of health (I am preatty sure health is a sign of health) but it means that there is room in my life to think and process which for me in this season is very very healthy.

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