A verbal vomit.

Credit: Shutterstock

It’s been a challenging few weeks. On the personal and work front. I’ve probably been under more pressure in the last month than ever before in my life. And obviously the universe heard that and felt like some Murphey’s Law needed to be dished out because on top of having 1 x resignation, 1 x firing, 2 x hiring to my work team, I also had to plan Aiden’s birthday party, had my family come to stay and just as they left, Jon’s family arrived for a few days. I’ve taken on four new accounts all at once in addition to sizing up a brand new team, and I’ve had to oversee it all at the same time as filling in as a global digital lead for my biggest international client. To say I’m overworked is an understatement and although I’m not complaining – it’s such a privilege problem to have – I just wish the other stuff on the personal front could have just spread itself out a bit instead of laying it all on me at the very same time.

Twice recently something I said went totally the wrong way and caused offence. I wouldn’t care so much except for the fact that in the first scenario 1) I did try and state my original intentions and clear the situation up and was totally disregarded, and 2) it affects more than just the two of us in the greater scheme of things. And, if I’m honest, 3) I wish I could just forget about it and move on with my life. Unfortunately, I was forced into a super awkward situation until I eventually had to decide to either remove myself from it completely – which I didn’t want to do, or move on and brush off the jabs, digs and nasty comments. I know that I don’t stop to think when I say things, I just blurt out the thought that is in my mind (and often in everyone else’s too, so I hear). This does me well in business, but not so much in my personal relationships. I find that people think that when you’re blunt or direct, they can be totally ruthless and tactless with you and that you won’t feel it. That it won’t hurt feelings or cause any damage. So they use pent up anger and resentment built up over time and other people, and explode on you because you’re perceived to be able to “handle it”. Often my directness is mistaken for being unfeeling or callous when, really, I feel I’m the opposite. It’s because I have all the feelings that I address what others won’t; I like to deal with things and sort shit out. I hate making thin, polite conversation. I like getting to the meat – getting to the point without fucking around or wasting time and energy on superficial or materialistic issues or saying the nice things that someone *wants* to hear instead of what they *need* to hear.

I’ve learned a valuable lesson from this though. In the two incidents that have happened, I’ve realised that people love my bluntness and congratulate me on it until it’s directed at them with something they don’t want to hear. Usually, in a herd mentality, nobody will say anything but will look around anxiously and wait for me to say it and then be so relieved when I address the elephant in the room so that they don’t have to. The tension goes out the room and everyone giggles off the awkwardness with an “Oh, Sheena, trust you to say it, haha” and it’s all very well and good because now they don’t have to look like the assholes, I do it for them. Every damn time. So now I’m going to work on not doing it. I don’t want to always be the perceived asshole in these situations, it’s exhausting and hurtful, especially when I know my intentions are not to hurt others. It’s like I genuinely don’t see the offence until it’s pointed out to me, and even then I can’t get past the logic of my words and understand the emotional (over)reaction.

Just before all of this, I found out I have chronic high BP, a blockage in my heart and type-2 diabetes. Thanks, in part, to my previous gestational pregnancy, but mostly my continuous love of added fucking sugar and carbs. How is it that for 500 000 years we all lived on bread and now suddenly it’s the devil. Not fair. Anyway, as such – I’ve been on a health kick to try and regain some semblance of a healthy lifestyle. It doesn’t help that every time I run into more conflict (mostly work) my blood pressure sky rockets and I’m left with a palpitating heart, blood-red cheeks, and hot flushes. I feel panicked all the time and I can’t sleep. I’ve taken on too much and although I know there’s a finite deadline in which things will ease up (mid-July cannot come soon enough!), I feel like everything weighs on my shoulders and that I can’t rely on anyone else to relieve the pressure. And so the vultures smell the air’s tension and begin circling and then the universe kicks the dog when its down. I need to get back to breathing, back to basics, back to knowing what’s important and when to leave work pressure at work instead of bringing it home with me. I also need to learn when to walk away and not let things affect me so much. It doesn’t help that I’m dealing with a few people of different, international, cultures who believe that they can step all over my work whenever they choose to without respecting deadlines or frameworks or pre-approved strategies. It’s caused more overtime and stress in my life than I care to admit.

I need to get back to breathing, back to basics, back to knowing what’s important and when to leave work pressure at work instead of bringing it home with me. I also need to learn when to walk away and not let things upset me. I can’t fix everything and everyone but I can control what I allow into my own environment and where I spend my energy. I can remind myself that I didn’t walk away from a corporate life to get into the habit of even longer hours and more stress. I am the captain of my own destiny and all that. So I’m steering the ship away from Drama Island and refocusing on what I feel is important, starting with myself and my two precious men.

The first thing I did was to reintroduce date nights. We’ve been so bad at romancing each other since we had Aiden, so now Jon and I make an effort to go out one night every two weeks, just the two of us. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or super-special, as long as the intention is to have some us time. Such a simple change is making the biggest difference to our relationship. Suddenly we’re teasing each other again and laughing at jokes and silly one-liners. We’re back to having fun, not just doing life. It’s so awesome.

Sjoe. Nice chatting. Thanks for listening.

PS: Speaking of Aiden, he turned two last week. Can you even handle it. We had a few (yes, a few – lol) celebrations for his birthday. Here are a few snaps from his official birthday party. We made a little bike racing track around the pool and 17 x 2 year-olds used it for hours and hours.



  1. MeeA says:

    Congratulations on your little man’s birthday – he is so damn cute!
    Also, when someone refuses to accept your attempt to talk through and smooth over a misunderstanding, it’s on them. And there are worse things you could do than call a spade a spade. x

  2. Shardae says:

    Damn alot going on. Hope the health kick is working , take it easy and breathe. Sending loads of love to u guys, the pics are too cute

  3. Jen says:

    I think you just put my head into words! Thank you!

    What a great read, keep saying what you think Sheen and screw those who don’t get you!! There are millions who do!
    Soldier on soldier xx

  4. Linda Jager says:

    Ah so much of yes to being fed up with being the one who always says the things the other people are thinking but too scared to say! It always comes back to biting you in the ass. And I too make those decisions not to speak my mind but my mouth lets me down badly….Looking forward to see if you have any magic tips on how to do this thing

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