Hale March 18 Masthead

Monday Moment: This is not the life you ordered

Emma Grey

Well, that’s that then!

The late nights and lazy routines of summer are about to come crashing to an end around us. Even if we’ve been back at work a few weeks, things are about to crank up.

The ‘suspended reality’ of January wraps up with the Australia Day fireworks. Our own or other people’s kids go back to school. The office fills up. Meetings resume. Term activities kick in. There’s more traffic. Less time. A familiar whirl of responsibility and ‘rush’…

“Back to reality!” we’ll chant, like the chorus in a musical. A queue will form, jostling for our attention: work to do, bills to pay, places to drive people to, things to cook and clean. We’ll deliver our lines on auto-pilot:

  • I’m so behind at work!
  • What’s for dinner?
  • Did you remember the milk?
  • Where’s the other shoe?
  • Have you done your homework?
  • Has anyone fed the dog?

‘Reality’ is given a bad rap. It’s something beige that we tend to reference post-holiday. Post-highlight. Post ‘anything good’.

The predictability of it can be comforting, too. So comforting that we don’t notice the moment when our everyday patterns slip from ‘security’ into a more dangerous ‘rut’.

Once that happens, we’re unsettled. Frustrated. Resentful. We see ourselves as ‘victims’ of this shift:

  • I fell into a rut…
  • I’m stuck…
  • This is just how adult life is…

Grasp hold of your ‘Sliding Doors’ moment

We don’t have to be footloose twenty-somethings or superstars with lavish budgets to scramble out of a rut. This pattern is not one we were pushed into. It’s not one we’re being kept in by others. It’s one we’re carving…

No matter how much we have on our plates, there is enough time to do the things that matter most (however uncomfortable it may be to hear that). There is all the time we need—and there are ways to stop other people’s priorities from constantly swamping your own.

We’re nowhere near as trapped as we feel… and the solution isn’t anywhere near as hard as we imagine.


“This is not the life I ordered!”
7 simple strategies to shape a life you’ll love

HerCanberra readers are invited to a FREE online class this week (brought to you by My 15 Minutes, presented by Emma Grey and Audrey Thomas).

Uncover all the time you need to do the things that matters most to you

Find out the one habit you MUST drop if you want to get more of what you want done

Learn how to stop other priorities from constantly swamping your own

Discover the one list that’s more important than a ‘Bucket List’ in shaping your life

Learn the single most game-changing question you can ask, and why you must ask it several times every day

It’s never too late to make small changes with HUGE impact. Register for this contact-packed, practical and free online class here.

Image of ‘young woman…” via Shutterstock


Emma Grey

Emma Grey is the Canberra-based author of ‘Wits’ End Before Breakfast! Confessions of a Working Mum’ and ‘Unrequited: Girl Meets Boy Band’. She’s director of the life-balance consultancy, WorkLifeBliss and co-founder of a fresh approach to time-management, My 15 Minutes. She lives just over the ACT border with her two teen daughters and young son. More about the Author

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