Nothing Wrong With Placing Yourself First

South Africa’s much loved & hated investigative journalist, Devi Sankaree-Govender won the first episode of ‘Spellbound’ with the prize of R250, 000 going to a charity.

This might have been the only time we have seen Devi smile so much – opposed to watching her on Carte Blanche where she has her steely glare attached to her well-honed senses on each adventure knocking on someone’s door to expose their guilt.

Last night Devi gave her Twitter fans a look into her life beyond the investigative show sharing how a working-woman like herself can reach burnout.

Yes, Devi can actually tumble occasionally and with her height she is not too far off from the ground.

devi sankaree-govender
Arianna Huffington talking to Carte Blanche journalist Devi Sankaree-Govender

Being a mom with two children under 16 is no laughing matter and there have been times she would prefer to disappear.

Devi explains in her article that she could feel herself reaching for burnout but the still burned the candles at both ends.

She needed to do something about it.

“I had to save myself.  Nobody had even noticed anything was wrong. Whenever I need clarity in my life, I find it on a blank page.  Late one night, feeling a bit teary, I wrote down five things I wanted to change in my life.

1. GET INTO BED AT 8PM

2. GET 8 HOURS SLEEP AT NIGHT

3. STOP WORKING AT 5PM (IF NOT CHASING CROOKS)

4. GO BACK TO READING AT NIGHT AGAIN

5. GYM

I folded the page and went to bed, hoping I wouldn’t spend the night with another old friend, Insomnia, where we would write endless lists on the ceiling with my tired eyes.”

It’s been one year since Devi made these dramatic but little changes and for a change she is placing herself first in order to balance her juggling between career and home.

“One year later, I’m happy to share the fact that that list is my daily mantra. I’m at the top of my list now and… I love it. I held myself back, all those years because I told myself the story that everybody else’s needs were more important than my own.  Aircraft stewards remind us, that in the event of an emergency we must put on our own oxygen masks before helping anybody else.

That’s practical.  Because you will be of no use to anybody if you don’t access your own oxygen first. It wasn’t easy making those changes.  But, I broached no discussion with my inner critical voice (you know, that nagging aunty in your head who constantly puts down every idea you have).  I cleared space in my life to make my list possible… as one does when you bring home a loved one from hospital.  I put on velvet gloves and nurtured my soul.  I convalesced.  After just a month, I felt something change in my DNA.  It was as if I was writing new software for myself.  It felt glorious.

My changes brought a few surprises too.

My family shockingly survived me taking three hours away from them during the week so I could go to gym.

Nothing and nobody fell apart (I was both happy and slightly sad about that!).

I also discovered that they didn’t expect home-cooked meals every day.  I had heaped that expectation on myself.  Woolies roast chicken, boxed hake and cheese toast works like a bomb too.

I learnt that I was a more relaxed mum after eight hours sleep and I loved my job even more deeply.

I have fewer balls in the air.  I have chosen them carefully.  I dropped the others.  They were getting a free ride at my expense.  I don’t even care if they got hurt when I dropped them – I giggle when I hear myself say that!

And, that’s another thing… I actually feel joyful these days.  I laugh more.  I take things less personally.  I breathe deeply.  All the time.

I’ve relapsed.  A few times.  The difference now is that I recognise madness from a distance.  She waves at me cheerily, hoping to distract.  But, I see through it and make quick U-turns.  I lived in that world and I’m not going back.”

Read the full story by clicking on the link below

Source Input

  1. Carte Blanche website

About Naufal Khan

Publisher & editor of Indian Spice.

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