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All the hats

Musings of a supposedly high functioning woman.

When my GP told me once I was a high functioning woman, I had to stop and reflect on this. I’m not a person to analyse or dive deep into who I am, where I’ve come from or where I’m going. Who made me? Who shaped me? All of these questions one could ask – but I’ve always just been a person who just does – and doesn’t stop to think about it. Just get on and get it done.

When I did reflect I realised that maybe I could be considered highly functioning – what does that actually mean from a GP? When one asks Google, there are a lot of connections to Autism, Mental Health issues and disabilities. And I can tell you as a woman navigating her 50’s there’s been a splash or two of Menopausal anxiety issues and more (that’s a whole other story we might delve into one day for all my fellow PM’s) but also more positive connotations.

I at first took her comment as a positive, meaning I was just an over achiever, a doer, a busy person trying to juggle everything life throws at me.. and I could discuss with her with an educated view – but maybe there’s more to it? I’m happy to take it as a positive and use that to just keep ‘doing’.

Robert Walker wrote: Generally, high functioning is considered a good quality. If one is high functioning, one has a certain mental clarity that allows one to be productive. I don’t think “high functioning” has a negative connotation; however, “workaholic” or “over-achiever” are words that do. I agree that a person may be high functioning in a certain area of life and not in others. Of course, developed skills and experience have a lot to do with that.

and Ted Wrigley wrote: “High functioning” means precisely what it sounds like: that a person functions at a high level of competency. It has a special meaning in psychology, referring to individuals with some disability who function better in society than a typical person with that disability, but it can also point to an otherwise normal individual who is particularly competent, whether in general or at a specific occupation.

What it basically means in real life is that I do just too much! My brain doesnt stop – despite my body telling me I just can’t do anymore – and the ideas, the creativity, the drive and the passion just keeps producing a need to do more. Is it because I cannot say no? is it because I have imposter syndrome or feelings of failure still – not quite making it to that top step Im aiming for? Or is it my need to make a difference, or to continously learn and achieve? Or do I just want to have a crack at everything possible before it’s too late. Life is not eternal and we never know when the end is coming- I still have so much to do…

Whatever the answer – and I’m sure we all have an opinion – and possibly the same thoughts as me – I’ll just keep doing – while my brain keeps churning and my body keeps moving.

To give you a bit of an idea what it goes like though – here are a few of the things I do:

I’m a mum – to 3 beautifil girls and a puppy, Mr Bentley

Im a wife – of 30+ years to Shed guy.

Im a home maker – whilst my hubby may do the cooking and much of the cleaning I run the household business – and yes it is a business – there are budgets, bills, projections, planning, counselling, parenting and more to do.

Im a small business owner and entrepeneur: 3+ businesses actually – Hugs ‘n Kisses – my quilt design brand, Quarter Inch – my retal shopfront and cafe, QI Laser – our bespoke laser cutting business, then there’s my new surface pattern design business.

Im a manufacturer: We manufacture and distribute world wide our HNK applique paper and associated quilting products

Im a quilt pattern designer: Under my Hugs ‘n Kisses brand we have over 500 patterns, kits, projects and more. Ive also worked with thread companies, sewing machine companies and more with collaborations and collections.

Im a fabric designer: Ive licensed 7 lines with Red Rooster/P&B textiles and have a huge desire to do more!

Im an author: I have self published 4 books, published two with American Quilter’s society and Landauer Publishing, and been in several other compliations with Martingale publishing. Ive also commissioned dozens of projects in Quilting magazines across the globe.

Im a teacher: for 20 years I have been teaching quilting, applique, design and embroidery across the globe and more recently online.

Im an event manager: we organise and run retreats and sewing days across Tasmania and Australia. I also run charity events and programs to support several charities and am always happy to contribute to others charity events and programs.

And now I’m also attempting to be a succesful surface pattern designer!

And I guess that’s why, when I was falling apart in my Doctors rooms when my body was telling me to stop – that she made that comment!

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