You’re not “just tired”. There’s always something else.

24 series blank time

24 series blank timeSome days, or parts of days, you’re just not productive.

You’re not targeting your goals or firing on all cylinders or crushing it. You’re not reading impactful books or watching helpful documentaries. You’re not going to the gym or cooking a healthy meal or having insightful conversations. 

You’re just…tired. 

Or are you? 

Are you ever “just tired”? 

Have you ever noticed how it’s so, so much easier to say “I’m just tired” as your reason for things not being right? 

You’ve snapped at someone, or fallen apart crying, or tripped over something in the kitchen (for the eighth time), or you have an errand to run and then decided to do a few other things and realised ten minutes down the road you forgot the one thing you needed most….

And someone says “are you okay?” and you say “oh, I’m just tired”. 

You’re not though. 

You’ve had a difficult conversation with someone you care about (or with someone you’re struggling to care about). Or you’ve had ten conversations like that in a row. One of your clients has decided to leave (or several of them) and you’re trying to figure out what you and your business can do better. A team member has some personal issues and you are trying to help them. A family member is unwell. You have health issues of your own that have flared up (again). The boiler has broken (again). 

And on, and on, and on. 

You’re worried. Anxious. Angry. Frustrated. Sad. Discouraged. Confused. Lost. 

AND you’re tired, because all of these feelings are making you tired

I really am not sure what the answer is on those days. Do you open up to a friend? Go for a walk or go to the gym? Drink more coffee? Spend time in prayer or meditation? Take a nap? Read an easy book, not a motivating inspiring one? Watch half a season of 24? 

What I’m thinking is, all of those things are an option. 

I’m not saying they are always the best option. Sometimes the last thing in the world you need is one of those things. If you’ve been talking constantly and having lots of meetings and you’re clean worn out, going for coffee with a friend may not help at that point. Conversely if you’re stuck in your own head and can’t think straight, watching more Netflix may only make it worse. 

But you don’t have to always pick the inspiring motivating thing. 

Sometimes you need the nothing thing. The blank thing. The “I’m just stopping for a little while” thing. 

That was me on Monday. I mentioned on my Instagram story I’ve had some fairly major boundary-setting in personal and business situations recently. I am so grateful for the opportunity to deal with those things and be really clear about what is okay and not okay, what works and doesn’t work, what I’m committed to and not. 

It’s been both amazing and hard….and on Monday it all seemed to pile on me, and I just felt limp. 

Part of my mind knew going for a walk could be the best thing. Or running some errands and getting little things done ive been meaning to do for a while. Or creating content or working on some PF systems. Or sketchnoting. 

I ended up watching half of season 5 of the series 24. 

Now, this is hardly new to me. I’ve watched all 9 seasons of 24 … probably twice. Maybe three times. (For any high level judging of me, I will defend with the fact that back when I had an auto immune illness and it was particularly severe, tv series were absolutely my friend. I’m not saying that’s only when I watched lots of 24, but… it’s something.)

And I got to thinking about it on Monday night. I felt rather like I’d wasted my Monday, hadn’t powered through, didn’t go for a walk, wasn’t achieving. …Even though Mondays are my no-expectation days, and that’s the whole point of Mondays is to do whatever I have energy for that day (or don’t). 

I didn’t really ‘rest’, either. True rest is not the blank entertainment of Netflix or Prime (it doesn’t blank you out – it heals you and restores you). 

So… did I waste my Monday? Would it have been better if I went for a walk? Would I have gotten great content written if I tried to create that? 

I don’t know. What I do know is, sometimes when you’re “just tired”, there are a lot of options. And as long as you don’t let it take over your life – as long as you’re not choosing the tv series or the fiction novel or the video games as your default to avoid hard things in life – it might be an option just for that day. 

On Tuesday morning, after not having slept well at all (probably a result of too many things I ate with sweeteners, and staying up late watching 24), I got up and went out for a walk. 

I didn’t feel like it – I felt tired – but I also knew I’d had my blank time, and now I needed to step up again. This kind of tired was the result of my choices the day before.

So I went for a walk. And held the PF team meeting. And held the client meeting we had almost rearranged. And had a healthy Hello Fresh meal. And worked with the team. And had a few conversations and sent a few hard emails and set boundaries and pressed on. 

What i’d love to hear from you today is…

What’s your ‘blank time’ thing? What do you do when you want to be all motivated but it’s just not happening that day, and it’s okay? 

To sign up for #karensnotes every Saturday, fill in the form here.

Follow me


Popped into a fave local coffee shop in York this week and this was the mug they gave me. ❤️✨

Wasn’t feeling so superwomanny when I got it - this week was very full, plus period cramps and multiple migraines and my ankle being wonky and more travel than I’ve done in a while. I had intended to get coffee but the cramps were so bad I had to go for mint tea and just sit until they faded enough for me to walk again. 

At the same time, I also had an amazing time during this week with the @weare_pf Board meeting in person for the first time. Getting to know each other better as humans and sharing ideas and making plans and most of all appreciating that the weight of all the business decisions doesn’t rest solely on my shoulders. 

This is just one of your reminders that being a superwoman looks different at different times, and whether you’re striding along strongly or sitting weakly with mint tea, your superwoman status still applies. 

#justkeepgoing #superwoman #muglife #wegotthis #onedayatatime
Every single time I go sailing past this lighthouse on the mull-to-Oban ferry I think “this time I’ll just watch it and not take any pictures” 

And then something wild happens like A SAILBOAT GOES BY and of course I have to capture that, surely I haven’t taken that photo before (spoiler: I have), and then I have about seventeen lighthouse photos to add to my collection of seven thousand lighthouse photos from the last twenty years. 

But, I figure, what’s the harm anyway. It’s my photos and my memories and it brings me joy. I love the lighthouse as a visual of my journey from the mainland to the island (or a reminder I’ll be back soon). 

So, see you soon lighthouse. Thanks for standing there. 

#lismorelighthouse #eileanmusdile #lighthouse #lighthousesofinstagram #oban #ferry #calmac #isleofmull #sailaway #sailboat #scotland #travelscotland
I read. A lot. My list of “books to read” has over 100 titles listed, and every time I mention a book I’ve appreciated, I get another recommendation of a new one and the list gets longer. 

One of the books recommended to me years ago was “The Buddha in Me the Buddha in You”. She mentioned it had some helpful principles about how we navigate life - and whether you’re a buddhist or not, there are principles you can learn from and apply in life.

I wrote it down, forgot about it, and moved on with life. Read lots of other books.

And then when I broke my ankle, and was sitting and resting a LOT, with loads of time for reading, I went back to my list and started reconsidering some of the titles on it.

When I looked up “The Buddha in Me the Buddha in You”, the subtitle was “A Handbook for Happiness”, and that struck me.

Dealing with an injury is difficult. Sad. Wearying. It can be hard to find happiness and every day feels about the same. (Very Groundhog Day.)

So I bought the book, and put it by my bed. I started getting into a pattern of reading a chapter every morning with my coffee.

I thought I’d share some of the principles I appreciated and which are already helping me as I continue to navigate my life right now: 

[the full post on these is too long for an Insta post so click the link in bio or story if u want to read more!]

Thank the spoon - a spoon stirs up the mud in what had appeared to be clear water. Same with life: hard things stir up what you haven’t dealt with yet. So you thank them. “Thank you, spoon”

The Fundamental darkness (FD) - the “Survival Obsessed Self” who responds in a way based on survival but not growth

There’s a gift in the struggle - He describes it visually as “the lotus flower in the muddy pond”. You can focus on the mud, or on the flower, but they’re both there.

Nam - myo - ho - renge - kyo : The happiness soundtrack - I pulled out the core concepts of each of these words as they applied to me, and they are: 

Bloom in the struggle
Flow of life

#karensnotes #buddhainmebuddhainyou #books #reading #happysaturday 

[full note link in bio!]
The snow is swirling the wind is howling IT’S FROZEN OUT THERE 
#snowing #happyspringeveryone #inlikealion