It’s September and I have no idea if my kid has bussing to school or if he’s supposed to take public transit, or if he even has a locker (I think he had to sign up for that… somewhere). Every fibre of my being is railing against having to make lunches everyday (or nagging my kid to make them) and my work calendar has returned to its normal jam-packed status (both blessing and curse).
I’m sitting here grieving the loss of my less complicated summer life, and looking to see if I can afford to retire (not a hope, it’s a nice idea …and a great way to procrastinate). I’ve got “working life whiplash” as I emerge from the last leisurely long weekend of the summer and onto the adulting super-highway that we call “September”.
Welcome to the busy season! It’s right there, alongside the pumpkin spice everything and memes about how to change your life with the season. My mental chatter is abhorrent. I’m kicking myself for not having my stuff together and worried my kid will have a bad first week at school (what with no locker, no lunch and no clear way to get there…). I’m lamenting the permissiveness of my calendar that has me booked so beautifully and fully and asking myself what I was thinking (seemed like a good idea in August…).
I’m not being kind to myself at all in this moment, when a summer purchase catches my eye – I bought myself a set of sweary affirmation cards (I love irreverence) - the top one says “Not loving myself is total bulsh*t”.
I couldn’t agree more. Time to get real.
Busy season for me is risky because it puts me square in the path of hyper-focus – actually it’s more rabbit hole then path - and down I go like Alice in Hustle-land. So, deep breath for me, because this is where I change the narrative, and shift to keep a work life I can love in place (albeit one that’s different then my summer schedule). A very big part of me recognizes the irony in this, since I do truly believe that it doesn’t have to be like this AND I’m the only one who can make my working life sustainable, liveable and loveable. Practice what I preach.
Starting with kiddo. I need to remember that he’s a responsible, resilient, wonderful teenager who is more than capable of figuring out the whole locker situation with no parental guidance. He’s on it. He can also go buy a slice of pizza for lunch if he’d rather not make one. My husband is there to help carry this load, figuring out the whole transit thing, or being a chauffeur until the bus fog lifts.
Work is jammed packed, and I made a conscious choice to have it that way for specific and good reasons. I remind myself that if it is too demanding, I can reschedule bits here and there without letting anyone down (and there will be some natural give in my calendar when the inevitable re-schedules start appearing because, like me, others were a tad optimistic about their September availability).
I pull myself back from the over-identification with getting it ALL done and lean into the good that’s already here. I’m raising a soon-to-be adult, not a kid, and that investment is paying dividends (and building confidence in my teen). My husband has always been there for me, happily picking up whatever I lay down (and feeding my coffee addiction to boot – the Luke to my Lorelei). I am the boss of me by design, which means I can change my mind and adjust my calendar to ensure I give every one of my clients my absolute best without depleting myself.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE AN ENTREPRENEUR TO HAVE THIS FLEXIBILITY AT WORK. What is needed is an understanding of what hyper-focus looks like for you, and the impacts that has on yourself and others. That’s right, if it’s not good for you it’s also impacting someone else in a not good way too. Like being short with your staff or peers at work because you’re over-booked. Or working late hours that keep you from your family despite your summer commitment to stop doing that. Hyper-focus.
Yes, it’s the busy season but each of us can choose to make it sustainable for our well-being because not loving yourself IS total bullsh*t, and part of loving yourself is creating (and re-committing to having) a work life you can love. Let’s do this!
Working with Carleen I cultivated the ability to have compassion for myself, and learned to better appreciate myself, as well as the others around me. I am so grateful for our time together."