10 Aug From Hiatus to Happiness – Managing Yourself in a Busy Time
It feels like a long time since I wrote a blog. I last wrote 13 April, 17 weeks ago today. I parked my writing to make mental room for the large project I was knee deep in.
It was a very good decision to allow myself that break for two reasons.
One – I needed to give myself enough space to be as effective as possible as we moved into executing the project.
With time critical projects we need as much mental space as possible to maintain a solution savvy perspective. If I had spread myself too thin across multiple clients and multiple tasks I would have inevitably proved to be less effective. And as luck, or maybe as ‘un-luck’ would have it, I was faced with some very serious delivery issues on the part of our prime supplier. I needed my A game to battle their crumbling delivery.
Competing tasks would not have helped me in the midst of this project execution. I needed the ability to focus and not worry about letting other people down by supplying substandard material or not keeping my commitments. Let’s face it, its better to take a hiatus than to submit poor work. But, and this is an important but, we also need to ensure that the hiatus itself does not put our clients, family or other commitments in a position of risk. We need to be honourable enough to provide them with the right amount of time to work around our unavailability, or we risk our reputation and our return.
Two – I missed it, I missed writing. I missed hearing from people who read my writing and I missed the cathartic gems my writing affords me.
How can you miss something that you do all the time? Short answer is; you can’t. Just like summertime in the prairies, we love it, relish it, and devour it with long days outside, lake time and backyard fires with friends, because it is finite. We know it will end. And knowing it will end creates a fever in us to wring every last drop of enjoyment from it.
When faced with a challenge that is also encased in a timeline, for example, three weeks, I say ‘I can do anything for three weeks.’ I say that because it helps me frame it in my brain; frame it so that I understand the stamina I need as well as, find the light at the end of tunnel, or project, or season. I can survive winter because I know spring will come, and spring brings summer. I can survive a crazy project because I know execution will come, and execution brings closure, and closure brings rest.
Last night my husband said ‘all good things come to an end’, so I queried him as to why he thought that was, he didn’t really have an answer. Neither did I, in fact I don’t think I had ever really pondered that statement. Why do good things come to an end? Which made me consider, that bad things also, come to an end. But we don’t wonder why bad things come to an end, rather we question when will the bad things come to an end? We want to know why the good ends and why the bad stays so long, which makes perfect sense because we want to know if the good will return and also, how long we need to endure the bad.
The ‘this too shall pass’ mentality affords us the same brain perspective my ‘I can do anything for three weeks” does. It is a coping strategy that I developed while experiencing challenging circumstances. Interesting to note – writing is also a coping mechanism for me, so giving it up reduced my strategies for maintaining balance. So ultimately, putting me at some risk. But in the same breath, the hiatus from blogging was a coping strategy to reduce my task list in a busy time. By giving up one coping strategy I created another where I was able to make proper space; to do the kind of work I want to do, in the way I want to do it, with less demands and less expectations, and therefore, less stress.
My goal was to make room emotionally, mentally and physically for the demand I was approaching. I succeeded, and I learned that by admitting my limitations I ultimately took better care of myself. A win-win I’d say.
I’m happy to be back. Stay tuned, I’ve got a lot to share in the coming weeks.