“Go easy. You’re a human doing human shit,” Robin Plemmons. On Friday, I had a plan. We all know things turn out when we have a plan, right? Yeah…not so much. I planned on getting to work a bit earlier and finish out the day with my leadership team, go grocery shopping, work on my writing, get to bed, have my husband and son go fishing in the morning so I could work, go to a friend’s kids’ birthday party, and enjoy the weekend. So what happened: My son woke up with a reflux attack so we ended up running late. As soon as I dropped my son off, I got a call out from one of my departments. Throughout the day there were multiple issues that required attention. Then a surprise assignment came from my boss—something we started a few weeks ago and I spent about an hour on it to be told that the project really wasn’t for us. An old issue came up that another employee needed resolution on at the same time. When I got home, my son sounded ok and within 30 minutes he started sneezing like crazy…and now he’s got a cold.
My frustration was palpable because I have been emotionally drained, I haven’t been sleeping well, and I really got my hopes up to have some time to decompress and work through my thoughts. As childish as it sounded, I really just wanted some time to myself. Plus I know I really need to focus on some planning that I can make tangible and execute, so losing that time immediately sent me into a spiral. And then it hit me: ok, you’re talking about shifting anyway, you’re trying to plan a shift, and here is an opportunity. The whole day has been about shifting—and it all got done anyway.
Life isn’t about being rigid and meeting expectation after expectation. It’s about adapting and flexing and working with life. This is another reminder to stop trying to do ALL the things at once and stop trying to jam so much in. All things get done in their time. The lesson isn’t trying to do more, it’s trying to do more with grace and ease. Gentleness for our humanity. No one can be everything. But we can all be the best at what we are.
For those of us that are type A and really driven, it’s hard to recognize our limits. And it’s hard to acknowledge and “give in” to them. Whether it is piling on the to-do list, or setting really ambitious goals, we have the optimism that we can do it all. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing but the pressure we put on ourselves to accomplish and do and check things off the list leaves us depleted. We have to remember to leave room for all of our human-ness. We are all doing our best. And there are certainly times when being human takes precedence. When we get sick or when our kids get sick, it’s often a reminder to slow down. Nurture ourselves and our family. Taking time to take care of ourselves and the ones we love becomes number one. We need reminders to slow down. Granted they aren’t convenient, but we have to remember to take care and be proud of the progress we’ve made.
So while I wasn’t able to make exactly what I planned, it was a reminder to slow down and really process what was happening around me. I had been asking for time to examine what I’m really driving for and what I really need to focus on—and maybe this was the way to do it. It was a reminder to focus on the physical and not on the cerebral. Sometimes the answers are found right in front of our face and not in our minds—it’s learning to discern what you really need. Give space for what you really need. It will all come together as you need it.