There was a red flag wind warning or something today from the National Weather Service. Apparently, the winds plus the dry air made the conditions ripe for sudden pop-up wild fires. This is all I wished for while I say on the sidelines of two lacrosse games in the frozen, windy, winter hurricane tundra down the shore--a little pop up fire would maybe make me feel less frozen.
There was no fire; but somehow we made it and tomorrow is Monday!
Mondays have become, contrary to all former feelings and writings, one of my favorite days of week. I've done a good job this year of constructing some work-life-day balance for the first time since the lockdown in 2020. At that time, I had ramped up my working hours because my youngest child was finally in school full-time. Then, of course, no one was in school and the job market and economy seemed scary, so I had to work hard to keep my hours ensure I was invaluable. Then, out of fear, I added more client work, because I always have to have a few balls in the air. I found myself working more; even with the children needing me more, because we never left the house and there were not sports during the wintery spring or social events.
As a result, I basically had no work-life balance and by 2022. I was just spinning my wheels. I accomplished plenty and I think I served my clients well; but I wasn't operating at my highest levels. Plus, this year I had to reimagine my role at a company I've worked with forever in a variety of ways. And I decided that I was going to get on with it and apply to Johns Hopkins for graduate school (I got it! I cannot believe it!). All of these things forced my hand in 2023: I needed to make a change or risk losing everything I worked so hard for professionally!
And I did!
I did it by adjusting my constant list making habits to only create, reasonable lists that fit on a specifically small piece of paper. I did it by meditating often. I did it by saying no and carving out time to walk during the day. I did it by saying yes to my kids needs more often, instead of less. All of this has made me more efficient, less stressed and more focused. It's allowed me to take a day off working--like for real--while still billing the hours I committed to bill each week. It's taken discipline--which is not my favorite thing. But, it hasn't taken away from creative or whims--I just know that I carved out dedicated time to follow those whims.
I can say without humility and with full bad-ass annoying bragging, that last week, I was on fire. I delivered strategies and content. I showed up for my kids. I folded my laundry and I went away on a mini-break.
True, yesterday I had to take a 2 hour afternoon nap to recover; but friends I had the space to take a 2 hour nap.
There have been plenty of days I've had moments of overwhelm and other moments of feeling like I accomplished nothing. But the overall feeling of 2023 thus far has been much less manic and much more authentic to me.
It feels really good to be in this place.
So Mondays--the start of the week and my day to get organized in the morning, set my weekly schedule and goals and then to write all afternoon, until my kids come home. It is the start of something wonderful, always.