I have found it increasingly ironic that in these past few weeks the reason I’ve been able to update my blog is due to a my own disorganization of time management. It is both humbling and, let’s be honest, slightly embarrassing to admit it, considering what I do for a living.
However, within the irony, I have been able to take comfort in knowing this has given me a unique look into the lives of my clients.
Over the past 10 years my life, for the most part, has been fairly status quo – there were a few job changes and a couple of moves, but never a whole lot at once and nothing I hadn’t been through before. Then 2010 hit and my life took off in all kinds of wonderful and crazy directions – new marriage, new house, new career, education upgrade – and, all of a sudden, I found that keeping up with housework, organizing the mail, doing the laundry, eating healthy and working out were no longer the second nature tasks I had once enjoyed. They were slowly eating away at my sanity as I tried to figure out how I was going to manage the once molehill-like tasks that had grown quickly into mountains.
During one particular task that focused on time management I suddenly realized that it’s really easy to stay and keep organized when life is structured and predictable. But when you find yourself in unfamiliar territory like welcoming a new baby or starting a new career, things can get awfully chaotic, awfully fast. And it’s because you haven’t had a chance to figure out where these new things fit that leaves in a constant state of panic.
In my case, the good news is that, eventually, the tornado slowed to a wind gust and the wind gust to a breeze and, in that time, I found a place to breathe, refocus and reset my priorities. And I let go of the notion that they’re going to be the same as before, as long as I was still giving myself the time I needed to take care of me. It’s easy to put ourselves and our needs at the bottom of the pile, but, if you do that, there’s only so long you can run on empty.
I am very grateful for the lesson this has taught me and for the opportunity it has given me to relate to my clients. To be able to say ‘I understand’, and truly mean it, is a gift.