Let’s talk about happy. I want to talk about happy. I want to talk about how, over the last most-of-a-month I have thought to myself, “Wow! I’m really happy.” And I’ve sat down to share that happiness right here several times, only getting half way through a blog post here and there. I never quite got anything out because I chose, instead, to share that happiness with my Stark. We’ve done so much together lately. We have a pretty solid routine added to our already very solid routine. Imagine that.
On top of our weekly brunch, coffee, and crossword puzzle, we’ve had weekly foodie adventures. We’ve taken walks here or there, often. We’ve hiked and explored. And we align our gym routines on the weekends. But, it’s more than that. We’ve been going to the gym together on the weekends for months now. It’s only these last few weeks that we’ve put our streaming Netflix and Amazon shows aside and stopped listening through Audible books because we’ve had endless amounts of things to say to each other.
We’ve talked and talked and talked. And it doesn’t just stop there. We have breakfast, we have coffee, we walk-and-talk at the gym, and then we walk-and-talk throughout the neighborhood. These weekend adventures have come to be very important to me. In many ways, these routines are half the reason I can push as hard as I do during the week sometimes.
So, I want to talk about that.
I want to talk about the happiness of feeling balanced, content, successful, and challenged all at once. I was planning to come in here and talk about habits vs. routines and how establishing strong habits is 100% the reason why I can “do it all.”
I wanted to talk about celebrations; about how after so much struggle and with the completely unconditional help of Stark and his dad, I finally have a fully operational business – all bells and whistles working and lacking only a little bit of polish.
I wanted to talk about growth; about how I’ve been reading a book on leadership through emotional intelligence and I’ve been (ironically and unplanned) reading a book about habits. I wanted to talk about how I’ve finished reading almost a dozen books already this year which is more books than I’ve read since I was a child. I wanted to talk about how I’ve been studying 6-10 hours a week for a technical certification test that I’m taking the day before I leave for Hong Kong and Europe. What a way to feel completely successful and instantly relaxed in time for an amazing adventure with my love and my friends!
I wanted to talk about how motivating it has been to push myself with seven days a week at the gym; how I’m healthier and stronger than I’ve been in over six years. I have muscles I didn’t think could exist in an over-30 body anymore, and I am proud of them. Without focusing on weight, I’ve still managed to lose over nine pounds. It isn’t a diet, it’s a transformation. I needed that transformation.
Overall, it’s good to have that feeling of capability and that feeling that I can get back to where I used to be. Sometimes life gets crazy. What am I saying… life is crazy! Those feelings of life-drunken happiness will always be met by stresses, and in this particular moment I am doing terribly at dealing with the crossroads of “one thing after another.” No one thing is bad or upsetting. It’s just one of those, “everything” type of feelings that you can’t truly define. But, there’s always the positive side.
On one side, I can devour myself in stress that I have only two weeks before my test and only two weeks to roll out this gigantic year-long project in time for it to find its way while I am out of town. THAT attitude alone will do me in. The truth of it is, I have only two weeks until I’ve pushed through two gigantic weights that have been on my shoulders for the last 12 months! In only two weeks I will not only be fully relieved of having completed a very successful marketing automation roll out, but I will also have a technical cert to flaunt for those efforts.
I guess what gets to me more than anything is always the unforeseen. Being successful in any regard does not mean that you’re perfect. In fact, perfection robs so many of truly being successful. Because perfection implies that you’ve found a point of satisfaction. Perfection can move right up alongside stagnation and live happy ever after just like being driven can lead you to the never ending hamster wheel of anxiety death. There’s a fine line with everything.
Unforeseen tasks, project, conversations, meetings, issues, traffic, sick days, internet issues, or the time it takes to actually get through something you didn’t expect to take so long – those are the things that feel like they’re pounding me into the ground right now. But, why? Why do I do this to myself? Why does anyone melt in fear of these things?
I know for me, I am extremely focused. I know what I have to do and I have everything in life un-purposefully yet still strategically laid out in order to “get there.” I have enough unforeseen issues that happen in my own life due to my own shift in schedule or energy that when it is crunch time, something as little as an unexpected phone call feels like it sends me reeling. Yet, it isn’t the call itself. It’s everything about it. It’s the break in mental focus that feels like a boulder dropped dead in the middle of my momentum. Even more so, it’s the fear of what’s on the other end of that call or meeting. There’s nothing like a meeting to give you a week’s worth of work you didn’t plan for. So often, meetings create far more work than solved-problems. The anxiety of staying awake or waking up at crazy hours to meet with International teams is stressful enough, but the weight of now knowing that I have to pave the way for a contingency plan of spent effort is what drives me a little crazy sometimes.
Yet, this is life. So, I am harder on myself for it.
I am not unique or special for feeling this way. It is not because I have any unique problem that others don’t have or some inability to deal in any way that others feel any more or less capable in dealing with similar issues. This is life. This is business. There’s no use complaining about it, which I know, but what I am learning more and more is that there’s really no use in trying to define it so that I can fix it. To fix doesn’t mean to dissect it. To fix it means to just get the hell through it in every moment, every day!
I think the most crippling part of life is the expectation we put on ourselves. I think, like all things, I allot myself a certain amount of time to process and get over things. So… I chose to work until after 3am just to get up and have a meeting, work, study, go to the gym, study, and work some more all over again. I chose to have a very repetitious life in order to be more successful with my time. And I’m not the only person who can’t sleep at night.
I’m not the only person that works til 3am and then needs to prepare themselves for an unplanned meeting at 7am later in the week. I’m not the only person rolling out a major project at the same time that team members decide to stop performing, quit, or go on vacation. I am a person, however, that can learn from this.
I can learn the all-too-important lesson of trust, delegation, and lack of control in business, leadership, and management. I don’t have to push my capabilities in order to manage expectations of others. I don’t have to kill my budget in order to get to the end of a project. This is a learning point. Like all great things in life, the moment just before the unbelievable break through is the darkest and the hardest. It’s hard to know I’ve been so happy with everything in my life lately and not completely do myself in with guilt that in this moment and for the last few days, I have been wicked overwhelmed by shadows of misplaced anxieties.
This too shall pass, or so they say. And after this passes will come another. You can’t be someone that pushes as hard as I do to grow and expand without running into these dark hours time and time again. But that’s just the thing about silver linings – it’s more important to realize that the only reason I go through such hell-bent moments over-and-over again so rapidly is simply because I’m breaking down barriers at a rocket pace.
Per aspera ad astra.