My new year has been off to a very busy start due to a large ad campaign I'm working on. My planning schedule is six Excel tabs and four supporting Word documents deep. The phone calls, emails, and confirmation memos have been flying. In total, I miraculously scheduled twenty physicians to have their photos taken in the span of five days. The biggest portion of my shoots wrapped up yesterday. Although I always love the rush of these big photo shoots, I earned the glass of wine and 30 minute bath I enjoyed at the end of the day.
The stress that I carry when I coordinate these campaigns is immense. I hadn't slept well for weeks before last night. My chest was tight, weighed down by the to do list that was around one hundred items strong in the beginning. My mind wouldn't shut off. I was putting the puzzle pieces of the campaign together, destroying the puzzle, and starting all over again.
The aforementioned stress spurred a really important moment for me - reaching my tipping point. I couldn't do everything. I just couldn't. Something had to give, just when I thought I had learned to master the to do lists that existed for both my personal and professional worlds. My daily routine at home was doing light housework, DIY projects, budgeting, cooking, etc. (I am becoming a real June Cleaver!) My daily routine at work was keeping on top of every detail, communicating and re-communicating, checking things off, moving projects forward, etc. I had a nice thing going. But sometime last week, I intentionally threw a wrench into my well oiled machine.
I had to give up "adulting" in at least one area of my life for a little bit. And because my professional life supports what I do in my personal life, I had to choose to be an adult at work. The wonderful thing about this decision was that at home, I could be anything I wanted. Do or not do anything I wanted. For me this meant staying in bed longer, no personal planner, no housework, minimal cooking. I am very lucky to have Joel who agreed to my making a conscious decision to postpone my responsibilities at home. And you know what? When I let go of some of the things that before I swore "had to be done," I felt so much lighter. And at the end of my shoots, Joel told me he couldn't even tell I was stressed. (That's big, because if anyone knows when I'm stressed, it's poor Joel!)
At certain points in our lives, some things just have to give. When those times come, we have to allow it to happen...and we can't feel bad about it. Intentionally making space in our lives when and where we need it is not weakness - it takes strength. And when we make these decisions for ourselves, to give up trying to "do it all" at all times, it makes us even stronger. Self care people, self care. If we don't take care of ourselves, we can't take care of anyone or anything else.
I plan to resume all regular adulting activities next week, but how nice it felt to let go of the reins for little bit!
Oh, and here's me on my last day of major shoots - happy to be running the shoots + happy it was the last day = genuine happiness!!