I’ve heard so many people being hard on themselves for not getting further along with their goals by a certain made-up date. Actually, it’s been mostly women who express this worry.
So much to do and not enough progress! Sound familiar?
Yes, I’m one of those people with the “never fast enough” syndrome. There’s all those to-do items staring at me. There sits one more blog draft or workshop draft that hangs in limbo for months and months. My ego thinks I must finish everything in order to be a good person.
So, let’s rethink this.
Those yard sticks we create for ourselves don’t seem to line up with real life — like when your child is falling behind in school, or you’re worried about a loved one’s drinking, or you’re not sleeping well, or all those things at once! Yikes. How are we supposed to run a business or a life in the midst of all that!?
Then there’s those “little” interruptions, like that noisy construction outside, or that neck pain I try to ignore while hunched over the computer a bit too long.
And what about when the beach is calling you on that first warm sunny day in so long? Or your cat reaching out a paw for attention, with that cute little face! Those beautiful interruptions are calling too.
How Does It All Fit In?
Where is work supposed to fit in between those sometimes pesky and sometimes beautiful interruptions? Are successful people free of real life distractions?
If I were to map my business on a timeline and mark all the other things in my life that went on at the same time, I think I might see what a miracle it is that I have a business at all. Things have been working out well enough even if I didn’t do everything on my to-do list. Interesting.
And yet the cop in my head is a broken record saying I’m not doing enough. The truth is that not doing that next thing is usually the healthy path for me. But I have so many ideas, and everyone else is launching great stuff…. Argh.
Hold on. The life I truly want has breathing room! (Ah, breathing. In. Out. That’s nice.)
The good life for me has room for naps, good books, beaches, and time to just be in the present moment with my kitty on my lap whose purrs say “be here in this moment.” She is my role model. I’m finally (hopefully!) letting in her wisdom more and more.
My Cat Has Been My Best Teacher.
Seriously, my cat has been my best teacher. She takes luxurious naps. She takes time to stretch, bathe, chase a toy, watch the birds, and take that important daily tour of the house. She lets me know what she needs and she usually gets it. It’s a good life. Watching her and listening to her purr brings me down to size.
When it recently became clear that our time together had only a few weeks left, I put away almost everything else and paid even closer attention to her, drinking in those purrs, her present moment wisdom, and taking care of her comfort needs as she declined. Our last chapter together on this plane was one of those life-changing beautiful interruptions.
I can’t tell you how valuable it has been to stop and take time for those “interrupting” gifts in my life. If I could change one thing in my life, it would be to allow more “interruptions.”
I’m lucky that I already had many good systems in place for my business so that I could fairly easily take time out during our kitty hospice time. And I just let some things wait. It’s OK.
If you’re not in a trusting place with your work yet, I know it’s not easy to slow down. But slowing down works better than trying to ignore those other callings. They take up space in your head whether you slow down or not. Plus life is richer when you consciously honor the whole pie.
Those ideas and to-do items will still be there even if you tend to something else right now. Turns out the business task list can wait. Even allowing a little debt has been worth it to me sometimes.
Slower Is Actually a Better Business Plan.
The “fast” way to success is usually a lie. What is success without a balanced life anyway?
Let’s say no to that pressured timeline as best we can. Will you join me in setting that intention?
I’m so lucky that my cat continues to teach me to slow down, all the way from kitty heaven, because I did stop to breathe in those lessons. Her purrs resound clearly in my heart, right now, ringing the reminder bell to enjoy this moment. I need that reminder every day.