Getting Back On Track

Expect the unexpected

This is my first post after a bit of a reprieve. I’ve been sitting here for about 15 minutes, trying to think of what to write. I was 2 minutes away from shutting down the laptop and letting another day (or week) drift by, when it finally occurred to me. That’s what I should be writing about. Because that’s something we can all relate to, right? Trying to get back to some sort of normality, some sense of self, after life unexpectedly side-swipes you and drags you miles off course.

Expect the Unexpected

I loathe the expression ‘expect the unexpected’ because it’s so completely useless. While the intrinsic meaning is well-intentioned, it’s clearly not something that any of us can truly master. We can’t anticipate every possible event and circumstance, nor can we predict with any degree of reasonableness how we’ll react when the unexpected happens. Even if you think you know, you’re probably wrong.

As a solopreneur, it’s incredibly challenging to effectively manage time. Juggling sales, networking, marketing, and professional development, all while trying to ensure customers and clients receive the absolute best that you have to give, can be a recipe for a perfect storm. Keeping all of those balls in the air requires constant vigilance.

Then the unexpected happens.

Something you aren’t prepared for, and couldn’t have prepared for, not in any meaningful way, and you just have to cope.

There’s no magic button, no playbook, no step-by-step script to follow.

Reinventing Normal

I’ve always been a bit hyper-focused on time. Ironic, considering how much of it I seem to waste. One of my favorite things to do, in fact, is nothing. Not only do I enjoy doing nothing, but I excel at it. Lounging in a chair, staring up at the sky, watching the clouds float by. Yet I have so many things that I want to do, so many ideas that I want to test, so many new skills that I want to learn, that I always feel like I never have enough time to do it all. Which of course is true. None of us ever have the time we want, or need. So we prioritize, the best that we can, and more so, we muddle through. We establish our routines, constantly balancing too little time with too many tasks, and invariably end up sacrificing what we truly want on the altar of obligation.

When you experience a loss of someone close to you, I think your mind naturally drifts to thoughts of mortality and the countdown of a running clock. When you’re with someone at the moment of their death, thoughts that were previously abstract concepts, philosophizing best saved for a dreamy summer day, suddenly crystallize into something tangible. As if you could touch time itself.

And when that happens, when time becomes something you can viscerally feel, when it becomes that definitive and finite thing, you start to realize that perhaps watching the clouds float by on a bright sunny day isn’t time wasted at all.

Perhaps getting back on track isn’t about finding a way back to the normal you used to know.  Perhaps it’s about embracing a new normal, whatever that turns out to be.

 

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