Last week I really struggled with this. I had a client who had finally scheduled, after about a year of continuing to talk about getting organized. She told me, “I keep hearing you voice – nothing will happen until something happens.” (Yet another reason why you should always have a CMS in place – but that is another story).
We booked an entire day together. It didn’t even matter that I hadn’t seen her home. We had built a trust — via phone and email — and she was allowing me in to help her get organized.
Then came 4 a.m. Sunday morning. My gut woke me up with the feeling that something was wrong. I left the bedroom to find my husband in the living room doubled over in stomach pain. Of course, it took another four hours before he decided that it was time to go to the hospital — but I knew it was coming.
So, within those four hours I decided to do laundry, dishes, housework and whatever else I could do to keep myself busy, because sitting there looking at him was not making his pain go away.
Then…off to the hospital for four procedures and two surgeries. Six days later he came home.
I started to become selfish. How (and more than that…why) did this happen right now? I had a client on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and had a class already booked Thursday through Saturday. How in the *$LL was I going to pull this off?
I decided to step back and remove myself and my attitude from the situation. This was not about what I would be missing out on or how it would affect my business. I was frustrated because:
1. I didn’t plan to have to go to the ER.
2. It was a Sunday and I would miss church.
3. I actually felt like “here we go again” – that is a long story about his past illness.
4. I was too busy for this right now!
5. How long would this last?
Most of all, I kept thinking, “Really! I don’t have the energy for this right now. I have a training scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. This had better work out in the next five hours.”
After my (much too long) pity party, I got it all worked out and my partner taught the class, my oldest daughter took our little girl for us, so we didn’t have a six-year-old asking questions and seeing her daddy in pain, my son brought my laptop to me and took care of wrapping up some other things. And, all was good. Both clients rescheduled, my husband was finally stable enough for me to leave him on Thursday to go to training, my daughter gave him a ride home from the hospital on Friday, and he is alive.
Of course, that is the short version of the week. The week also had a lot of frustration and a lack of sleep.
Every day we have to make the decision to put first things first. What is the most important thing to do each and every day? Even a well-defined To Do List may get tossed to the wind when an emergency comes along. Off course, emergencies are never planned — or they wouldn’t be emergencies.
When the unexpected happens, stay calm. Think about what is really important. It’s quite all right to allow yourself to have a pity party! I really did have a meltdown on Wednesday morning. My oldest daughter sent me the picture I’ve share with this article. It helps me get through a meltdown and move on.
My take-away from last week:
1. Put first things first.
2. Have people in place who you can call to step in and become “you” in an emergency.
3. Allow yourself to have a meltdown. It’s much better than continuing to allow frustration, anxiety and stress to build.
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