My husband lives much more by the Buddhist path of moderation than I do. As a hopeless romantic I tend to get caught up in the Hollywood sway of THE STORY and often attach meaning to things instead of accepting them as simply as they are. He lives much more in the middle, I live much more to the end extremes, the highs and lows, the drama.
For example, on days like New Year’s that we as society have heightened. Instead of this day being just a typical 24 hour cycle of the sun — this day has a special title, a countdown, special hats, horns and even numeric glasses worn in photos forever making their claim on the moment in time.
As much as I wish I didn’t, by nature, I buy into all of this— build it up in my head, rush in the planning, get carried away by the expectations of it all.
TJ reminds me often on these types of holidays that- It is just a day. Another 24 hours of opportunity to love and adventure. Just a day — regardless of all the attached symbolism and heightened value that we are sold. He glides through these holidays just enjoying them, savoring the moments, and approaching them with no more stress than any other day.
This was comforting to me on Friday as I scrambled on the last business day of the year to try and cram as much project completion as I could to launch myself into 2017.
I’m rebranding and refocusing my consulting business and that involves quite a few moving parts. While I have slowly been at this for months, amidst my new lifestyle with more time and focus on things like naps, yoga sessions and time with loved ones– it has left me with quite a lot left to do on my list.
On Friday, as we prepared to leave town for our New Year’s eve family retreat, I was forced to face the music that things are definitely not yet where I want them to be. As I stared at my project board— I started to regress into cram mode and trying to figure out how I could get it all done by Jan. 1 for some totally non-existent balloons and confetti release party.
And then TJs voice came into my head saying calmly: “Just a day.”
I realized then that because of the calm of my pace that I have been working at the actual quality of the work I’ve been doing is far superior to anything I have done in the past few years. I reviewed the vision plan and realized it was for one of the first times in my life a realistic series of goals and benchmarks instead of an automatic firing of creative responsibilities to kill myself trying live up to or make happen.
This time my work is well thought out far more than ever before.
It is Clear. Valuable. Intentional. It’s something to be really proud of.
No it won’t be ready on Jan.1. TODAY. But it will be no less awesome on Jan.15 or even Jan. 30 if that’s when it is ready.
As a consultant and my own boss I have no external deadline of Jan.1, this date was completely self-imposed and based on silly outward social norms that 1/1 is any more meaningful than 1/2 or 1/17.
So I am letting go of the pressure to throw it out on any specific day, or even in one big chunk. Instead I am going to celebrate and relish in the creative process of building something in a state of peace and calm that is 100% all me.
I’m smiling knowing that the extra time has allowed space for gathering more input. I’ve enjoyed collaborating with a friend in Italy on some of it and in what can best be described as “happy storms” we banter ideas and hyperlinks and images back and forth across miles and timezones.
This morning before James woke up I sat next to him in bed listening to some spoken word poetry and drinking tea. Every few minutes when they came to me I would scribble down podcast topics but didn’t sit and try to come up with them all at one time.
It’s kind of exciting to think that rather than having to rush for some big bang all at once moment…. That I will be able to ease into the new year of business with several fun project pieces to release over time and without stress and with just the right timing. I liken the feeling to be the difference between pizza delivery for dinner and preparing a multi-course meal with carefully selected ingredients and dishes timed to delight.
I’m also finding that by not forcing concepts to happen — things are evolving more naturally and the AHA moments of it all coming together are a feeling of magic.
So if you are finding yourself unhappy today because your plans are not yet fully baked for the New Year…. just remember that it is just a day.