Last Wednesday I twisted my ankle jumping off a chair. I wish I could say it was a bar stool and blame alcohol, but it was simply a tall chair and there is nothing and no one to blame except Jim and Jan who gave me these super-short legs. (At least they bequest me a tall personality.)
I was at a conference at Cobo Hall, in heels and a good mile away from my parked car at the time. I hobbled to my car, drove across town and then spent the evening on my feet, teaching a class - though I did so in bare feet.
Thursday I was speaking at another conference. I knew my ankle was kind of sore, so I wore kitten heels because one doesn’t show up to speak at a conference in sensible shoes. (I totally could have worn sensible shoes).
By Friday I was still a little uncomfortable, so I threw on tennis shoes before heading to TechTown for the Masterminds group, then Troy for an appointment, then to the SheHive for Toast2U. I threw the same tennis shoes on Saturday morning as I headed back to the SheHive to set up for the Michigan Breasties Meetup.
About an hour into the Breasties event, one of our facilitators, Cara, joined us to lead the group in a short, guided meditation. It was the first time in days I had been quiet and still. And in the stillness it finally dawned on me that both feet hurt like hell… as did my knees and my hips. I could only surmise that I had been walking “funny” for days to compensate for the injury. I sent my breath to my joints throughout the entire meditation and, by the time it was done ten minutes later, dismissed the pain and went about the rest of the afternoon on my feet.
I got home about 4:00 that afternoon for a quick visit to let the dogs out before heading back out to join the Mister and our neighbors at an event I am not going to publicly own up to buying tickets for because I still swear I didn’t agree to buying them (fine - it was the PBA Finals in Allen Park). I sat down in my recliner while I waited for the dogs to do their dog-ly duty outside, kicked up the foot rest and propped up my feet. It was only then that I noticed… my right ankle was twice the size of my left.
I was horrified. How long had it been like that? And why the hell hadn’t I noticed?
I’ll tell you why… because I had packed my schedule so full that I hadn’t allowed myself any time to contemplate anything other than the next thing on the schedule for days on end. The next presentation that had to be given, the next handouts that had to be printed, the next client that had to be tended to, the next location I had to drive to… I didn’t exist anywhere in that schedule other than I had to be places and do things because I had beholden myself to everyone else but myself.
I skipped the PBA finals and planted my butt in that recliner for the rest of the night - ice pack on my ankle and an Aaron Sorkin marathon on Amazon Prime Video. It was glorious.
I wish I could tell you last week was an anomaly, but it wasn’t. I pack my schedule a lot to avoid things I don’t want to deal with - things that scare me, feelings that scare me and, sometimes apparently, physical pain. Thing is, the scary stuff never goes away. You never start healing until you start feeling.
Are you packing your life with “stuff” as a means to avoid the scary things? Shoot me an email or drop a comment below and share your story with others. Let’s figure a better path together!
With much love and gratitude,
Last night I spent fifteen minutes walking in a circle around my house looking for my phone - kitchen to dining room to living room to bathroom to office - wash, rinse, repeat. I made the circle at least a half-dozen times before I finally found the phone next to the printer in my office. I have no clue why it was there - I don’t even remember going into my office when I got home, but apparently I must have.
I’ve repeated this exercise at least once a day for the past week - with my keys, with my computer cord, with Fletcher - my middle fur baby (in my defense, he is in his teenage “sulky” years and hides a lot).
I swear I’m not losing my mind. I’m simply exhausted. I have overcommitted myself in every possible way these past five weeks. So much so that I have started referring to April and May as a singular time - Silly Season.
Case in point, yesterday I woke up at 5 am to complete notes and a report for a client whose Board retreat I had facilitated on Saturday. By 9:30 am I was at Cobo Hall where I met with attendees from the Urban Land Institute’s spring meeting every half hour, for seven hours straight, to help them create personal branding statements for the organization’s new directory. By 5 pm I was in Ferndale to teach the weekly small business planning class I facilitate for the Build Institute. By 9:30 pm I was home and was trying to spend an hour catching up on emails, but was spending the time looking for my errant phone instead. Today I’ve been up since 6 am trying to catch up on those emails, write this newsletter, run to the SheHive for our midday Masterminds before driving to Plymouth to speak at a conference before running back to the SheHive for our evening Masterminds session…
It’s all great, and fascinating, and FUN work - I’m loving every single moment of it. But, still… it’s all work. I have errantly made the choice to stack EVERYTHING on top of EVERYTHING except for down time, family time and time to be still and think.
Too much of a good thing is still too much.
Saying yes to every interesting piece of work that comes along is turning out to be a less-than-awesome strategy for life. I need a better litmus test for what gets an emphatic “Yes!” and what gets a pass. I’ll let you know what that litmus test is when I actually have time to sit down and think about it…
Are you a Silly Season survivor? What is the test you use to determine where you spend your time? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks. Shoot me an email or, better yet, drop a comment below. I’m sure others would love to hear what you have to say too!
With much love and gratitude,
Ursula Adams, MSPOD
SheHive Founder, Leadership Coach, Silly Season Survivor