It’s gonna be ok!
Today’s rambling is for anybody impacted by “back to school”. The ball really got rolling for Mirolus as the previous school year was winding down and we headed into summer. I was lulled into a false sense of complete mastery and badassery. Completely tricked by the endless sunny days filled with perfect work-life balance. I lost track of how many trips we took to the water park because I was in complete awe over how easy it seemed to balance being a present parent and business owner.
Boy. Was. I. Wrong.
I’ll cut to the chase here: there are going to be seasons in your journey where you balance everything and amaze even yourself, and they will always be followed by (or if you’re anything like me, sandwiched in between) seasons of brushing your teeth while eating Oreos. I could list on both hands the number of unexpected tasks that have completely derailed my summer bliss and filled me with a sense of dread and sometimes tricks me into thinking I’m the imposter. We are remodeling our home, we are closing on a new home and moving, we are volunteering with the local soccer league so our son and others can play this fall, and my son’s school has already started, as always there is something minor but totally thought consuming going on with one of the horses. These are just a few examples of the rabbit holes I feel I’m falling down and that are probably taking more of my focus from my Perfectly Laid Out Plan of Total Business (and CEO) Success.
Luckily, we are all in this together. Here’s some things I’ve done to claw my way back into serenity and I hope it helps at least one person:
For now, I’m not closing the blackout curtains. I absolutely MUST rise with the sun. We live on the prairie with a south-facing bedroom. The sun and nature are my alarm clocks, like it or not. Truth be told, I like it a lot and I’ll miss it in Winter when the curtains are shut for real to keep cold out.
Normally it’s Johan making the covfefe but for now I’ve taken over. Nobody makes coffee as tasty as Johan. Don’t tell him I said that. Making it myself forces me to get out of the bedroom. I have a small office setup in there so I can take meetings if something is scheduled at the same time as Johan. He’s my key player so he can stay in the office, and I’ve found somewhere else to work. But for now, I need to get up and do something for the house before I disappear for most of the morning.
My son and I have a list of chores we complete before his “bell” rings for school. He does his schoolwork in the dining room and starts at 8:30. Completing a simple list of chores gives us both a sense of accomplishment and energy to get started in the meat and potatoes part of our day. We are moving to a working farm soon so I’m carving out chore time now so that it’s less abrupt when we do move.
I’m keeping all my appointments but working off my laptop in the dining room with my son while he adjusts back to school. This way we aren’t yelling to each other across the house, I can keep him on task, and I can set an example for him on how to work from home and share a working space. Keeping my own appointments means I’m still making progress while continuing to setup things for Mirolus which helps quiet my sense of dread 😉.
Forced bedtimes. At times we’ve had to set a bedtime alarm. Right now, we are doing a good job of watching the clock later in the day, but I’ll go back to setting an alarm as soon as things start to spiral out of control.
I’m not the first person to suggest this one, but it really does help. We are back to getting dressed as if we were going to the office, or Mike to school. There is something about that part of the morning that helps your brain. If you aren’t doing it, you really need to. While our home is under construction I’m even going as far as shoes.
I’m not relying on myself to remember anything right now. I already know I can’t be trusted. Everything gets put on the calendar. I even opt-in to text reminders for appointments. I was never good at knowing what day it was before the pandemic and I think that’s a condition that’s here to stay.
I’ve implemented this practice a few times in my life but I’m serious about it now – take some time to unsubscribe from junk e-mail. Often junk email isn’t worth opening, but sometimes it can be distracting. It needs to go!
Forced breaks. I can thank my son’s school for that because they have built it in to the curriculum this year. He will get to a certain point in each subject that will require him to walk away from his computer for a minimum of 10 minutes. Depending on the weather we will go outside for a walk with the dogs. Sometimes 10 minutes seems expensive when you’re just trying to get things done but it’s an opportunity to set an example about balance to my son, and helps us all to reset
Don’t let your sense of dread overwhelm you and stop your progress. Keep lists, make calendar entries, and be nice to yourself. You don’t need a gold medal for completing the day (although sometimes I’d like one). I have learned if I acknowledge my progress and be honest about the things that got in my way, I’m better setup for dealing with things the next day.
I promise you, it’s gonna be ok!