Sorry to have missed you last week. My dear parents were visiting us (their very first trip to Wisconsin!) and I wanted to stay offline as much as possible so as to soak up maximum Mom-and-Dad-time.
If there's one thing I learned from my former life as an administrative assistant at a university, it's that you have to send fewer emails if you want to receive fewer emails... So, in addition to turning on my out-of-office message, I decided on the fly to forgo this note to you.
From my work with coaching clients and from my own personal experience, I know that those on the fly decisions can be fraught for many of us. Especially if we're otherwise consistent and conscientious, and if we're accustomed to being seen as such.
Making the call not to follow through on something we've always done can often become a day-long deliberation...at the end of which we still don't do the thing, but we also never let ourselves off the hook for it.
(You might recognize this pattern when you try to just chill out and enjoy a lazy day—only to hem and haw the entire afternoon over whether or not you should really give yourself the whole day or squeeze in some chores or exercise here and there. By evening, you're exhausted because you never really relaxed. And nothing got done. Lose-lose.)
It seems we're holding onto a false, but rather convincing belief that everything in our lives is hanging by a thread...and we have to keep up the breakneck pace; we have to superstitiously rinse and repeat every single week, or else the thing we're building will fall apart just like that.
Anyway, I was surprised last week to find that there wasn't a single lingering 'should' with respect to writing you.
Obviously, I love staying connected with you; with only a few exceptions, the longest subscribers here have received some kind of note from me every week since August 2015!
But I didn't feel myself getting hung up on maintaining some self-imposed, weekly email 'streak,' nor did I concern myself with what anyone would think of me. (Truly, I'm learning no one really thinks much of anything about anyone else—at least not to the extent we all fear.) (Insight alert! Perhaps that's the fear behind the fear for some of us: It's less what people will think of us and more we'll not be thought of or remembered at all... Hmmm, let's let that one simmer a bit.)
Both the weekly email streak and the angst over being seen as a flake are things I've worried over in the past. Things that have prevented me from being fully present with the people I love because I was too busy keeping things in motion—tending to the myriad business rituals that I believed were sparing me from impending ruin.
(You know things up in the old noggin have gotten a bit dramatic when you believe the alternative to your frantic workhorse ethic is actual ruin.)
Do you struggle to make a decision all the way? Do you find yourself "deciding," but then hemming and hawing all the livelong day? Is this something you'd like to change? Leave a comment below to continue the conversation.