Dealing With Chaos
It’s been an unbelievably long month. Aside from keeping up with my daily tasks, I attended a conference in D.C., met with potential business partners, taught classes **and** took two COVID tests, dealt with a bitter congestion and head cold, only to return home from my trip to catch up on phone calls, emails, and more tasks. That was only for the first two weeks.
As a person who prides herself in her ability to keep an organized, updated calendar, I couldn’t help but find myself in a whirlwind of responsibilities, deadlines, and expectations. It was tough, although I made it through finally in one piece. It’s funny, though. How I’ve worked so hard over the past few years to go from a mother of three kids with strict schedules to a full-time professional who’s able to embrace uncertainty.
While the past month has been challenging, I will say that I managed to keep on top of it all – even after I decided to leave my laptop behind. I just wasn’t in the mood to carry an extra load, and that’s a good thing since my round trip experience requires an entry of its own.
So how did I manage it? I did the best I can with what I had. And thankfully, I did not feel the need to reply to one email and my coworkers were generous enough to spare me the texts and phone calls.
So here was my thing:
- I’m still a little reluctant to admit that I missed my sweet son’s birthday while I was on my way to DC. Luckily, my daughter sent a text to remind me, otherwise I would have gone through the day without ever reaching out to him on his special day. But I refused to beat myself up about the whole ordeal. I simply called him and promised to make it all up to him when I returned (which I did). He was a good sport about it. After I hung up with him, I gently reminded myself that I have gone more than out of my way in the past to celebrate his birthday his way, and that this one little incident was a mere oversight.
- Before I left for DC, I made sure to catch up on all my work so I wouldn’t spend my time out of town trying to figure out who needs what and when. The effort was a huge relief, especially since I even got my paperwork done before I left. Can you imagine that?
- Right before I caught my flight to DC, I kept reminding myself to expect the unexpected. I knew there was bound to be something that goes off skelter, so I was determined to not fret about it until the chaos hit. As soon as anything came up, as they’re bound to do when you’re a single career mom with three kids, I went straight into problem-solving mode. Once the ordeal was over, I consciously forgot about it.
- To avoid any unnecessary stress, I created a binder with all the reading information I needed to prepare for the conference. I started practicing for my presentation and reading through the material before I departed. When I reached the hotel and found some time, I simply reviewed everything quickly and I was on my way.
Dealing with any upheaval is not easy, but it’s still manageable if you take the time to divide your time preparing, and more importantly, understanding that you’re doing your best you can with whatever it is life throws at you. And it’s even more important that you keep in mind that not everything will go your way or as expected, no matter how much you’ve practiced or prepared.