A colleague rang to check on me recently, saying she’d been worried about my health when we met earlier in the day. I told her I was fine, but in all honesty, I was totally wiped out.
It was school holidays and despite having spent most of the weekend in bed with a virus, I’d woken up that morning knowing that I needed to be up and about and raring to go.
To top things off, my two-year-old daughter had another chest infection coming on – her second within three weeks!
So, as you sometimes do, I’d started that day by raiding the medicine cupboard for myself, and taking my daughter to the doctor. Then I got on with the many tasks on my to do list.
It took my colleague’s kind phone call to make me acknowledge that although I wasn’t actually feeling the best, I was soldiering on because I had a solid week booked with both family and business commitments.
As the evening wore on and I tried to concentrate on some work I needed to complete, I began to realise that the following day may in fact need to be a day of rest. But it was a day that I was very much looking forward to!
I’d spent most of the previous month re-designing my webinar program, and the first of my new and improved webinars was scheduled for the next day. I didn’t want to let anyone down.
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It took me most of the evening to come to the realisation that I needed to cancel the webinar and my other appointments for the day.
I’d been so caught up with making sure I didn’t let anyone down, that it took ages for me to acknowledge that I’d actually be letting myself and everyone else down if I attempted to hold my webinar when I felt sick.
Once I’d worked it out, I realised I had two options. I could beat myself up for cancelling and talk negatively to myself using phrases like “This is so unprofessional, what will my members think?”
Or, I could acknowledge that sometimes, life happens. I wasn’t feeling the best, my throat was sore and the level of concentration I needed for my members was not going to be there. I could use phrases like “I don’t need to put pressure on myself to be all things to all people” and prioritise taking care of myself and my family.
In the end I emailed all the webinar participants letting them know what was happening, and then made a conscious decision to accept that life does happen and it is okay.
I’m sharing this with you as a reminder that there are those times when it is okay to let go and say, “Life happens”. When it does, don’t go down the road of beating yourself up, be honest about what’s going on for you and know that those around you will support you, as the members of my community did.
How do you cope when life happens to you?