I feel terrific! I feel like I am climbing out of a hole and seeing the sun shine for the first time in a very long time. Most of 2016 was spent with my head down and blinders on as I plowed toward my goal of becoming an Ironman. If something got in my way I went right through it – failure was not an option. I took little detours here and there to do what absolutely HAD to be done in my business, but EVERYTHING unrelated to swimming, biking, running, eating, and sleeping was IN MY WAY (hell, even sleep was in the way there at the end)!
I felt horribly guilty about this, because along with work, all the routine stuff like cooking, laundry, food shopping, etc., even MY FAMILY was in my way, because they took time away from my obsession. This is NOT a healthy, long-term way to go through life, friends, but I just couldn’t deal with the prospect of getting to race day and failing because I didn’t prepare well enough. Of course, as it turned out, I think I was prepared IN SPADES, but how could I have known that beforehand?
After Ironman Florida was in the books I fully expected to jump right back into my life with my usual, pre-Ironman vigor, but it didn’t happen. Instead, I found I didn’t have much motivation to do… ANYTHING! I told myself everything would get back to normal after our celebratory cruise, but, while I thoroughly enjoyed the cruise, I saw no pick up in my desire to dive back into life once we returned home.
What in the actual hell was wrong with me?
I stumbled through the rest of November and most of December trying to pick an “A” race for 2017, trying desperately to jumpstart my engine and re-engage at work, trying to get organized again both at the office and at home, but I wasn’t making much headway. It wasn’t that I was depressed, I just felt… LOST. I knew it was coming and I knew exactly what was happening and why it was happening and I STILL was powerless to do anything to stop it right away.
One day, about a week before Christmas, I just threw my hands up and said, “F*CK IT!” Whatever was gonna be was gonna be and it would all sort itself out one way or another. The simple act of releasing all the pressure I was placing on myself was absolutely incredible! Suddenly, I could breathe again. I let go of all the guilt I was carrying around about “abandoning” my family during the last 5 months of 2016. And let me be clear, Deb and Josh were both so stinking proud of me and what I had accomplished, Neither one of them EVER complained or ever “guilt-tripped” me or tried to make me feel bad about my choices – not one time. My guilt was ON ME!
I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of me.
The next morning I woke up without an alarm at 3:30am with all kinds of ideas floating around my brain – content for the new book manuscript I was supposed to be drafting (and yet hadn’t written more than a few words), ideas for new products and services in our business, new recipes to try – all kinds of stuff! So, I crept out of bed, made a cup of tea, sat down at my computer, and started typing. Two hours later I had two stories and the book Forward drafted – WHOA! This new creativity flowed into my workday which was incredibly productive. I made a meal plan for the following week and used an online shopping app (Shipt) to order groceries during my lunch break. I prepped dinner before leaving to pick Josh up from swim team. Then I read some professional development materials before bed and fell asleep in minutes when I turned off the light and closed my eyes, which hadn’t happened in a LONG time.
It was the same the next day, and the next! I took the week between Christmas and New Years off and spent time getting myself organized. I cleared off all the clutter on my desk to the point where there was NOTHING on it except my monitor, a pen cup, my phone, a tape dispenser, and a stapler, and I vowed to have only the ONE THING I was working on in the moment on the surface of my desk (if you know me, you know that I MAY be slightly on the ADHD spectrum 😉 )… I downloaded a Chrome extension called Momentum to help me stay on track instead of squirreling off all over the internet… I planned and prepped the next week’s worth of dinners… I planned out my workout schedule for January and February… I was a MACHINE!
I have jumped into 2017 with both feet! I’ve totally re-engaged in my life, my business, and my family!
A couple of days ago, Deb came over to my desk and put her hand on my shoulder, looked me in the eye and said,”Hey, it’s really nice to have you back.” You know what? It’s nice to BE back!
2016 was a tough year, but I don’t regret anything about it for even a moment. I did what I had to do to feel good about my Ironman journey (even if feeling good actually felt bad sometimes) – and I do!
And I’m totally excited about what’s coming in 2017!
This is the power of saying “F*CK IT!” every now and then.
Let’s DO this!!!