The calm after the storm
For much of the past 5.5 years, major deadlines have not been a part of my life. Sure I've had projects needing to be knocked out and at times still fell behind and had to rush to get them across the finish line. But consistent to-dos and the balancing act of multiple projects was not so much a thing. Many projects were more strategic or long-term in nature with undetermined dates for deliverables / outcomes or called upon me to execute something that feel well within my wheelhouse of strengths.
Since the early part of 2017, my life has felt pretty inverted in comparison to the past five. Tens of projects regularly vying for my time, mismanagement took place as did poor prioritization. How much of that was lack of ability vs. lack of practice I cannot say. What I can say is this crush of work has begun to hone what had previously been left idle. The call for focus, discipline and calm were revealed to be skills in need of work.
Rather than panic when a ball was dropped, apologies might be issued if they required and then one must do the work and keep moving forward. In recent weeks, the surge of projects and overwhelm have felt like they have begun to recede. I said to someone yesterday, "more items feel like they are being placed in my outbox right now than my inbox". I was left wondering later on, how much things have slowed vs I have leveled-up and become used to a faster pace of work. A little of both I suspect.
But what I contrast most to date between my current chapter and previous one is the level of under-worked to what feels like overworked. The calm used to be a stressor for me. More structure was needed in my unbounded, no need to hurry life. As calm reenters my life after a period of rushing, I am grateful for the chance to feel like I can afford a break now and again.
The grass is truly always greener on the other side.