when the dust settles

when the dust settles - bedroom window - morning dust motes - The Best Advice So Far

I’ve been conspicuously absent for the last month. I figured, when the dust settles, I’ll explain everything. I’m ready to do that now.

Heading into 2016, I realized that I’d gotten myself into a position where I’d taken on so many extra things in order to help others that I had crowded out the pursuit of my own goals. And so I resolved to put forth my best effort, even if it meant cutting into already minimal sleep, to complete all lingering projects by the last day of January – or to hand them back unfinished, trusting people would appreciate the fact that they were certainly in far better state than when I’d stepped in.

The truth is that most of these projects were presented to me as “small favors,” unassuming kittens that developed increasingly ravenous appetites, devouring more and more time after I’d taken them on, until they’d grown, in many cases, into those B.E.A.S.T.s I talk about in chapter 31 of The Best Advice So Far. Still, whatever the reasons may have been, I had made the choice to continue to say “yes.” Come December, I realized I needed to make new choices, even if that turned out meaning people were disappointed with me.

I told myself, By January 31st, I’ll complete (or hand back, if need be) all of these tasks I’d allowed to pile up in 2015 and, when the dust settles, I’ll be sure to be extra diligent regarding what I agree to take on moving forward. I’m ready to get back to my dreams and goals, and reengaging with the activities and community that fill me with energy and inspiration.

And I meant that. My resolve was strong.

As it turned out, I did somehow manage to complete every single project I’d started. I took a deep, cleansing breath, and allowed myself to bask in the knowledge that I’d be back to writing (and at least five hours a sleep a night) the very next day.

Ahhhh, February 1st. Glorious freedom …

But just as the last motes of that dust were settling into place, a got a phone call.  A very good phone call. A phone call where I learned of a sudden that I’d be able to not only present at a TEDx conference at the end of the month, but that I’d be able to incorporate materials that would include the URL of my website!

Only thing was … I didn’t have a website.  I’d been solely using the free version of WordPress and, with some HTML and CSS know-how, I’d just been warping the theme as far as I could, adding sidebar links to my book and the fact that I am available as a speaker and facilitator. But the opportunity to speak to upward of a thousand people and hand them a URL was the final push. I’d built plenty of other people’s websites, but never invested in my own. Now was the time.

However, building a website – a good website, one that I felt would truly represent me – takes many months. I had about three weeks.

So much for sleep.

Every spare moment went into building the new site in time for the event. This meant making a hard decision – to trade blogging and blog reading, effective immediately, for programming of the new site.

This was hard for me to do! I missed the camaraderie and inspiration of reading my favorite bloggers and interacting with them. But I knew they’d understand, once they learned why I’d disappeared.

When the dust settles, I assured myself, I’ll reveal the new site, explain the exciting opportunity, and get right back into the swing. Besides, this is a “me” project, so it’s different from the previous projects that had landed me in trouble.

Well, somehow – and truly, it was down to the hour before I left for the conference – I finished the site.  The conference was amazing, though I continued to lose sleep, making the choice to …
 
The Best Advice So Far - Original Blog Link to New Blog

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About Erik

Erik is an author, speaker, blogger, facilitator, people lover, creative force, conversationalist, problem solver, chance-taker, noticer and lover of life. He lives in the Boston area. "It's more about writing lives than writing pages." View all posts by Erik

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