We’ve just sold our RV, our home-on-wheels. We’ve gotten a weekly rate at a La Quinta; Kyeli and I sleep on one bed and our son Dru gets the other. One of our cats sleeps on Dru’s bed, the other sleeps in the bathroom for some reason known only to cats.
I don’t feel afraid, like I would if I were actually homeless. I feel free, excited, full of potential.
Today is check-out day. Tomorrow, we’ll be even more itinerant; slowly roadtripping from Austin to Portland, living in hotels along the way, stopping at Carlsbad Caverns, Disneyland, and Zion.
But before we can go, I somehow have to fit all our earthly belongings into our Honda Fit.
Owning no furniture makes it possible.
Owning a badass vacuum cleaner and a RedOctane arcade quality DDR pad makes it… challenging.
I’m in the La Quinta parking lot. The Honda Fit’s hatchback is open. I’m staring at the Tetris playfield of the stacked boxes and bungee cords, trying to figure out where I can squeeze just one more box.
“Plenty of room!” I repeat to myself like a magic spell, desperately attempting to manifest plenty of room.
It’s the middle of August, and I’m busy.
I’m sitting down with my Google Calendar for some business strategizing. I start from the end. November is NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month. Lots of writers participate in NaNoWriMo, so I don’t want the 4th Annual World-Changing Writing Workshop (WCWW4) to overlap with it.
I count backward. Six, five, four, three, two, one, launch week, prelaunch week… that leaves me 5 weeks from today until WCWW4 prelaunch. Which would be plenty of time, except that I also have two other urgent projects competing for my time and attention. I’m spinning three plates:
I want to get more Pathfinding clients sooner rather than later because most of my previous clients have recently completed their 6-month programs. I only have 2 clients right now, and they’re both about to wrap up as well. I love Pathfinding, and it’s the lion’s share of my income.
And I want to finalize our business breakup before WCWW4, because I want the new people to come to PaceSmith.com instead of coming to PaceAndKyeli.com, only to hear the news of the breakup soon afterward. And since WCWW4’s theme is “what entrepreneurs need to know about writing”, it fits well with PaceSmith.com.
But completing all three of these projects in five weeks? Insane.
I feel like I’m back in the La Quinta parking lot, staring into the jam-packed Honda Fit, carrying one too many boxes.
“Plenty of room!” I bellow with all my optimism.
First, check my assumptions. Maybe writers who are also entrepreneurs won’t do NaNo? That’s possible, but I don’t want to risk it.
Could I do WCWW4 in five weeks instead of six? Hmm… yes! If I rearrange the topics like so… yes, it fits! Since Danielle LaPorte and Barbara Sher cover so much material so effectively, I can totally teach everything I want my students to learn in 5 weeks.
Could I do WCWW4 in four weeks instead of five? No, not without shortchanging my students, and that’s unacceptable.
Okay, so that gives me six weeks from today.
I’m a serial multipotentialite, not a parallel multipotentialite.
I like to focus on one task to completion, then move on to the next one.
Let’s do Pathfinding first, then the business breakup, then WCWW4 prep.
First, check if there’s any bit of WCWW4 prep that needs to be done in advance. Yes – emailing people to ask if they’ll help promote it. So I’ll do that first, then Pathfinding second, then the business breakup, then the rest of WCWW4 prep.
I have a plan!
“Everybody’s got plans… until they get hit.” -Mike Tyson
I forgot that my assistant Heidi had scheduled a vacation to Hawaii for the week immediately before WCWW4 prelaunch.
I forgot that Oct 15 was the extended tax deadline for my 2012 taxes.
The past six weeks have been the busiest, most intense weeks of my entire life. Here’s what I learned.
A crisp deadline can speed me past my resistance.
Asking for help is hard for me. I make up stories like, “She’ll think I’m a moocher because I’m always too busy to help her in return,” or “He’ll think I’m a sleazy marketer because I haven’t talked to him in months and I’m only reaching out now because I need something. This makes me a bad person.”
I didn’t have time to dwell on these stories, so I just sent the emails.
It felt like sprinting through a haunted house – all those usually-scary things aren’t as scary when they’re whizzing by you in a vaguely-creepy blur.
Being busy makes life less enjoyable and Pace less pleasant.
I was so exhausted at the ends of my workdays that I wasn’t much fun in the evenings.
I slacked on my share of the housework.
I was more snippy toward Kyeli.
Kyeli felt frustrated because I was less available (both time-wise and emotionally).
Fun activities were still fun, but they felt like a break from the grind, and it was hard for me to be fully present in the moment.
All this would have been bearable if I hadn’t let my daily Remembrance practice slip.
I know this is the worst possible thing to do. I know I need spiritual grounding even more desperately when I’m busy. I know that when Gandhi was busy he would say, “I have so much to accomplish today that I must meditate for two hours instead of one.”
And still I got caught up in the rush.
I believed that stress and anxiety were “just how it’s going to be for a little longer.”
I forgot that feeling anxious is like feeling thirsty – a signal from my heart, telling me that I’m thirsting for divine connection.
I got it all done… but at what cost?
I learned a lot – mostly learning what not to do ever again.
It’s the beginning of October, and I’m on vacation!
Well… mostly-vacation. I’m still teaching WCWW4, and I have a few appointments on my calendar. And I’m writing this article.
Dru is visiting us for two weeks. I want to have lots of high-quality family time together.
And now, at long last, I have plenty of room.