Autumn is one of my favorite seasons because I love seeing the amazing Fall colors as the leaves on the trees scattered up the mountain behind my home turn beautiful shades of red and yellow. I love apple cider and pumpkin flavored everything.
The difficult thing about Autumn is that it also tends to be an absolutely crazy time of year for my calendar. I am typically booked with speaking engagements at numerous conferences and Universities. The Boards I serve on are all having their Fall meetings. And it seems there are Black Tie Galas we are attending almost every week. And inevitably during Autumn, everyone who wanted to get ahold of me during Summer and couldn’t (due to my travels over the Summers) are all pushing to now get in for a meeting.
So inevitably every Fall I try to fit everything onto my calendar by booking myself with meetings from early morning to the evenings when I am attending events and Galas – only to then realize that because I was in meetings all day and gone at night I didn’t get time to check emails and respond to phone messages…and with every day that passes the emails and messages continue to pile up until they seem insurmountable… Tonight my inbox shows I have 3,796 emails in my inbox and 695 are still unread…yikes! If you happen to be one of those people whose email or phone call I haven’t responded to yet at least you now know that it is 100% NOT personal!
What hit me today was the fact that I have to recognize that my day is never going to be longer than 24 hours. No matter how much stuff I try to fit into my schedule trying to catch up I will never have more than those 24 hours that come in each day – which means that I am going to have to get much wiser in how I am booking my 24 hours each day… it means I am going to have to get better at saying “no” to more things…it means I am going to have to get better at scheduling a block of time on my calendar to respond to emails and listen and respond to phone messages…and I am especially going to have to be better to schedule blocks of time to spend having quality time with my husband and with my adult children and my grandbaby and I can’t let myself feel guilty for blocking that time out or saying no to things that take away from that time…the not feeling guilty part is always difficult…
Achieving balance is my eternal struggle…but I refuse to give up on the quest to achieve it because I recognize how critically important it is…with family being at the top of what’s most important.
Have a happy weekend everyone!
~Amy Rees Anderson