In an effort for full disclosure, I am stealing a line from a former executive I used to work with. I was standing in a room in front of the entire workforce within our organization, as Ice Ice Baby pumped through the sound system, and I was being forced to run through a tunnel of managers “like a basketball player” as my new “nickname” was announced.
“Emily, sometimes you’ve just got to fully commit to the foolishness.”
It was a groundbreaking moment for me.
I wanted to tell her, and my boss that was making me partake in such foolishness, to go take a flying leap. But I didn’t. I ran out as “Emily, don’t hesitate to facilitate, Paffenroth” was booming over the crowd. Ugh. I’m rolling my eyes even now as I type this on the screen.
She was right though, sometimes you have to let go of the reigns and just commit to the foolishness. Trying to make sense of everything and fold it up into a nice, neat, little box won’t make it any less foolish. The commitment allowed me to let go. To break free of how mortified I was, and how out of control I felt. It no longer was about the foolishness, but about how I was reacting to it.
I find myself, on a regular basis, having to remind myself to pick my battles and sometimes, fully commit to the foolishness. My constant need to fight the good fight can be downright exhausting. Not everything is going to make sense at the beginning, or even at the end, but there’s something tucked within the foolishness, even if it’s just a lesson about yourself, or at the very least, a good story to tell.
I mean, come on, can you picture me running through a crowd of people like a basketball player to Ice Ice Baby, at an all staff meeting!? Of course, you can’t! But it’s funny to think about, isn’t it?
In the midst of a difficult day yesterday, I found myself just feeling like I couldn’t keep up my pace. I couldn’t fully commit to everything going on in my life, I was overwhelmed. It left me in a holding pattern, a freeze, where I literally just sat on the floor of our resource center, padded the wall with bean bag chairs, put my laptop on my lap, and laid my head back. I contemplated just sitting there for the rest of the afternoon, I contemplated taking all of my PTO in the next two weeks, and I contemplated fully committing to the foolishness.
No one was asking me to run around to a 90s rap song in front of every staff member at my organization, so the foolishness wasn’t quite as blatant. The foolishness was me thinking I was failing if I didn’t give everything in my life 100%. That if I let some things go both physically, and mentally, that I wouldn’t be filling my role.
Regardless of my perception of what letting go means, I had to do it. I had to just focus on one task at a time, I couldn’t process everything all. the. time. I had to fully commit to the foolishness of knowing I can’t do it all. At least not by myself. Still, in my head, that seems foolish. I’ve always done it all before, why is this different? And in response to my own question: “it just is”.
This season in my life is just different than any other I have been through before. I can’t assume that will already be equipped to handle everything put before me, because nothing can prepare us for lays ahead for Justin and I. So I took a deep breath, and just tackled my work to-do list at that moment. I finished our February calendar, ran a process meeting, and went through all of my e-mails for the day, and then when 5:00pm came, I shut work down and focused on me. With yoga class at 6pm, I sat at the desk, put my headphones in and listened to the second half of one of my favorite podcasts until it was time to get up and hike it down the hallway. One thing at a time.