Balanced Chaos

Yesterday, while having my weekly planning lunch with a colleague, we were both sharing our ridiculous work schedules for the week. We couldn’t believe how we went from zero to sixty so quickly. But we looked at each other, smiled and shared, individually, how we both thrive in chaos. We sat down, ordered our lunch and tried to make some progress amongst the Monday chaos.

In an effort to move our work forward and to promote collaboration, we have connected our work in the organization. It has been something that I have been trying to do for the last six years, and it wasn’t until we were able to spend some time together and really understand our vision for our individual work that we were able to make the puzzle pieces fit. Monday is a crazy day, I am usually spending my day running from one meeting to the next, but I look forward to my 90 minute lunch meeting with my team mate. For me, the break out of the office, working on something inspiring with someone like-minded is worth the added chaos. It keeps me focused, and most importantly, it keeps me focused on the big picture.

Yesterday, as we were running through the front door to the building past our boss who was waiting for us to start a meeting, I couldn’t help but laugh and feel grateful for so many things. Grateful for a colleague that is so supportive, and finds strength in our work together. Grateful for a boss that just laughs as we walk in the door three minutes late to her meeting. Grateful I was wearing flats, because running in heels is dangerous and quite silly.

The rest of my afternoon was less than inspiring, it was actually rather frustrating as I waslife-is-like-riding-a-bicycle-to-keep-your-balance-you-must-keep-moving-forward pushed through the square peg that office bureaucracy can create. I tried to keep the spirit of my chaotic Monday alive, focused on moving forward, and quite frankly, focused on all of the things that are on the docket this week. I suppose balance is alive and well, as I will have my morning set aside today to organize the Monday wreckage, to go through my notes, my to-do lists, my e-mails, and my deadlines. I’m looking forward to the calm that will be my morning, sitting with some coffee, the radio on, and inevitably crossing off things from my list as I approach my afternoon. I may thrive in chaos, but I depend on unscheduled time. Tipping the scales in either direction will destroy the balance.

That’s what it’s about right? Balance is key. It’s how we move through every day, by walking the line between everything. Internally, it can feel rather manic to feel the scales tip in either direction. The highs are hard to maintain and the lows are hard to break out of, but continuing with balance takes a little bit of both.

September usual drops me into a more negative space. My day-to-day work gets ridiculous in September, it’s the end of our fiscal year and finishing out a non-profit program while gearing up for a new one is exhausting. Usually, the cooler weather starts to creep in, but we have no shortage of summer weather that keeps lingering. September is a month of transition, and most of the time I’d just rather jump into the deep end so I have less time to analyze, scrutinize, and dwell on what’s coming, and what’s being left behind.

This September, I’m running full speed at a new program year, running full speed toward my big ideas, collaboration, projects, and new opportunities. Personally, I am holding on to each and everyday until we move into the next phase of Justin’s treatment process. I am split between my desire to push forward and to remain in the safety of the known. It’s a dance I am not sure I know the steps to, and so I am here, kicking my feet, flailing my arms, and bobbing my head to the music hoping to catch the beat eventually.

In the meantime, I’ll work on the balance. I’ll focus on the big picture and gratitude. And worry less about…well…everything.

A Break in the Chaos

The stars all aligned today. After the crappy start to my week, all I needed was one day. One day to breath, to feel like I was in control of something (anything), to not worry (too much), to feel useful, and feel like I’m actually accomplishing something. Without rehashing all of the craziness that was Monday through Wednesday of this week, it went a little something like this:

  • Meetings All Day
  • Non-Stop Animal Crying
  • Sobbing
  • Hubs in the Hospital
  • Dog Stuck in his own Poop All Day
  • Hubs Still in the Hospital
  • More Non-Stop Animal Craziness
  • Snowmageddon
  • Hubs OUT of the Hospital
  • Migraine
  • Snowmageddon Some More

That brings us to today.

The view from my desk for the day!

Metro-Detroit got about 5-8 inches of slurpee-like snow dumped on it overnight, just about everything around us is closed, however my office is still open. Instead of working from home I decided to go in and take advantage of the quiet time in the office since I’ve been in and out of the last few weeks. My usual form of coping is to isolate myself in my office and to just bury myself with work, even though this is exactly what I wanted to do I knew it wouldn’t benefit me at all to just shut myself into my little office and ignore the world. I bucked up, cleaned off my car, stopped at Tim Hortons for my usual XL Dark Roast 1 and 1 and drove to our main office to work from our Resource Center. I had just enough human interaction and quiet time to blow through my ever-growing to-do list and finally felt like I was able to regain some control. I kept in contact with Justin throughout the day and knowing he was starting to feel better just fueled my afternoon.

There’s something special about working when the majority of the office is empty, with our building usually bustling with children under the age of five, there is a sense of calm flowing through the building today. It’s a day for getting stuff done and tackling projects you’ve been pushing aside for countless phone calls and e-mails. I love days like this. I miss my team throughout the day when I think of something that I’d want to share but technology allows me to maintain contact with them, they are all incredibly productive, no matter where they are working from, it’s pretty amazing to witness. A small but mighty team of dedicated individuals, you should be jealous.

As I finished up my day, I felt lucky to have had this day amongst the chaos of a normal week. I am thankful for the quiet, for my team rocking it at home, for friends that bring me coffee, for the texts with Justin saying he was okay, for the view from my computer, for the conversations I had, for the music flowing from my Pandora station (Kings of Leon, btw) and for the break in the chaos.