Life isn’t always easy.
Those who I work with know that I am not quiet about my personal situation and challenges at home. It’s well-known that I have 2 daughters, one who has a significant disability and a severe form of epilepsy that is not controlled by medicine.
I often find myself in an ER room in the middle of the night, which many times leads to her being checked into the hospital for days. Nights of getting absolutely no sleep because I am supporting her through a bad night of seizures are common. I am often exhausted and overwhelmed with frustration over seeing her have to go through what she goes through. Feeling helpless is a constant. As I am writing this, I am a bit foggy from helping her through about 10 seizures last night. It’s frightening, exhausting, and life-changing.
I am completely open about all of it with my clients. I don’t try to hide it. And yes, sometimes the thought crosses my mind that perhaps being as vocal and open about it as I am isn’t such a great thing. Perhaps they’ll think me unreliable or flighty or too unpredictable, perhaps not in the right frame of mind to take on projects.
But somehow that hasn’t happened at all.
Maybe it’s because, despite all of the challenges, I get things done. I know my stuff. I typically do it with a smile. I tend to stay positive (if not a bit sarcastic lol). I believe that I am reasonable, fair, I love what I do, I am passionate about my work, and I am dedicated. And I think that my clients see that.
That passion is what fuels me to get up every morning, pour that coffee, and get it done. It’s my why.
Because here’s the thing. While OF COURSE my daughter’s health and safety are the most important thing, and certainly more important than work, but I don’t show up at work because I have to. I do it because I want to.
I have the option of cutting back or even quitting. Everyone would understand if I made that decision. I feel very lucky that I have that option because I know a lot of people don’t. But, I am not interested in that. I do what I do because I truly love it and it excites me and lights me up. Seizures and hospital stays and running around after her because she is so wobbly after seizures that she’s literally falling and running into walls….that’s my life right now, and possibly for quite some time into the future. I like to believe that I can still have my own goals and dreams that are outside of that. So, I find ways to work on projects that fuel me, that makes me feel like ME, and I do it while living with life’s challenges. And because I like showing up for her and for myself.
And to be honest, if it turns off some clients, that’s ok. I am not for everyone. Not everyone is for me. When I take on a project, I want it to be a good fit.
“Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.”Elizabeth Edwards
We are all human. We will all go through hard things in life. Don’t underestimate what you are capable of.
Oh, by the way. None of this is to suggest you should push yourself to a point of exhaustion or not take care of yourself and your family first. See tips for focusing on your business when life is hard.