I spend a lot of time in airports these days. A lot of time. More time than I thought I would after starting my own company seven months ago. The good news is that all this travel is paying off for the business. We are growing, adding clients, having fun, adding new people. We have more work than we anticipated this quickly into the game. The bad news is that I am spending a lot more time at airports, on the road and away from my kids, my significant other and friends. And while the business result is great, the personal result has left me tired, grumpy, irritable and feeling old with poor eating and drinking habits and too many bad hair days. As my 80’s teenage self would say, I am freaking out.
As I sat waiting to board my plane today, I overheard a woman talking to another woman who was sitting next to her. It did not appear that they knew one another. One of the women starting talking about all of her worries…simple worries like mine; deadlines, bills, flight delays and who could come pick her up after we landed. I heard lots of complaining with which I could easily identify. I thought, “Right on, lady. I’m with ya.” The other woman said to her very matter-of-factly, “You know, my daughter died unexpectedly five months ago, so I really don’t get all bent out of shape by those things anymore”. The other woman said the usual: “I’m so sorry for your loss,” and pretty much stopped talking after that.
Last week, my sweet Aunt Bonnie passed away. As I sat at her funeral, I thought about all the vacations we shared together in Arkansas. I thought about my grandmother and aunts and uncles eating biscuits and drinking coffee early each morning. I thought about all the stories they would tell and how I would listen as hard as I could from the other room as a child. Everything seemed to move so slow back then. They relished just being together.
With all the fast forward movement of our modern, digital society, we have to force ourselves to stop and breathe. It’s like that proverbial treadmill not going anywhere fast. Are you freaking out too? How do you help yourself through cycles like these? Share your tips in the comments section below.
And here’s my tip. If you are struggling through rigorous times like I am, let’s focus more on slowing down. Take a breath and relish in your family, friends and surroundings. You’ll be thankful for it.