Sometimes life intrudes on our plans. This can provide the opportunity to step back and examine our priorities, to discard those commitments and activities that no longer serve us and to embrace new ones in their place.
My plans got seriously “intruded” 2 days before Thanksgiving when my wife was doing her aerobics in her home office. She slipped off the edge of a step-up block, fell backwards and broke her arm at the wrist and caused a hairline compression fracture in her back. In just a couple seconds she went from being fully independent to pretty dependent on me. So I learned how to cook, do laundry, help her bathe and dress, etc. My heart goes out to single parents of preschoolers. They have to do this every day, and the preschoolers are not nearly as cooperative and understanding as my wife.
Three days later, the solid-state hard drive on my 18-month-old computer decided to flake. Unfortunately, my backup had quit working a couple months earlier due to a software incompatibility issue – I was on the phone to tech support of the backup company when the drive died. For six days I had no computer. And my computer calendar organizes my life. I finally got my laptop back with a new hard drive and all the files miraculously recovered from the old hard drive, EXCEPT my Outlook e-mails and contacts and all the websites and logins that I use. This e-mail is one example – I had to get into my WordPress account to find the Post by e-mail e-mail address – 30 minutes of fun and games.
Just as we were reaching a reasonable steady state, both of us caught the seasonal flu the week before Christmas. We’re both disgustingly healthy and never stay down for long – typical time to get completely well is 2-3 days. This flu is different – 3 weeks later, we’re still coughing and slowly improving. We’re finally able to start resuming our activities both on Zoom and in person.
When life intrudes on our plans, priorities can become much clearer. When I reviewed where I was spending my time, I decided to de-emphasize or eliminate some activities to make room for other activities to help me move forward professionally and personally. One major change – spending more time with friends and family. We have truly appreciated them for being there for us, including bringing us meals and just checking in. And I am so grateful for the many people who stepped in to keep things running in various organizations in my protracted absence.