Ahhhh….. hello September!
There are so many things I adore about September; transitions, renewal, new beginnings, and reflections on the months gone by, to name a few. For many of us, we are winding down summer activities and transitioning our children into school mode. And for all of us, 2021 has been unprecedented (again).
September 6th and 7th this year are significant to my family and me as we celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. It's an important time for reflection and introspection -- which I take pretty seriously. Should you wish to read more about this holiday, check out this link.
This past summer, I have learned a lot about myself and my business; The 25th Hour. In part, these learning opportunities came to me because I volunteered to be a Camp Mom at the “beach-away” camp my son attended. It was a complete change from my day-to-day routine and one that turned out a little differently than expected. Don’t get me wrong; I prepared my business and clients for the limited hours I would be working before I embarked on the summer camp adventure. I was so prepared that I can honestly say this was the first time I felt “calm” about stepping away from my business since I launched it in 2012.
You see, I am that person who took a work-related phone call from a client while holding my newborn in my hospital room on the day I delivered her. I have always worked on the few vacations I have taken -- in fact, through births, illnesses, deaths, time-off; most of my clients assumed all was well as I worked away, not skipping a beat. This time it was different. I have teams in place that support me and encourage me to step away. This applies to my own business as well as to my clients. I am more diligent about nourishing myself by setting up (and sticking to) healthy boundaries and by managing my calendar in a way that serves me and those I have a responsibility to.
One of my biggest takeaways from this summer was about expectations. Full disclosure; part of the reason I signed up to be a Camp Mom was that I didn’t think my son would attend if I wasn’t there. I fondly remember camp when I was a little girl, and I was excited for him to have a similar experience, but I also knew that we are not wired the same way. I thought the only way to get him to camp would be for me to be there for him. I had anxiety about balancing my work, his needs, and the other campers' needs (which, in some ways, anxiety served me well because I was VERY prepared). But you know what? He was fine; in fact, he had an amazing time and wants to go back next summer -- without me!
From the perspective of a Camp Mom, camp life was busy, but I ended up having more time than I thought I would. With my son excelling, I was able to take pockets of time and think about my expectations for my business and my clients. Being realistic about expectations can be a challenge, but it pays off in the end. I can’t be all things to all people all of the time, nor should I have that expectation of anyone else or myself!
When we arrived back home, with a little more sun on our faces and a few more hours of surfing under our belts, I transitioned into work mode quickly. That first week back, not only was I reacquainting myself with all my projects, but my husband was out of town, so I was also single-parenting our two children and our chickens (including new baby chicks!) -- it certainly was a juggling marathon! I went into the week knowing not to expect it to be difficult OR easy...but to take each moment as it came (even when I had to desperately call a neighbor one evening to help me corral the momma hen and her chicks into the coop).
I made it through the week, and now I am winding down the summer, looking ahead to the last quarter of the year as we at The 25th Hour work to build exciting new systems, processes, and teams! I am a builder, a connector, and it truly is the work I love the most. I hope you can build in some reflective time to acknowledge all of your experiences and learnings this past summer and find a way to celebrate them!