I was writing my first post of 2018 like I walk into most days around here – straight into the middle of it. Plans disintegrate as I’m approached from all corners with conversations, dilemmas and spot fires. I love it when I’m ready for it. There’s no room, no distance, just impact – the nitty gritty of the day bouncing me round with all its shoulders and hips and I’m just there, pinballing around happily.
Which is why this blog post was looking to be about something nitty gritty.
Then a little voice in me stopped bouncing around long enough to ask…
Ange, does this really set the right tempo for the year?
There’s a reason that the abstract turning over of the year is a time for recalibration. Every part of it is set up, symbolically, like the ending of a race. Everyone’s busier, shopping more, spending more, celebrating more. The world goes into full speed trying to end the year in an explosion… so it seems right to be knocked into the unconscious for awhile. It’s ok to STOP when you’ve been SLAMMED. In the holidays, we gather our energy back up into our bodies and carry ourselves in a semi respectable bundle toward the new year’s challenges and commitments.
Except for many people who own a hospitality business, where the explosion of December is real and the pause of the holidays is symbolic. December zooms past with bigger numbers than normal but dreaded January is in sight on the other side of it all – the month when all these ‘semi respectable bundles’ return from holidays with resolutions not to drink, not to spend, not to eat out so much…
Yet symbolically pause we do, and I did. I stopped long enough to eat too much, drink too much, camp, complete a jigsaw puzzle and throw out some junk while my mind raced in a million directions about January and beyond. But then, finally, after about 10 days in, the symbolic pause started to feel real. I created just enough space in myself to remember that life does have other moves to make. That the unending dance of worry and excitement with business is just one part of a richer life.
Then, I was back, and hard as I tried, the pinballing took hold. Sitting down to write a post for the first time this year, I was suddenly immersed like I’d never left, and that’s what I was going to do to you – throw you into the middle of my overwhelm with some nitty gritty dilemma.
Luckily I’ve caught myself. That dilemma can wait.
This week, I will force myself to stay paused, and to look forward and backward at once. I have so much to be thankful for in this beautiful business, and so much to be wary of in myself. Customers that are becoming friends, staff that are becoming family, and all the love, challenge and sanctuary that this environment brings also reminds me that if I let myself just pinball, I’ll lose the pause, and that will effect everyone. If I want to be here for all of this year, not in a cloud of overwhelm, but really here, I need to keep a bit of distance alive. Feel free to join me for a week, figuring out how. And maybe next week, instead of dilemmas, I’ll have a strategy or two to share.