Monday, May 2, 2011

Pushing My Limits

The past few weeks of my life have been about pushing my limits.  I am about ten days away from my LAST final exam for grad school and, as I had a feeling it would, life has come unhinged at the seams just in time to coincide with this event.

The end of winter was a fairly calm time in my business and I wasn't working one on one with a lot of clients.  However, now that spring has spring we are gearing up and getting going on lots of projects.

My husband, who is a photographer on the side, has started the spring sports season and has a game to take photos of just about every day.

And of course, I'm in the midst of trying to work with Roxy girl to get her familiar and comfortable with people before the late spring and summer crowds hit the parks.

And there is my I posted earlier, I've been trying to "gear up" and make some bigger progress.

So how does all of this work together?  Very carefully.

I have tried working my day a few different ways.  Some of my experiments ended with horrible results.  There were the few days that I tried to run later in the day to get emails answered first.  I was MISERABLE.  (I didn't realize how cranky I was until much later in the day.)

I have tried to skip sleep.  That's didn't work so well either.  Again, it ended with horrible, cranky results.  (Feel bad for my husband yet?)

Finally, I have let eating go from time to time, eaten fast food or resorted to sweet treats to motivate me.  All ending in the worst results of any situation.

So what have I learned from all of this?  I'e learned that in order to accomplish more and achieve more, I don't need to take short cuts, I need to take BETTER care of myself during those stressful times.
So I carefully plan out my morning runs.  (Even more than I used to.)
I make sure my iPod and GPS watch are charged as soon as I come home from my run each day.  I fill water bottles the night before, check the weather and take out my clothes.  While this doesn't guarantee that I will make it out the door, it certainly increases my chances.

I find that putting on my running shoes and sitting back down at the computer just feels silly so I'm more likely to head to the garage after stopping by the shoe rack.

I am carefully planning snacks, meals etc.  I'm pretty sure I've eaten a case of Luna bars in the past few weeks.  I always have water bottles and snacks on hand too.  I look like a crazy person, but at least I don't feel that way.

Of course, I'm keeping lots of detailed lists so that I can keep all of my to do items straight (personal, professional and for school).  I'm also trying to ask for help when I need it and saying no to others.  I usually try to fit as much as possible into each and every day.  Now I'm telling friends I will see them after my final exam, and telling clients I'm not booking on the weekends, etc.

So while this has been a very stressful time for me, its also been a time of learning.  I am better at setting boundaries, realistic expectations and better at putting myself first.  For those lessons, I'm thankful.

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