Birthday Reflection #38

It’s that time of year again where I do my best to set aside time to reflect on my existence since my last check-in. It really seems like it’s been an eternity since June 2020, and yet it also seems like a total blur. Pandemic living, am I right? These have been trying times for those of us that have largely lived our lives constantly on the move; hustlers, go-getters, entrepreneurs, and the like. There’s nothing like having an entire year basically void of social interaction to prompt a re-evaluation of ideals and priorities. That’s sort of been the theme of 2020 with 2021 being the implementation phase. At 37, I spent a lot of time assessing, planning, and waiting. Re-evaluating what’s really important.

I’ve learned so much in the past year and have grown in a lot of different areas. Moving into my 38th trip around the sun, I’m implementing the plans and schemes that have been sitting… incubating until the conditions were ideal for hatching. The world isn’t any less complicated and scary this year, but I can’t change that. The only thing that I’m able to control is how I react and move forward. All I can change is my own perspective and priorities. All too often I live life like it’s a sprint when it’s actually a marathon. No one can maintain a sprint indefinitely without some sort of injury. It’s unrealistic to expect to maintain such a pace without repercussions.

This is easier said than done; especially if you own a hospitality/retail-based company. I’ve always tended to throw my entire self into my work because I’ve convinced myself that it’s the only way to get ahead. I’ve been doing this for the last 7-years and despite countless accomplishments, I always feel like I could have done more. No matter how much I give, it will never be enough. This is especially true if the goal is overly broad. If you’re chasing success, money, or popularity there will never be enough of you to give. Again, this goes back to the sprint versus the marathon mentality. Lauren and I have worked so hard to cover so much ground for the past 7-years and we’ve hardly taken any time for ourselves. We’ve constantly pushed ourselves to try and keep up with demand and expectations at the cost of our mental health, physical health, and social/spiritual health… and yet what we always got in return was exhaustion and feeling like we could have done more. Mind you, this is all going on while we’re neglecting other aspects of our lives and feeling like we aren’t being the best friends, family, and neighbors.

The pandemic has been horrible in a lot of ways, but it did provide an opportunity to experience a relatively quiet/still time to evaluate said priorities. At 38, I’m no longer wanting to work 80-hour weeks. I no longer want to try and maintain a constant sprint. I’d much rather walk at a brisk pace with the occasional sprint (should I feel like it). We’re taking more days off. Instead of blindly jumping into a mentality of “what can we do for customers” and then sacrificing everything to deliver… I’m going to contextualize it with “what am I willing to do.” After all, we do our best work when we’re not exhausted and burnt out. We’re also going to close for more holidays and prioritize time away from work for not only ourselves, but our employees as well.

TLDR… We’re going to factor our own satisfaction into this equation. We’ve spent too long focusing on the happiness of everyone else without any consideration for ourselves. From here on out there’s going to be a balance. More time for friends, family, and ourselves. So, here’s to accountability. Thanks for reading!

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