March is a Whirlwind

Danbo's adventure in Korea
Credit: Flickr / Bill Heng

January and February was for me a quiet period of focused productivity. I moved the needle on a bunch of projects, and I’m excited to push them out into the world.

I love these periods, but I start to worry that my life – and therefore me – is boring. I crave adventure, excitement. And so I schedule – for efficiency – a bunch of things back to back.

March is that kind of month. I am in my fourth country, and I just gave my second talk, I also gave a workshop. I am wrecked. The last two weeks have been a real struggle, emotionally. The shock of leaving Berlin, the terror or the workshop, the stress of the talk, frantically trying to book my flight out of the UK before I arrived in the UK, and then the horror of another talk. I feel like I haven’t been alone, not properly, since sometime late February. On Saturday I’ll head back to Berlin for a few days, and on April 1 I will head to South America.

Adventure. Just what I wanted.

Most of the stress is over now, well, until I’m packing my life into a small suitcase on March 31.

But I think I have learned – probably again – some things.

  1. One of the things that stresses me out is feeling like I’m not moving the needle. I need to let that go. Often the stuff I do in these frantic periods lays the groundwork for moving the needle, later.
  2. Related, sometimes I just need to be emergency driven. The next thing that needs to happen, is the next priority. If something doesn’t need to happen immediately, let it go.
  3. But, things that weigh on my mind are sometimes better achieved in a focused hour one morning. If they can’t be dealt with in that time, better to stop obsessing about them.
  4. Take Cate-time when I can get it. I got a few hours of good gym time in at the weekend, and it made a huge difference.
  5. I could stand to be kinder to myself. I find myself berating myself for not being more on top of things, for not having a backlog of blogposts for example, or for not feeling prepared enough. I’m always just doing the best I can, and making the decisions that make sense at the time. In many ways not being “organised” was because I was consciously prioritising deep work.

Anyway. March is a whirlwind. But soon I’ll be in Columbia, all alone, with few demands on my time. And no doubt, I’ll miss the excitement.

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