I did not get to write last night. I went out to dinner with a friend. And even though I knew what I wanted to write I never got to it before. For all sorts of different reasons. In the old days (which can reflect anything before right now), I might have called these trade-offs of life. Last night, it was a choice.
That is how the story went last week. And by the look of it, it may go just the same today. Having spent the day ill there is little brain in me. At the same time, I miss writing, so I make a small choice. I write, but I don’t know if I will publish just yet. Leaving my options open. Like a dating app. But for writing.
The problem with trade-offs
When people asked me how I used to ‘have it all’, I would often talk day I did not ‘have it all’ and explain trade-offs. Life is made of choices, you can’t do everything. However, I did not realise the miss-use of my own words. Trade-offs imply you are missing something, you are giving up on something. You choose to do one over the other and wonder if you should have done otherwise. You are in constant FOMO, the famous acronym
The mentality of scarcity tells you everything implies a sacrifice and probably fails to recognise the possibility of a Pareto movement. Work wins family looses. Family wins Exercise Loses.
Turning trade-offs into choices
At some point (I fail to know when exactly), I started recognising the value of the choice. Or shall I say, the privilege of the choice. Not everyone gets to choose at all times. Choosing means we have options. And suddenly life just looks different. In no time FOMO becomes JOMO
I grew this step by step over the last 5 years, and most intently since the pandemic. Suddenly, as choices were limited, I found out how many I did not miss (and yes how many I missed). I also found out the ones I thought I missed before and that maybe were not that important. Suddenly, I found out what it really meant to choose.
I get to do this
When you choose, that is a privilege. I heard it once in a podcast, and never let go of a sentence. The one I use to sign my newsletters, and my podcasts.
With this thought, when people ask me how I can do it all, I smile and no longer talk about trade-offs (at least most of the time). No, now I know it is about priorities. And in the last 5 years I have started searching inside myself so I could find those priorities. I admit that I still don’t know them all, but the ones I believe right now, drive my choices. And with that, I am thankful I get to do this
It’s not about time management
People think I am a time management guru. That I stop time. Now, I am pretty good at time management, and as any mortal, I have my moments of procrastination. I do a lot and I am very organized. But I was always organized. What changed was my approach to time. My intention. And yes, I am not going to lie, I still feel pretty time scarce some times. A lot lately. And as I get deep in scarcity there is a moment where I need a hug and tell Hubby B:
‘Why can’t I give up on anything?’Me, needing a hug
No matter what, what I do is just not possible. Guess what happens the next day. I fell deeply ill, in my own private lesson that you can indeed stop and do nothing on your list, because your priority is your health. And that you get to do that. To stay in bed, eat a palmier, slot small monents of work when you feel better, feel sorry for yourself when you feel worse. No point in looking to the skies and saying I have no time to get ill. I do. Just as much as I have time to get healthy.
The truth about choice
So when I next need a hug maybe I need a poster on the wall. It’s your choice, it should say!
- The nights for the charity? I get to devote my energy to something that is changing one life at a time.
- The time for writing? I get to reflect on life through writing while also finding a way into people’s minds
- The time for business mentoring? I get to help amazing women CEOs also leave their mark in the world
- The time for working endless hours? I get to be paid for thinking and doing analysis (yes, I am a geek)
- The time for dropping off at school and getting stuck in traffic on the way back? I get to see the sun in my children’s faces and hear an audio on the way back.
- The time to do legos? I get to just be with the children
Shall I go on? What did you get to do today?