On Thursday I was hurrying to the BART station to catch a train in time to make Fremont for my 9:00 am class. The sun was very bright as I walked directly east and the sidewalk was shaded by parked cars. I was thinking about all the homework I still had to do and the O and M skills test coming on Monday and the fact I have yet to update the Medusa's Muse website and.... BAM! I was sprawled out on the sidewalk. I had fallen into one of those large, square holes where there used to be a tree. The tree was gone, leaving a gaping trap for anyone blinded by sunshine and not watching where they were going to fall into.
I got up slowly and realized my foot hurt, but didn't seem too bad. My left knee throbbed, the palms of my hands were scraped, but I hadn't hit my head and wasn't limping. However, by the time I got off the BART train over an hour later, I was limping horribly with stabbing pain in my right foot. I made it to class, found an icepack, and spent the rest of the day long workshop (we were learning how to do vision assessments) with my foot propped up. Luckily one of my fellow students gave me a ride back to San Francisco where my car was parked at a friend's house. But I still had to drive the 2 hours back home that night, my foot and knee throbbing like crazy. Thank goodness for cruise control.
The next day, I felt every area that had made contact with the cement, namely the entire front of my body. I was bruised and aching and no amount of Tylenol could fix it. I spent the day working on my assessment report while watching Barabara Stanwyck movies, trying not to move.
If I'd been paying attention to where I was walking, I doubt I would've fallen. The hole was enormous, so regardless of the sun shining directly into my eyes, I probably would've seen it in time and avoided it. Instead, I plowed right through and ended up front down on the sidewalk.
It took falling to make me realize I am too much in my head these days. Not surprising; there's just too much to do and I feel that I'm constantly playing catch up, scrambling up a rocky hill that is collapsing under my feet. The amount of work is impossible and all needs to be done now. I made my list, distinguishing "Important" from "Unimportant," but everything is so dang IMPORTANT right now, not the least being a mom to my daughter. Because it all needs to be done, I'm not doing any of it very well. For a type A perfectionist like me, half-assed work is unacceptable.
Oh well. Sometimes you have to let go of being perfect and allow yourself to be adequate. Decide what needs to be top-notch (like the books themselves that you publish) and what can be done quickly, but not so perfectly (updating the website, perhaps?). It's true that everything MUST be done, but cut yourself some slack. Running a small business is hard work. So your records aren't color coded and up to date every week. As long as you can find what you need before tax time, you don't have to have everything organized alphabetically.
Because I am such a perfectionist, it takes an injury to get me to slow down. I wish I'd learn to stop and breath BEFORE I fall into a gigantic hole in the sidewalk that anyone who'd been watching where they were going would've noticed. Now I'm stuck on the couch with my foot propped up, forced to sit still and pay attention to right now.