Finally, after what seems like a lifetime of negativity, the 2016 election has finally occurred and is behind us. Whatever your perspective, I hope you voted. It is testament to how busy I have been the last couple of months that I actually forgot to mail our completed ballots, typically something I do within 48 hours of receiving them in the mail. Not an issue for us; M and I went to our local polling place and dropped them off instead.
For most of the last year I have been trying to avoid the negativity, divisiveness, and ongoing drama surrounding the election. Despite my best efforts, it was everywhere. In my offices, with my clients, my family, our tribe and our friends. For the most part everyone was passionate yet respectful about their positions … at least publicly. M has very strong opinions and voiced them regularly, to the point that I finally asked him to stop because I could no longer stand listening to … and for the most part I tended to agree with him. It has been this big giant distraction for me and many others, I’m sure, and hopefully going forward we well can all get into a roll-up-the-sleeves and get to work on getting productive in making some positive changes and strides.
The past couple of months have been frantic from a work perspective. My self-employment clients have expanded their needs, my office job has expanded my responsibilities and demands on my time. Thus far I am holding the line and maintaining my priorities on my health and family/tribe/friends balance, but sometimes the lines get blurred with long-term relationships with private clients that tends to kind of skew my desire to help and be 100% on top of supporting them.
When all this other stuff going on in my life, personal projects have fallen behind on my own informal timelines. Things I really want to do, accomplish, get going on my own personal lists. I was reviewing my to-do lists today and realize that I need to be a lot more proactive on the balance in my life. The sort of half-assed job I have been doing lately in hoping some of the thornier issues resolved themselves or faded away has not been working out very well for me.
So I’m working out a plan to hit the reset button. I am presently immersed in a few things that I cannot push off or away from now, but for the balance of the year I am going have to not accept any new clients and be very judicious about any new work or special projects I agree to accept from existing clients.
In addition to that, I am pruning my self-employment client roster now so the clients I am relinquishing have ample opportunity to begin the new year fresh wth someone else. Next Tuesday will be my day for making the difficult phone calls and follow-up with the necessary formal resignation emails. This is not choice I make lightly, but in truth I prefer the role in my law firm. I like the work, the bosses, the staff and associates. I also really love my 4-day work week and scheduling flexibility I enjoy to accommodate my training days on Mondays and Thursdays and the trade off of being in the office with some of the later starting associates.
I have no plans to completely abandon my small business, but perhaps redirect my efforts to serving just a core group of clients that seem to routinely have special projects or extra tasks for which they happily pay for my assistance.
More and more, I am coming to the conclusion that there is work I do to ensure the budget priorities and goals are all functional and work I do that primarily compensates my ego. M and I are not frugal acolytes but our lives and lifestyle are relatively simple with few expensive wants or needs. Our biggest splurges are about our health – gym, yoga, and personal training for me, shoes, fuel, training equipment and supplies for M. We do not have a list of bright and shiny objects we covet and have no strong desire for expensive vacations or exotic travel. Before I started my exercise habits I was an almost hobby-less person, because reading and writing do not seem like a hobbies so much as necessities to retain sanity and emotional balance.
Being the planner that I am, forcing myself to examine and implement the changes necessary to bring myself closer to balance is a very good exercise. I know my livelihood does not impact or even change lives so much as make it makes my clients’ lives a little easier to manage with me managing and advising on the financial aspects of it. But still, saying no to people or turning business away is foreign to me and seems to go against my natural inclination. Perhaps a little practice will make me more comfortable with doing what is necessary.
I kinda/sorta hope, anyway.