Last Monday was a momentous day, not only because of the rare opportunity to see the eclipse right in my own front yard, but also because I started with a new coach that morning. It's been a few years since I committed to coaching and I was both excited and anxious about our first session.
One of our topics of discussion was the gives and takes of creating what I want. I've never been one to focus much on what I have to give up to lead the life I love- I tend to instead, focus on all the cool stuff I get to reap the benefits of. However, this conversation got me thinking in a new way about the topic (just what coaching is supposed to do : ) ) and the eclipse and other events of the week showed me what this meant in a real way.
First off, there was the eclipse itself. We chose not to drive a couple of hours from our home to be in the path of totality. The kids had suffered from a nasty cold over the weekend and Chris and I were feeling crummy too, plus we didn't want to deal with traffic, so we decided to stay home with no real plan, other than to don our cool eclipse glasses (at least I had the forethought to order those the week before - thank you Amazon!) and see what this eclipse thing was all about.
We watched for the first 30 minutes or so from our front yard, slipping the glasses on and off to stare at the sun (that felt weird!) intermittently. As the peak of the eclipse approached, Chris and I headed to City Winery to watch the rest with a glass of prosecco (me) and German beer (Chris) and boy was it cool. We saw the crescent shadows on the sidewalk and basked in the weird dusky light of the middle afternoon. The whole experience was surprisingly emotional and blew me away.
However, at the same time, my sister was sending me pictures and texts from her eclipse experience, which was way cooler because she was in the path of totality. She got to experience the crickets, rapid temperature drop and a totally dark sky. I felt like I had really missed out. This was my first experience of three that week of give and take - I chose to watch from Atlanta, be mindful of our well-being and miss the traffic BUT I only got a partial eclipse. I totally missed out on totality.
Later in the week, I was able to realize one of my goals for 2017 of creating inspiring t-shirts - yay! The shirts were finally ready on eclipse Monday but I waited and got them on Tuesday (one good move of the whole experience). I was thrilled with the result and happy to wear them and share them BUT didn't have a clue as to how I was going to make back the money I'd spent to have them made - totally glossed over that part of the journey. And with so much going on last week, the shirts ended up being borderline overwhelming - another thing to do in a week where I already felt spread too thin.
Ultimately, I posted them for sale via my work and personal Facebook pages and sold a good many, almost covering my cost. The give and take of that situation was feeling uneasy because I had no real plan for how to sell them, a balance on my credit card to pay off and a bunch of t-shirts to carry around with me.
Finally, eclipse week was also the week we started on a massive backyard project - installing artificial turf and a putting green. To save money, Chris agreed to do some of the preparations. Of course, it's ended up being a much bigger project than we expected (as construction projects usually are) and so far it's felt like a whole bunch of gives because it's still not done. The gives have included spending every minute of extra time in the yard, lots of dirt, sweat and a few spats, dust and mud everywhere, coming in from outside at 9pm and did I say dust and mud everywhere? Lots of gives and a glimmer of hope that the takes will be well worth it in the end.
What have you had to give up to create something you want?
Perhaps you had to give up family time to work with a client in the evening or precious minutes of sleep to get up and centered before the kids wake up. Maybe you've had to take a position at work that you didn't love to lead you down a new and better path in the long term. The list is endless. We are always giving and taking.
So, the next question is:
Was it worth the cost?
If the answer is "hell yes' then pat yourself on the back and acknowledge the work you put in that was totally worth it. If the answer is NOT a 'hell yes' then ask yourself the question, 'What did I learn?' and reflect on what you'll do differently next time.
There's no right or wrong way to do something, and on our journey to lead the life we love, we often miscalculate or fail to plan appropriately; however, in the end our failures often teach us much more than our successes.
"When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow." -Shauna Niequist
So, was what I gave up last week worth the cost? A partial but not a total hell YES (like my eclipse lingo?!).
What did I learn from it?
-I will be in the path of totality no matter what with my whole family on April 8, 2024 (I'm thinking Austin, TX - who wants to go?)
-I will prepare better on the front end when launching a new product
And as for the yard? Well, I'll have to get back to you on that one when the project is complete. Here's hoping for a total HELL YES!
I help people be true to their inner calling and lead the life they love.