Do you find yourself putting life on hold “just until you finish this project?” Until you are on the other side of “that impending deadline?” Seasonal blitzes are the way we get things done, dial it in, focus, knock it out of the park. A blitz of concentrated effort with all hands on deck is the way to go…once or twice a year. But what happens when life itself become, “the blitz”?
When I was a collaborative writer for celebrity authors, my life was entirely deadline driven—always someone else’s deadline. Notice I didn’t say, “my work day” was deadline driven. No, I allowed years of priceless time with family, friends, neighbors, community outreaches… to pass by because my days were perpetually in CRUNCH TIME.
Is it possible to have regret about how you went about doing a really worthwhile endeavor—a grand slam event?
Depending on its backdrop of previous and future events, I would have to confess to such regret.
Work-life-family balance sounds so doable in print, but lining up the calendar for the day and week is not so easy. Are you still tethered to technology long after the setting sun signaled the day’s end? Do you rob yourself and family of Sabbath rest? I do. I know better. I speak about it, write about it, stand on a soapbox proclaiming our need for sacred rest. And yet, I am the chiefest of sinners.
For me, it took an epic fail to drive home this necessary life lesson: blitzing as a lifestyle is a recipe for great and enduring sadness, a loss that cannot be redeemed, that cannot be undone.
I needed extra cash, so I agreed to a time-driven project, an eight-week blitz that turned into an endless, stalled out nightmare—a manuscript that eventually seized up from lack of trust and misplaced communication due to the rushed parameters I helped put in place.
During the blitz, my choices were already made:
- take a pass on lovemaking
- no time for planning and cooking delicious meals
- don’t answer potential long chatty phone calls
- no time to enjoy the gorgeous Montana outdoors
- missed summer family vacation, church, the beach, biking, mountain hikes, kayaking, daily exercise…
- I lost all the way around, and more painfully, my family and community did too.
Not only was my bank account drumming a dreary, hollow tune at the final and bitter end; my soul was too. My husband seemed detached, waiting for the day I might ever be fully present. My daughter quit asking me to join her in fun local events. I felt disconnected from our long distance son. Our friends stopped calling, why not? I was never available. The only people I was speaking to on a daily basis were those who owed me money.
Was this an epic fail because I paid a high price with little monetary return? Or was it an epic fail because over the years I have created a work habit that is so bankrupt?
Left feeling overwhelmed with sadness and guilt, I took inventory: I could have helped friends move. I could have held our friends’ baby while she was still tiny, spent more time on the phone with my granny who is delightful,
If this had merely been an eight-week lesson, I might not be writing this post. It took this epic fail to realize I am no longer willing to live life stuck in a blitz.
My mother used to say, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Stay tuned for [Part II] where we brainstorm ways to intentionally choose life, rather than being shoved along in survival mode.
Have you ever been stuck in a blitz? Are you there now? We’d like to hear about it and what you plan to do to stop the insanity. Share in Comments.