The current pandemic has given me lots of time to reflect on priorities. I’ve been thinking lots about how I take on tasks – because I can. Not because it’s the best use of my time.
For instance, years ago I was collaborating with another organization and had agreed to do many things for them. So many tasks I was having trouble remembering and prioritizing them. I decided the best thing to do was make a series of lists. Identifying all the organizations I was partnering with and the tasks I needed to do for them, as well as all the tasks I needed or wanted to do for my own business and personal life. The lists seemed endless. When I finished with the particular partner there were more than a dozen tasks on the list. As I stared at the list, I realized I was experiencing no reward from this partnership. At that instant I had one of those legacy moments – I put a squiggly bracket around it and wrote the words ‘or quit’. As I looked at the words, I felt this tremendous relief. So, quit I did!
Another decision moment like this where I evaluated my priorities and made one of those life-changing, outlook inspiring decisions happened soon after my first divorce. I had decided to move back to New York. After all, the only reason I had left New York was to be with my husband. I spent weeks looking for a job and making plans to move in with my mother so I would have help with my daughters. I had an offer from a company on Wall St. Things were falling beautifully into place. I had one more interview, that I opted to keep even though I was sure I was going to take the Wall St job. Driving to the interview I was following a trash truck through town that was making his rounds. I was sitting waiting for him to move forward when suddenly I realized he was rolling back. My first reaction was, it was that typical roll, that big vehicles do as they shift into gear. He continued to roll back until I leaned on my horn; by then my car was a foot shorter. Fortunately, there were witnesses and the driver readily claimed fault for the accident. I never did make the job interview. I did end up spending a week on Long Island dealing with Complete Auto Body in Baldwin and the village authorities (they were self-insured) to square away the repairs to my car. When things were settled enough that I could go home, I felt this tremendous tension release from me as I drove off the island. It was then I realized my support network and a slower lifestyle waited for me in southern Maryland. Maryland was home now not New York. Not moving let me be there for my girls, enjoying countless legacy moments.
There have been many decisions like this where when I keep my prioritize straight it’s always followed by the situations that legacy moments are made of.