Chapter 24 of my First book: January 1, 2017. The start of MY second half. Oops! not quite there yet
CHAPTER 24: January 1, 2017. The start of MY second half. Oops! not quite there yet
As previously mentioned,
for someone WHO has so many ideas floating around his head,
I can be quite organized at times.
A case in point, is the picture below.
I had actually scheduled the day that I would finish writing this book
A date, that was also supposed to coincide,
with my starting my Second Half of my life.
Apparently, I was a bit premature in my planning.
“If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans” – The English Version
“L’homme planifie, Dieu rit” – The French Version
January 2, 2017. MY Mini crash and burn learning opportunity. Happy New Year. NOT!
According to my well thought out plans, one of my first priorities for the New Year was to be wrapping up my book. My halftime was scheduled to have finished on December 23, 2016 at 7am E.S.T. My second half was to start on January 1, 2017. I am not sure what the week in between was supposed to have been? Maybe a bit of a break.
A well-deserved break, I guess, since it had been almost 6 years up until that time that I had been undergoing my halftime transition. Now that I had successfully transitioned from my halftime to my second half of my life, writing it all up in a book format should not be all that complicated, or so I thought.
Well, have you ever heard the expression “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans”. Well, someone might have been laughing in early January, January 2nd to be more precise, when I first realized, and rather quickly, that I had not yet transitioned. But it was not me, I was not laughing. In fact, I was a little disappointed at the time and a little down on the emotions and energy fronts as well, and it had been a while since I had felt down on those fronts, and I did not like how it felt.
For some reason, I had assumed that everything was going to be just perfect in my second half. I was going to be happy and excited and ready to rock and roll, day-in and day-out, 365 days of the year. Things were supposed to have become PERFECT, a word that I would later add to my “try and avoid the use of words” list. While I was at it, I would also add the word ASSUMPTIONS to that list, and I would also try my best not to make any assumptions as well, since they rarely turned out to be true.
But, back to that time in early January. I was starting the year off with a bang on the work front. I was attending an annual event that I had really enjoyed in the past. I had been looking forward to it for quite some time by then, but when that time finally rolled around, I did not feel as excited as I had expected to feel. I actually felt the opposite, quite down. How could that be? Was this not the beginning of my second half? My perfect, second half. Yikes!
Well, long story short, these negative feelings passed on quickly enough and my newly developed positive, upbeat momentum came back in short order. But, I did decide, that maybe I still had some work to do on myself, so the ending of the book would have to wait. Apparently, I was still in my halftime transition. There was more to learn before I could finish writing it up.
Oh well, at least I rebounded quickly. Within a week, I was back up and running. Phew! I certainly didn’t want to go back to where I was before i.e. my dark days. There was not a whole lot of running, or any type of forward movement in those days. I was not in a hurry to go back to the nasty days, but what I also learned, by this experience, was that I was not striving for, nor looking for, PERFECTION, either.
“Life has its ups downs but keep moving forward, Davey Boy, I told myself, “for they will pass. Wow! Quite the learning experience. Now, let’s see, what should I call this learning experience? How about MY “mini crash and burn” learning opportunity. Cool! That will differentiate it from the learning opportunity that I was going to receive from a more profound crash and burn about 6 months later, what I am now referring to as my “Perfect Storm” learning opportunity, but more on that a little later on (oh, and great movie, by the way, the “Perfect Storm”).
March 2017. Money. The monkey on my back. My New Freedom 55 plan
Ask people what scares them the most when it comes to making changes, especially ones on the career and business fronts, and you are likely to hear the M word come up, often. The M word, being MONEY. Show me the money. Well, you can add my name to that list. I will admit it, it scares me, not always, but when it does, it can be quite scary, if you let it, and sometimes, I do.
By this time in my transition, as you are going to read in the next chapter, Captain Courageous had pretty much dealt with many of my fears. There were no longer a lot of things that I was afraid to try out, there were not a lot of things that I was afraid to ask and/or share, and there were not a lot of people that I was afraid to reach out to and try and connect with. But I still had one fear, and that fear was money, or my potential lack thereof. Yes, the M word. Apparently Captain Courageous still has some battles to fight and at least one more dragon to slay, a big, nasty, fire-breathing one.
The accountant in me kept reminding me that I did not have any pressing financial issues at the time. I had savings that I could use to fund my business. Ironically enough, the money I was saving for my Freedom 55 retirement fund (a.k.a. my retirement from life fund) could be used to help fund, what was fast becoming my new Freedom 55 plan, a new plan that would allow me to enjoy life instead of hide from it. How ironic is that? Not to mention, quite convenient. They say it takes an average of at least 5 years to build a sustainable business, the accountant in me, would remind myself. Talk about coincidence, I had started building mine at 50, so only 3.5 years to go, hence the opportunity to re-purpose the funds from the Freedom 55 plan. How cool is that!
The accountant in me also reminded me of the book that my Mom had shared with me over 30 years previously “Do what you love and the money will follow”. “Do what you love Davey and the money will follow” he told me. “You have savings, regular and retirement related. Since you are no longer planning on retiring anytime soon, or ever, you can use them both. You can also always find something else to temporarily supplement your income as you build your business if needed.” “Stay in the moment. Take it day by day. Don’t panic”!
Anyways, I think it was the accountant in me that was reminding me of all those things, but it also might have been my inner coach and my outer coach (a.k.a. Shawna) or a combination of all three. Regardless, I did listen to them. For the most part I did, most of the time I did, and it made a big difference on how I was able to focus on doing what I felt was the right thing, as opposed to the desperate thing. I thank them for their advice and encouragement and I will also give myself a pat on the back for listening to them. Listening to them, most of the time.
But I also caught myself listening to my inner critic as well. Not often, but sometimes. So, no pat on the back there, but, hey, I am only human, I had accomplished so much, so no kick in the butt either. “Give up Dave” my inner critic would say. “You can’t do it. Go back to being an employee before you squander your money and waste your time. No one wants to read your book and you are an accountant and not a coach. Your kids are going to think that you are a failure. Is that how you want them to see you as? A role model for business failure?”
So, although I was not listening to my inner critic that often, I was listening to him every once in a while, and that once in a while was likely to become more frequent until I had a financially sustainable business model in place (one of my top 6 dreams a.k.a. goals, in case you were wondering) that would provide me with the funding that I required to run my business and run my life, the way I wanted to run it and not the way my inner critic wanted me to run it.
You hear that Captain Courageous? You still have a dragon to slay! You might want to keep your armour (a.k.a. my growth mindset and positive attitude) and your weapons (a.k.a. my network, my skills, my experiences and my positive attitude) handy, because this one is a pretty big, nasty beast, and he breaths fire. Yikes.
July 2017: The perfect storm. Time to tweek the name of my book and my expectations
Remember MY mini crash and burn learning opportunity at the beginning of the year? Well, I had another one about 6 months later. It was both larger in scale and it lasted longer. At one point, I thought it would prevail over me but it eventually passed, and I prevailed. Yay Dave! The negative emotions and negative energy and negative thoughts passed on, but the learnings stayed with me and there were a lot of them, after all, they were the result of a “Perfect Storm”.
Picture this for a minute. I have been going through a period of change for close to 7 years. It has been close to 18 months since leaving my regular paychecks to start my own business, which by definition takes time to get up and running. Money continues to flow out at a fast pace but it was not yet flowing in at quite the same pace, not anywhere near the pace where I would have liked it to be. Focusing on writing my book was not generating a whole lot of cash and the vacation period was upon us and was slowing down my coaching practice to a crawl. Yikes. Just a bit of stress on the business front.
It was also summer, so the kids were home from School and I had not yet adapted to the new routine, and having them around more often ended up further reducing the time that I could spend on the business front, not to mention, it was disruptive to some of my other routines. And speaking of routines, as mentioned, I now had my 4th Life Quadrant up and running. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining that I was now spending time with a beautiful woman, but I was not used to it, and nor were my processes and routines. And to top it all off, it was a rainy and wet summer, my favourite season of the year, was sucking, big time.
Talk about some stress on my work-life balance front. I was just starting to feel as if I was finally able to maintain my balance as I was walking along the wire that was my life journey, and now here I was, feeling as if I had fallen right off the wire. Forget balancing, I felt like I had fallen. Yikes! After all that work, I had fallen off the wire. I had also fallen off the wagon. I was cheating on the drinking and eating front as well. Not often, and never a booze buzz, but often enough to gain some weight for the first time in over three years. What’s with that?
It was around this time that I started to feel a little down again, but this time, it was lasting longer than before. My positive attitude was not coming back as quickly as it had before. The longer it went, the more worried I got. The longer it went, the more I would stop using my processes and tricks and routines and I started doubting them instead. All of a sudden, I was building negative momentum. Yikes!
I even contemplated putting my book (a.k.a. my one thing) on hold for a while. Luckily a challenge by my coach put an end to my plans for that one. Ironically enough, I ended up doing the exact opposite. I shifted my focus to my book. If my business purpose was to inspire others to make positive changes in their lives, what better way to connect with as many people as possible, than by finishing my book. And besides, its summer, everyone is off anyways, and I could write by the pool, if ever the sun were to appear. O.K.! I get it inner coach. Thanks for the ideas. Now I just need the energy to pull that off.
Well before you knew it, sure enough, the energy was back. Some of the energy came back when I reminded myself of all the progress that I had made over the years and that I was entitled to a bit of a summer break, and future breaks as well. Remember, resting is just as important as working. Note to self. Next time I schedule time off, not only will I stick to it, I will enjoy it as well.
Some of the energy also came back when I decided to go back to what had helped me to get to where I was in the first place i.e. my tools and tricks and processes and habits. I had taken my eye off of them for what seemed like only a moment and my positive momentum went with it. Slowly but surely, my momentum took a hit, or maybe it was my body forcing me to take a break. Or maybe there was so much change going on in my life now that I had my 4th Life Quadrant up and all. My 4th Life Quadrant came with a whole other set of family and friends, not to mention, two beautiful young women, Qita’s daughters. Either way, when I decided to leverage my approach and tools once again, the momentum started to come back again, only this time, it seemed to come back even more quickly and I was growing even faster. How cool is that! Quite the lesson learned.
A lesson that I will use the next time that I feel my emotions and energy slowing down. And that is going to happen. That is my other lesson learned, that there will be ups and downs in my Life and I am likely going to fall off the tight rope that is my work-life journey. I will fall, but, more importantly, I will get up, just as fast, if not faster. How cool is that! Sounds like time to change the title of my book, “Tell Me Why I Now Love Mondays”, or at least, add a little something else to it. What do you think of this?
Tell Me Why I Now Love Mondays
(At least, most of the time 😊)
Not all of the time. Not every once in a while. “At least, MOST OF THE TIME”. Does that work for you? It certainly works for me. F**K PERFECTION.
Now, if you don’t mind, I think that I am finally ready to start my second half. I will let you know how it goes, in one of my next books, “Maintaining IT”. Cheers!
So, What did I learn?
How did I make change EASYer on myself 😊 (or not ☹)
I was listening to the radio this morning. The radio hosts were talking about a concept around being happy. They were talking about the difference between being happy and being happy all the time. In my case, it was my desire to have fun, to have fun all the time, even on Mondays. Talk about stressing oneself out! Talk about a quest for PERFECTION. And here I was thinking that I had left that quest behind. ☹
Well, this is newer Dave and his new motto is to have fun, not all the time, but, at least, most of the time. Screw perfection. Although my state of being is apparently having fun, I was going to cut myself some slack in order to make things EASYer on myself. 😊 I was going to have fun most of the time, but not all of the time. Buy-buy STRESS AND buy-buy PERFECTION. And good riddance, I don’t find either of you much fun!
That was all about me. What about YOU?What are you doing to make your journey of change EASYer on YOU? 😊 (or not ☹)
Are you striving for perfection?
If so, how is that quest treating you?
Is it time to cut yourself some slack?
LOOKING FOR SUPPORT FOR YOUR JOURNEY?
Schedule an initial (and complimentary) 30-minute coaching call now