I had grand plans of being able to do it all this past month. Pick the thousands of bunches of flowers blooming in our hoophouses and get them delivered on time, keep up with my book writing deadlines, continue to shoot every beautiful spring moment for its pages, get all 250+ dahlia orders out the door, teach two Farmer-Florist Workshops, keep up with the blog and social media schedule, run the business smoothly and then have quality time with my family.
While I can report that a lot of those things happened, although not as smoothly or as quickly as I would have liked, a couple of important areas got the short end of the stick, primarily my family and this space.
One of the most common questions I get at the workshops is how I manage to “do it all.” Juggle work, family, self-care, being a good partner, going for my dreams, all while having a life. Every time it comes up I cringe a little and Chris and I exchange knowing glances because the answer is probably not one everyone wants to hear.
The truth is I don’t do it all, far from it actually. I have an amazing team around me, keeping this heart-centered, flower-focused business moving forward and then I also make a lot of mistakes.
Oftentimes you’ll find Chris and I working right through dinner, and on into the night, because I’ve once again over committed us or an unexpected problem has come up that can’t wait until the next day.
When you’re a business owner you don’t get to leave at 5:00 like everyone else, you have to stay until the job is done. And when you’re an overachiever, you take on way more than you should without even realizing it. It can be a deadly combo sometimes.
I’m slowly learning, mostly through failing, how to set boundaries and say no. It’s really the amazing women I work with who are teaching me this most. They can see when something is actually too much and gently remind me how full my plate already is.
More and more often I’m listening to them and more and more often things are smoothing out. But it’s hard, and slow and I feel a little like a wobbly newborn calf, unsteady, trying to find my footing.
Because I love to solve problems and also make people happy, my automatic answer always is “yes, lets try and find a way”. But more often than not, coming through for someone else means I’m dropping the ball here at home. Even though I wish I could please everyone, all of the time, I’m slowly learning that it’s ok to say no.
There’s almost nothing more painful for me than letting someone down. But when it’s at the cost of my family or my health, it’s gotta stop. So, I’m also choosing to leave some really amazing opportunities and big dreams on the table for a later date instead of trying to grab them all now.
Somedays I feel triumphant, others like a total failure. The rollercoaster is pretty extreme.
I learn best by seeing first and then doing under the watchful eye of a teacher. Apprenticeships and having a mentor have always worked really well for me. It’s the ladies behind the curtain here at Floret, who are keeping this whole thing running beautifully, who are the ones teaching me this new way of approaching life.
Their gentle encouragement and unwavering patience, as I fumble and try again is such a blessing.
Each year I make a list of personal and professional goals for myself. Last year it was to be courageous, step out and go for all of the dreams I always thought were impossible.
This year I’m working on setting boundaries and realigning my priorities. It’s still such a work in progress, but slowly and steadily I’m starting to see and feel a real change taking place.
How about you? What are you working on or trying to master right now? Any big breakthroughs or things that you’ve learned along the way?