Giving Things Up
Jan 18 2009

This weekend I completely spaced on my daughter’s swim class.  Her class has been at 10:00 for the last 4 months but because of a few unexpected things that happened on Saturday morning (e.g., our house cleaner who comes every two weeks called in sick so I had to quickly start changing beds/washing sheets & towels and my husband was gone for activities surrounding the founding of The Magellan School) my mind somehow shifted into thinking the class was at 10:30.

We showed up at 10:30, and I wondered where the other kids in her class were when my son pointed through the window and said ‘there they are!‘  It still hadn’t hit me that I had gotten the time wrong and I walked in and the parents said ‘there you are‘ and in slow motion I said ‘did I miss the class?‘ and they all nodded.  I was in shock because I’ve never done that before.  I apologized profusely.  I asked the teacher if she could just get in for a little bit but she had to go to her next class.  One of the guy teachers who was nearby said he’d give her a mini-lesson and thankfully he spent about 20 minutes with her in the water.  I almost cried on the spot out of gratitude and not having to wallow in guilt while she cried about not being able to swim.  My son waited as patiently as he could on the other side of the window given that I had originally told him he could play a game on my new iPhone for a little while during her class.  The teacher was so kind to her and gave her piggy back rides while taking her under water.  She laughed and smiled.  He called her ‘sweet pea‘ and ‘sweetie pie‘ and if he wasn’t in the water, I would have given him a big hug for making/saving my day!   You can’t buy that kind of marketing and in that one instant, I wanted to tell everyone how amazing Emler Swim School is!

Well, last month I forgot to pay the mortgage or shall I say I remembered too late.  I’ve never done that either so we had to suck it up and pay a late fee much to my chagrin.  I can’t recall ever paying a late fee although I’m sure it’s happened at least once on something.

Oh and I didn’t win my longed for trip to Tobago mostly because I didn’t have the time or wasn’t able to come up with the right strategy in a timely manner to make it happen. Looking back, I think if I had taken off a week from my day job to make sure I won this week vacation, I would have won. 🙂

UPDATE: After finishing this blog post, I went to a yoga class.  I got there only to realize I forgot my yoga mat (for the first time ever!) at home despite going back into the house before I left to get it and a towel.  I had to rent a mat and let’s just say a rental mat offers a sub par experience to your own purple mat.  My right ankle hurts a little bit now.

So needless to say these are signs that I have too much going on…some of which I’ve blogged about and some of which I haven’t and probably won’t.  I’ve started to look at the things I can give up in my life and I’ve given up a couple of things so far.  I gave up co-writing the series for the UT Alumni magazine and just last week I took a leave of absence from my weekly Blog Mastermind call with some amazing folks who I mentioned in the GigaOm article I did on finding a business parter online.  It was a tough decision but they were all supportive and told me I was welcome back at any time.  I’ve also started to unsubscribe from blogs, newsletters, etc. that I haven’t been reading anyway.  I’m taking a long hard look at my life and trying to figure out what I can give up without giving up anything I really want/need to do.

I may need to give up some things temporarily while I sort things out and find a way to integrate them back into my life once I deal with some of the other things going on in my life, but how does one do this without risking making the wrong decisions?  Sigh.

I wonder if we had a crystal ball if any of us would still in fact be able to make the perfect decision.  So far, I feel like I’ve been extremely lucky in the decisions I have made in my life and although I certainly wish I could change a few things, I don’t have any big regrets.

Have you given up something and felt relieved?  Have you given up something and later wished you hadn’t because you weren’t able to go back to doing it again?  Or as my friend Robb just asked “What is the biggest thing you have ever given up on?” and my answer was “Myself.” But I usually pull myself out of it pretty quickly when I repeatedly realize that I am my own worst critic and at times my own best cheerleader…

Author: | Filed under: entrepreneurship, parenting | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments »

3 Comments on “Giving Things Up”

  1. 1 thom singer said at 10:09 PM on January 18th, 2009:


    This is a good post and I can relate. The last few weeks I have felt 30 minutes behind in everything I do. Just can’t seem to get caught up — too many balls in the air and I just realized I am not a good juggler.

    I think a lot of people get into this “spot”. some handle it by just shutting down and pulling out of the busy life. They move to Montana and embrace the simple life. Others keep pushing through and break down.

    I think the best answer is to keep your eye on the prize, but admit you can’t do it all. A vacation or other break can help… but the best is to just realize that you are just human.


  2. 2 SmP said at 9:42 AM on January 19th, 2009:

    So when is the last time you read a Stephen Covey book? Time to prioritze and utilize the calendar features of your iPhone. Utilize your Babblesoft smarts to organize your activities. Your mortgage payment and mostly all of your bills should be on AutoPay. That reduces one stress except that you have to remember to have the funds in your checking account.

    All of the kids activities need to be on your iPhone as recurring activities.

    There are just too many things going on to keep everything in your head. Embrace the technology you have been promoting!

    Good luck!

  3. 3 Aruni said at 9:59 AM on January 19th, 2009:

    @Thom – So true. I’m trying to figure out what the prize is. 🙂 I am going to take a little break and visit my mother for a long weekend.

    @SmP – Thanks for commenting! Actually, people tell me I am one of the most organized people they know when it comes to time management and getting the things done that I get done. I didn’t have the iPhone on me and I wasn’t near a calendar when the alarm bell went off for her swim school. 🙁 I had for lack of a better word a ‘time fart.’ Everything that is humanly possibly is on my calendar!

    You are right about getting the mortgage on auto pay now that I have a steady salary. 🙂 Currently we pay it directly from our money market account which doesn’t allow for autodraft outside of our checking accounts.