Life has been a little hectic lately.

Life has been a little hectic lately. In the last 7 weeks or so, I have worked in inordinate amount of overtime. Do you still call it overtime when you’re a salaried employee? Not just a few late nights here and there or a few early meetings but multiple days’ worth of time. Leading up to our project launch, I was in the office for a 14 hour Saturday backed up to a 17 hour Sunday and back in by 7:30am on Monday (but only because I slept through the 6:00am scheduled start).

I have never before and hope to never again experience the kind of exhausted, not-enough-eye-drops-in-the-world, mental/physical/emotion strain of that kind of timeline for a project launch. Take it from me, you should never attempt to launch before you’ve completed your mock launch activities.

But my project team and I did it. We’d been preparing for an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software implementation. We were already using a previous version of the same software but instead of looking at this change as an upgrade, we pulled out all of the data that had been erroneously entered over the past several years and sifted it out. We remapped table keys. Restructured business processes. Rewrote code and reports and work instructions. And despite a few misses that we’ve worked to clean up over the last two weeks, this project has been considered an overall organizational success!

But can we zoom out a little?

I’m exhausted. Still, almost two weeks later. My husband, who pulled all of the weight of family life during this period, is now fighting off his first illness of Autumn. My house is full of tiny fruit flies from a misplaced can that wasn’t properly recycled during my usual cleaning routine because, well, there was no routine. I worked out this past Saturday (taking it slow) and it nearly killed me. Fast forward half a week and I pulled a muscle playing with my daughter; my body is wrecked. And my beautiful little girl wants “Momma, Mom, Mommy, Mom, Momma. Did you hear me calling you, Mom?”

We’re all a little drained from the chaos. And to be honest, there’s no way we all would’ve made it without these things right here:

  • My Tribe
    • Friends who continue to pour into me when I go dark. Friends who continue to text or Snap without a response. Friends who send flowers to work for encouragement.
  • My Husband
    • Who allowed our roles not just to flip flop, but to completely shift onto him. Who put his career behind mine for a period. Who bit his tongue – a lot. And who continued to encourage me even if he felt like I should be waving the white flag.
  • God
    • For putting those people in my life. For continually tapping me on the shoulder with scripture or songs about being a light or a door for others to experience his goodness. For keeping me from completely morphing into a troll at the workplace.
  • Whole30
    • For categorically denying my desire to stress eat. For minimizing the impact of skipped meals, small meals, or late meals on my system. For giving me the energy that I needed to make it through a 17 hour shift at all, let alone without getting sick immediately following. For giving me something else to commit to when the project felt all consuming. For teaching me ways to cope without food.

So really, this post is a gratitude post for those things that kept me going. At work, we passed the project launch, cleaned up the few misses, and we’ve already started sliding back to normal. But me? I’m changed. I’m exhausted and more experienced and more filled with gratitude. It took overtime and high stress and looming deadlines to remind me that my focus is really on people, and that includes me.

Thank you, tribe and Freddy, and God, and Whole30, for shaping me during this time. For showing me grace. And for teaching me about my priorities and the balance that leads me to my best me.

Without you, I am a lesser me.

Five Days of Fun

I have discovered a new rule for maintaining a successful marriage while working opposite schedules:

Work for an awesome company.

Today, I went into work excited for one day off in the middle of the week. Happy Independence Day, America! This morning, my boss tells me to take off some time to spend with Freddy. “There’s more to life,” he says.

Now, to understand the importance of this and the following, I need to explain a little bit more about myself: I am one of those people who feels consumed by guilt for taking time off on short notice without some extravagant travel plan or wedding or event, etc. Call me a workaholic if you want, but I do. I get this awful feeling that I’m letting the team down or loafing, not pulling my weight, making it harder on other people. You name it, I feel it!

My boss must know this about me because he insisted. And he reminded me that I have a computer and my phone if I need to check in and that our team is cross-trained and capable. It does not fall apart if one person is gone. I still felt a little unsure but when I came back to my desk, my coworker told me the same thing and assured me that it would be fine to take some time off. He confirmed, “You are taking it off, right?”

They prodded me so much that I finally caved and submitted my time-request. Big surprise: It was approved!

Now, I am sitting here thinking up all of the fun things Freddy and I are going to do on our 5-WHOLE-DAYS OFF!

We’re kicking it off with Tuesday night house tours with our Realtor. We’ll probably stop on the way home for a drink to recap the houses. We’re going to meet up with some of Freddy’s friends for the 4th and I’m working up my courage to ask him about golfing (I know he would be oh-so-excited if I went with him!). We could go kayaking and BBQ and have FRIEND TIME as a COUPLE! Oh-my-word, so many things to do!

It’s amazing how quickly those feelings of guilt can slip away when it sinks in that you’re finally getting some real, unscheduled, not between chores, free-time with your spouse.

I am so grateful to work for such a great company and so excited to spend some QT with Freddy – My heart is singing!