For a year I’ve known I was going to Mexico for the 2nd Annual My Taught You Retreat. For a year I’ve known I was going to buy new clothes for the trip. For a year I knew a lot of things about this trip. Using what I knew I did a few things:
I started shopping 5 weeks before the trip.
I got alterations 3 weeks before the trip.
I got all of my accessories and specialty items 1 week before the trip.
I declined as many obligations as I could in the week leading up to the trip.
I did a packing test a week before.
Why so early? I was intentional about leaving room for error.
I no longer play beat the clock. That’s the game we play where we estimate out exactly how much time everything will take and fill up our calendars to the max.
It looks like this:
Drop off the dry cleaning:15 mins
Drive to Cassandra’s House: 7 mins
Drive to Lou Lou: 12 minutes
Shop at Lou Lou: 17 minutes
Drive to Sprint Store: 13 minutes
Pick up phone: 5 minutes
Drive home: 11 minutes
If there is one minute of traffic, one train delay, one line that’s too long all of it falls apart.
There is no room for error.
Does this sound familiar?
“Sure, no problem” is your default response. If there is free time you fill it.
Then at the end of the week, you are wondering why you didn’t get everything done.
At the end of the month, you are wondering why everything is due at the same time.
We have to learn to anticipate that there will be things we can’t anticipate.
As it would turn out the week before the trip I would suddenly have a strange breakout. That left me anxious and in need of a doctor’s care.
I'm glad I built in some time margin so I could go to the doctor.
Then a last-minute project came up at work.
I'm glad I built in some time margin so I could prepare the report.
Then I realized that I needed to get books to all my book club members.
I'm glad I built in some time margin to be a book fairy.
Without the margin, I would have been livid with each person who caused me a delay. I would have been anxious every step of the way.
Who needs that on the way to paradise??? Certainly not me.
That's what self-care truly is to me. Controlling what I can when it comes to reducing or avoiding stress.