The Page About Two Hands, One Head, and Prioritizing

Episode 62

We are often hesitant to set priorities because we feel that once we choose one thing over the other, it automatically means that it’s more important, period. And especially when it comes to prioritizing “work” over “life”, or “life” over “work”, this choice seems to be impossible to make, or it causes feelings of guilt and shame. 

And then we force ourselves to an impossible task – to do everything at once.

In this episode, I’m sharing a story about a time when everything got thrown at me all at once, all of which were equally important (family, work, and vacation), and I had to make some hard choices.

Tune in on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, or continue reading.

I was very much looking forward to this vacation.

The year started off very busy, and by February both Kevin and I were already ready for some time off. With kids, you have to plan all of your vacations around school breaks, but thankfully spring break was coming up soon, and we decided to spend it in Los Angeles.

We really wanted to kill several birds with one stone on that trip.

First, that winter in Houston happened to be rather cold and gloomy, so we all could use some of the California sunshine. Also, Kevin wanted to see his LA-based clients. We were hoping to catch up with our friends and Kevin’s mom lived there so we were going to rent a villa in a nice beach resort and spend a few days together. I was already envisioning lots of hiking, walking on the beach, and just resting in general.

Here is what it was supposed to look like.

We would fly in on Sunday and drop off Dasha at Kevin’s mom. Kevin and I would stay at the hotel for 3 nights – this way we would be able to work half day on Monday, then Kevin would take his clients out to dinner on Monday night

On Tuesday, we’d hang out with our friends and then have a date night, and then on Wednesday we would reunite with the family and spend the next 4 days enjoying the Californian coast.

It was such a nice plan! And it was only a few weeks away.

Soon, the first disappointment happened – we checked the weather forecast in LA, and it was not good. It was going to be raining and in the 50’s all week. Not the weather we were expecting! Seriously, we can get that here at home in Houston!

Well, whatever, no big deal.

But then on Thursday, two days before we were supposed to get on a plane, a huge issue popped up at work for me. Something got completely out of control on one of my projects, and I sort of committed myself to solving this problem (hint: it took 8 months to fully solve it, so I was pretty naive hoping I’d solve it quickly).

I worked late that Thursday, then Friday, and at that point, I was starting to seriously worry that I would have to work quite a bit next week.

When I told Kevin about it, he said he would likely have to work more than just half a day on Monday too.

What a bummer! Our trip is quickly losing its vacation vibes…

But I was trying to stay hopeful.

We fly to LA, and when we land, the weather is miserable – it’s cold and pouring rain. So after we drop off Dasha at Kevin’s mom, we are pretty much stuck indoors for the rest of the weekend – we cannot even really go out to dinner, so we have dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Then Monday comes, Kevin goes to the office, and I get to work.

The day flies by. It is already 7pm, and I am still working…

I am trying to figure out what to do with this issue but so far things have only been getting worse. The client is waiting for an update, they demand a mitigation plan, and I wish I could correct it myself! But the problem is – I need to engage a ton of different people, and not all of them are really cooperating. How frustrating!

So I am sitting at the desk in the hotel room and messaging my colleagues, trying to define the path forward.

My phone buzzes. I ignore it. 30 seconds later, it starts buzzing again, and again – non stop.

Listen to the full story on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

Until next time,

Olena xx

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