Hi, everyone! I hope you all had an amazing weekend and that you showered the mamas in your life with all of the love and rainbow sprinkles-covered ice cream sundaes they deserve. My heart also always goes out at this time of year to anyone missing their mom. Along with so many others, I usually share thoughts about my own loved ones on social media on occasions like Mother’s Day — and as much as I enjoy doing that, I imagine that it’s not easy to scroll through Facebook or Instagram on a day like yesterday when you are mourning someone special in your own life. If that situation sounds like your own, please know that I am sending you a hug : )
Matt and I were on the road again this weekend, celebrating my sister Juli’s college graduation in Pittsburgh! We are so proud of the amazing things she’s done over the last four years, and I just know that she is going to do even more amazing things in the future. I hope some of you are lucky enough to have her as your kids’ teacher! It was really fun to be part of the weekend — and to pretend (for a few hours on Saturday night, at least) that we were back in college ourselves.
We’ve been doing so. much. weekend. travel. recently (mostly for really fun stuff, so I don’t mean to complain!), and my eighth month of freelance life (eight months?! can you believe it?) has had a different kind of rhythm. I’m finding that what’s been most difficult and overwhelming for me these past four weeks has been managing my ongoing to-do list. We’re so all over the place with our travels that it’s hard to get into a consistent routine where I can jump into the swing of things every Monday and accomplish everything that needs to be accomplished.
In my “old life” — and for the first few months of freelancing — I really prided myself on always having 100% of my to-do list finished. My boss and I would communicate about the tasks needing to be completed, I would organize them daily or weekly, and a few check marks later, I’d be all set! Lately, I’m realizing that I’m carrying over a lot of tasks or goals from one week to the next (and sometimes to the next week after that). Let me tell you — for a perfectionist like me, this can feel a little bit like failure.
I thought more about this over the weekend, though, and I’ve realized that — far from failure — this eighth month has just been a transition. My to-do list feels a little long and unmanageable now because, in addition to the shorter term assignments that I can more easily accomplish on shorter deadlines, I’m keeping track of bigger picture tasks — longer-term stories that I want to find homes for, contacts that I want to make at new outlets, and ideas on how to grow my writing career and this blog. These projects can’t happen overnight, and they don’t have firm deadlines, so it’s natural to tackle them more more slowly. I need to keep reminding myself that all to-do list items are not created equal. In this busy season of travel, those bigger items may take longer to complete, but they will be completed — as long as I can take control of my perfectionist tendencies and resist the urge to freak out each time I carry over a project to the next week!
This realization has given me even more respect for all managers and bosses out there, especially the ones I was lucky enough to work under during my time in corporate America. Successfully staying on top of daily tasks while also maintaining a bigger picture view of a team’s goals and next steps is no joke, friends! I’m managing a team of one (myself!) and it’s still a little overwhelming sometimes. If any of you have any suggestions about the best way to keep track of these multiple “levels” of projects/to-do list items, I’d love to hear them! As you all know, I’m a little obsessed with anything that involves my paper planner or getting things organized into a system : )
Month number eight has definitely been full of some growing pains! You can check out my last monthly recap here.