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The Unexpected Valentine’s Day Gift

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For the last three weeks I have been utterly consumed with a self-imposed ‘go live’ deadline for our Kuel Shop and Kuel Coaches. For days on end my family would exit in the morning; leaving me behind in sweats, grubby sweater, ponytail… only to return to the same unkempt mess at day’s end.

Once, or twice, my 16 year old son queried “Are you planning on showering? You were wearing that yesterday.” You know it’s bad when a teen notices what you’re wearing. Actually, when a teen notices anything about you; you know you’re off the rails.
Self-employment is tricky. No one is the boss of me….literally. Setting arbitrary deadlines and holding myself accountable to them is challenging. Who is there to notice? I wish I could say I am a consistently driven person with set work hours and success metrics in place. I’d be a big fat liar. The reality? I struggle. The balance of driving towards fulfillment of a goal and the ‘ah, no one knows but me what that goal is …oooo, look a lunch date’ eludes me.
I made a decision. I set a deadline for the launch of our Kuel Shop and Coaches. It wasn’t completely arbitrary. I am a sucker for sappy, somewhat contrived, dates and anniversaries and we rolled out the Kuel Life content site on Valentine’s Day 2018. Of course it made smushy sense to me to choose our birthday to roll out the next phase. Happy Birthday to US!!!

Once that decision was made, tunnel vision set in. I abandoned almost all of my normal daily responsibilities and privileges. I barely left the house; I barely exercised; I barely ate; I fought and lost many battles with WordPress; I hornswoggled assistance from anyone benevolent enough to take pity on the middle-aged lady with stains on her dirty sweatshirt. I started at 4am and wrapped things up at 7pm; way too many times. The last three weeks have been a blur; living in the moment – moment to moment. I lost the feel for the passage of time. Darkness would creep into my living room; finding me staring at my laptop screen, kitties at my feet, half-full pre-sunrise coffee cup next to me.
And, it wasn’t just me who hustled. Our wonderful coach collaborators rallied over the last few days; tweaking their information, testing the site, lifting my spirits with encouraging words and actions. Here’s a few of their smiling faces – they certainly kept me smiling.
After about 300 hours in three weeks, I just did the math; the Kuel Shop and Kuel Coaches were ready. I felt pride in my accomplishment. My baby was taking a huge big step forward. I successfully crossed off each and every ‘Critical Path To Launch’ bullet point.  It was going to happen; a year to the day of our original site launch.
Best laid plans of mice and men…
As it turns out, Valentine’s Day will NOT be our ‘go live’ day. The Universe has decided differently. The next decision is: “How do I react?” That is ALL choice. I DO get to choose that! And, that is beautiful.
I have had blinders on for so long now; the reality of missing my personally fabricated launch date was devastating. Having no control or influence over the obstacles in my way; I became angry. The anger quickly dissolved into tears and self-pity. I lost perspective.
Today is a new day. The sun rose. The coffee was strong and hot. My 16 year old son was back to ignoring me. I missed my deadline. So what??!
My real Valentine’s Day gift:? The reminder that controlling outside forces is an illusion. Accepting circumstances and choosing to be kind to myself, even if it’s just for today, is monumental growth for me. I’ve come a long way. In my younger days, I would beat myself up for such a ‘failure’. Yeah, I know… crazy talk. But, I bet I am not the only woman out there with the same tale.
The best way to handle a ‘failure’? Serve up some juicy rationalization! -That’s healthy; right?. Not sure if this is well known, but Valentine’s Day began as a holiday feast in celebration of decapitating third-century Christian martyrs. So, just maybe, NOT the ‘best’ symbolic day after all? OK, I know that’s a stretch, but I’m going with it. At least for today.

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