Why can it be so hard to invest in ourselves? I have writing I want to do, work on IncipitCareer that I want to get out in front of clients and potential clients; I have content that I want to develop, things I want to bake, hikes to do. Yet it just seems so hard to stop and carve out time to write, think, bake, go out for a quick walk or hike. I've been musing on this all week because of a toilet.
Recently, my girlfriend and I bought a house. It's an exciting but scary journey because the house needs quite a bit of work. We're committed to replacing big, expensive parts: the roof and the gutters as well as doing work on a bathroom. Despite our estimates and budget, there've already been a few unexpected expenses that have us nervously waiting for the final bill and watching our bank account.
So I wasn't thrilled when the contractor called on Monday (of all days!) last week. He reported that the elderly toilet in the bathroom had developed a large crack in the tank and was leaking. There was nothing to do but sigh, okay his request to replace the toilet, and add a little more to the bill. When the toilet breaks, what are you going to do?
We're coping with the fallout of delayed maintenance. Little things have built up over time until bigger, and more expensive damage has been done. I thought about this in terms of my own work. How easy it is to let things slide for another day. It's easy to think: "I can write a new blog post tomorrow." "Today's busy; I'll get around to that market research tomorrow night." And then suddenly two months have gone by without me writing a new post or working on new content.
How many times have you done this? Delayed self-care, eating well, working on that side project that energizes you, taking that risk? How can we give to ourselves when we already feel so maxed out giving to and helping others? Doubt, fear, and the fact that self-investment takes time and commitment holds us back.
But I've found that when I make time for myself--to write, to move, to create--I'm a happier, healthier, more joyful human being. And yet, many days this seems less achievable than going to the moon. And so I wait until the metaphorical broken toilet to act.
But today I took twenty extra minutes this morning to finish this blog post. One small step in avoiding delayed maintenance.
Where are the broken toilets in your life? What small step can you take to invest in yourself and reinvest tomorrow?