‘A third of the quarter is gone and I’m already exhausted’: Chris Barrow discusses why you shouldn’t throw in the towel and the value of perspective.
January is always such a long month.
Maybe it’s because we emerge from the fun and games of the Christmas and New Year period having to re-adjust to early alarm calls, the school run (still in the dark), and back to work syndrome.
Equally, the pressure of the new personal or professional calendar year, with the sense that we must lose those extra inches, make a new start and/or refresh good habits while accepting new business performance targets.
We’ve had five weeks now of all those gurus telling us that this is the once-a-year chance we have to change for the better and start living our best lives (provided we buy their book).
A very long month
I’m rubbish at the new year stuff. My Dry January lasted for two weeks.
The second of them involved five days of business travel, a relentless schedule, and the determination (when I arrived home on the Friday night) to enjoy a glass of red and a chat with my date (Mrs Barrow).
I deleted the ‘Try Dry’ app and reached for my favourite Christmas present – an electric corkscrew.
I cannot believe I’m typing this on 31 January. For goodness’ sake, a third of the quarter is gone and I’m already exhausted and looking forward to a few days in Italy mid-February, following in the footsteps of that great prophet of modern happiness – Stanley Tucci.
Yes – we watched both seasons of his Discovering Italy TV series and are determined to visit the same towns, eat the same mozzarella, and enjoy the same libations.
We begin our pilgrimage in Bologna and I’m telling you now that my Macbook Air is only going to get a look in over morning coffee. I can do this work/life balance stuff – easy.
Five weeks in and I’m reading emails from my clients that have picked up where we left off.
Pick a crisis:
- Pay demands
- Cost of living
- Mortgage interest rates
- UDA targets
- Industrial disputes.
Have I missed any?
Oh yes – the exhaustion crisis. Lots of clients (owners and managers) who are just plain exhausted because of the pace at which January has started.
So – shall we all just throw the towel in and give up? I think not. And let me tell you why.
I’ve just finished reading The Escape Artist by Jonathan Freedland – the biography of Rudolf Vrba, one of the very few Jewish escapees from Auschwitz.
We remembered The Holocaust on 27 January – a date is now also nominated to remember other genocides in modern history, be that Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, or Darfur.
Reading Freedland’s book was a timely reminder that we can count our many blessings on a day-to-day basis. That the ‘crises’ we face are serious but manageable and that we are very lucky to have the privilege of both work and play. As well as our freedoms.
Perspective – that’s the thing.
The days, weeks, months, and quarters fly by at breakneck speed. I’m old enough to be able to say that the older I get, the faster the time flies.
There is always a task list, always meetings, always deadlines and targets. But to quote Julian of Norwich: ‘All is well, and all shall be well.’
Catch up on previous Dental Business Coach columns:
- Easter eggs, holidays and how times have changed
- Is consumer confidence the real problem?
- An Englishman in New York
- Have you revisited your cashflow forecasts?
- Dental news: half empty or half full?
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