A little over two months ago I was trolling through the country (and office) laughing and joking about “norcos and margaritas.” I thought – this will be easy- a little scooter and some pain- and I will be over it. I’ve birthed two babies with no drugs- this is going to be a JOKE!
Little did I know…
As soon as I came home and realized that it took every ounce of energy to crutch along to the bathroom, change my clothes (which by the way I could no longer fit over all the bandages) or simply stand up, I realized the joke was on me!
Here I am, nine painful weeks later – not necessarily yet seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, yet feeling humbled by the experience and a tad bit wiser.
The first thing I learned is that alone is a fantasy. I have achieved NOTHING alone. I am where I am today due to an amazing family that growing up exposed me to the world, a fantastic husband that bears the weight of our kids and household on his shoulders so I can do what I want and like and a phenomenal team at work that I trust and respect with all my heart – and that works harder than anyone I know. Not only did I not get here alone, but the only way I crossed the challenging waters of life was by asking for help. Whether I said the words or not, when I moved to a foreign country and a generous woman took me in her care, I asked for help. When I started my company and called on successful entrepreneur friends to judge whether they can refer me business or not, I asked for help. When I had kids and my mom came to take away sleepless nights from me watching my baby girl and ensuring she is well, I asked for help. And every day when I come into the office and pass along tasks knowing they will be complete, I am asking for help. And there is no shame in asking for help – because no one got where they are in life without help.
Second lesson was an even harder one- everything takes time. I’ve always thought I can speed things up, that I can make everything move faster – in my own time. Yet here I was with two scars that I could not possibly will into healing any faster and a body that refused to move at my pace. And when I took my cast off and the doctor decreed that there was no way I could walk on it yet – and I would be relegated to the wheelie for yet another week, I sat in my car and cried. I cried because I was tired. Tired of not getting what I wanted and when I wanted. Exhausted of the hustle to get places. Tired of the looks I got and the endless questions. Exhausted of asking for help. Yet no amount of crying was going to heal my foot any faster. No amount of screaming and cussing was going to make everything better again. All I could do is give it time. Just like when my kids would throw a tantrum I had to allow them to get over it. Just like when my husband would get mad at me and I had to let it go. Just like when at work things were out of my control and I couldn’t do anything to change the course of events. – With time – the dust would settle over everything.
The final lesson (among many other small ones) hit me hard. It just wasn’t enough to ask for help and allow for time to run its course. It wasn’t enough to accept the situation and make the best of it. I had to buckle up, settle in and really enjoy the ride. So I asked for help with a glass of water and packing and picking out clothes and team members carrying my luggage and kids not jumping on me and everyone behaving around my foot like it’s going to fall off any minute! And I started thinking that the day will come when the day will come. And that I had to stop counting the days and minutes – as time would move at its own speed! But more than anything I really had to start enjoying being off my feet. I had to enjoy laying down and reading with my kids. I had to enjoy buying some new dresses to wear with my cast and boot. I had to enjoy the help I received and the love I got – without thinking that it would make me weak. I had to laugh at it all (including my collection of left shoes that would accompany me on all trips). I had to really start enjoying the state I was in- full on. And once I did, it all changed.
And it really got me thinking about the work I do – about the work we all do. We are in such a rush to be bigger and better and make more money. We fear that asking for help will show our weakness and our team mates will think less of us. We want for things to move faster so we can accomplish more. Yet, more often than not, we find ourselves running in place, exhausted, alone and disappointed. We stop celebrating our accomplishments because we are already thinking of the next milestone we have to crush. And while many times we will crush it and go far beyond it, how much more valuable would it all be if we had a tribe to share it all with? A tribe that we trust and that knows us with all our faults and weaknesses. A tribe that is not afraid to jump in every time we ask for help. How much more valuable would it all be if we allowed time to take its course – and we enjoyed that client meeting and really put our heart in the messaging and the press release we wrote and the campaign we led? And what if we truly enjoyed the work we did – whatever that is and no matter at what level?
I am proud to be part of a company where this tribe is not a myth. This tribe of interconnected people who live and breathe for each other and the clients they serve is a reality. And not a sparse one- but an everyday one. We cheer each other on when things are great, we hold hands when things get rough and most of all – we want to succeed – together – as a team. And as we reflect on events that got us where we are today and hope for the future we will live to see tomorrow – I am ever so lucky to call this place HOME and all of the people that surround me in it- FAMILY.