Monday, December 10, 2012

Advice from the Heart

I'm used to working on a deadline. For my entire career as a writer, and the bulk of my career as a web content manager, deadlines have guided my work. I know what to deliver and when. And while I have been known to procrastinate, I never miss a deadline and I never deliver less than my best.

But when I don't have a deadline, my head spins off into outer space. I get this overwhelming feeling that everything has to get done RIGHT NOW, if only to get it off my plate. And then determining which item to do first makes my head spin even faster. Mostly I can stop the head-spinning long enough to reasonably sort out my priorities. But then I have days like today.

Inside my head is a running tally of everything I need to do, how much time it's going to take me to do it, and when I will be able to get it done. And I'm ALL inside my head when I get into panic mode like this. But it shows on my face, obviously, because as I was trying to race from lunch back to work, Jeremy pulled me into a hug and told me I had to stop doing this to myself. And while I sat there in silence, still completely inside my own head, he rattled off all the things he knew I was working on and told me which items I was not allowed to do today.

Normally when things get hectic with my work life, Jeremy picks up some slack. He'll run to the bank for me, or to the post office, or make me meals or coffee -- whatever little things he is able to do for me, he does without asking. It's rare when everything I need to do can only be done by me. So what does he do when he can't do anything? He talks me through.

Every woman should have a partner that can handle her at her worst and talk her out of driving herself crazy. But also -- every woman should learn to listen when her partner is trying to talk her off a cliff.

There were times early in our marriage that I would dismiss Jeremy's words on the assumption that he had no idea what my work was like. But over the years, I've come to realize that he doesn't have to know the ins and outs of my projects -- he knows me better than anyone on this planet, and his advice comes from a place of love. I should listen to him.

Think about it. Whose advice do you dismiss that you shouldn't?

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