I am about to sunset a long-standing weekly appointment that has been on my calendar for literally years. And I was surprised to discover how much getting back that time made me happy.
The block on my calendar was for something I very much loved doing and valued highly, so the sheer joy was unexpected. But as it turns out I loathe having a consistent obligation on my time.
This isn’t to say that I don’t like being responsible, reliable, or on time. But rather I like knowing if something comes up that I have some flexibility. And I don’t like to disappoint people by needing flexibility.
My suspicion is that this represents some lingering guilt I have about having a chronic disease. While I rationally know that I did nothing to deserve being sick, I do carry a self limiting belief that being sick is a weakness.
I’ve always prided myself on being a “mind over matter” person. I’ve shown up to countless events, meetings, pitches, and other obligations while in pain. I’ve been known to repeat “Michael Jordan, Game 5” as a mantra to remind myself that I can perform in even the worst physical circumstance.
Michael Jordan famously played and won with the flu. And the logic in my mind was surely I can do the same when something is on the line. So I always have. If someone expects me to show up and perform I do it even if I am struggling.
But as my season of no has begun I think it’s time I stop romanticizing my capacity to work when sick. I love having my time back on my calendar and I love the flexibility that I have to work whenever and wherever I want.
Maybe some people would chose to work less under these conditions. For me though, having more flexibility in when I show up means I’ll find even more time to put into my work. Because I love showing up for me. And sometimes it’s easier for me to show up when it’s not a damn calendar block.