At the nonprofit I help lead, we've had our Board/Staff Retreat on the calendar for two months now. There are 16 people total among Board and Staff, and we had 14 of them coming. On a Sunday. For 8 hours.
Perhaps you know what a miracle that is.
Today, I wrote our Board President to recommend that we postpone it.
It took me a solid five minutes of hovering to press send on that email.
A voice was screaming at me inside my own head: "ARE YOU CRAZY?! 14 out of 16 people and you're POSTPONING? NOOOOOOOO!"
Luckily, a different part of me has gotten stronger over the years.
And that part heard my staff saying, We'll do it if you really think we need to. Even though they're all working way, way extra to pull off two big things right now.
That part heard my Board members saying, I can still make it work. Even though several of them currently have a [kid/spouse/older parent] with the [virus/flu/sick-as-a-dog-crud].
That part heard my own brain saying, I can wrestle this into being. Even though I have huge grant deadlines looming for this very nonprofit, two new staff members to orient, and a daughter who tested positive for flu today.
That part of me thought, very quietly, What if we postponed?
And STILL I was moving forward.
Then I talked with a colleague, who gently said, What if we postponed?
Then I talked with another colleague, who gently said, I suppose I lean toward postponing.
And we are. Postponing.
It's a bummer. We'll lose out on a few things because of it. Still,
No one is freaking out about it.
Yes, that's partly because pretty much any human I know is thrilled to suddenly have a full day returned to them.
I also believe, though, that it's because we let go of something Good for something Better.
We had to say No to a sure thing on the calendar with some strong strategic goals for now. And we got to say Yes to a culture of grace and kindness to each other. A culture that says, Enough.
If you are feeling your way through the benefits and drawbacks of saying No, of saying Not Now--
If you are reminding yourself that sickness and caretaking are not always moments to push through--
If you are looking for the balance between effectiveness and exhaustion--
know that you are not alone.
I love you.