In the first chapter of my new book, I share a very personal story reflecting my own struggle in pursuit of healthy
balance. This is my lowest moment. As you read this excerpt from Navigate Chaos, I encourage you to think about your own revealing moments.
It was a cool Sunday morning, only days before Christmas. I awoke hungover from another exhausting week of work. It was the fifth or sixth consecutive week of a ‘working’ Saturday…but who’s counting.
I had little idea what the schedule for today’s activity would be. All I knew was that my wife was always busy. There were gifts to buy, decorations to hang, company to prepare for, charitable activities to serve, and a family of four to support. Or so it seemed. My family was always going in one direction and I in the other.
Christmas had ceased to be fun. It was just another ‘thing’ on an overly-burdened calendar. And the reality hit me that cool morning that today was probably my only chance to go Christmas shopping. Of course, I could find out what “we” got for the kids on Christmas itself, but I had to at least have a gift or two for my wife.
Though I was raised to honor the Sabbath, church was an afterthought. The nurturing of my family and my soul could wait – there was work to be done. So, as I made my way downstairs, I informed my wife that I would be heading to the mall today to do some last-minute shopping. And for the first time this year, I inquired as to what she might like for Christmas. She instead responded with a question that was perhaps revealing what she really wanted.
“Did you get all of your work done last night?”
“Yes,” I lied in response.
“Good. I will need your help this afternoon to clean the house and finish decorating. My parents are coming on Tuesday and we need to be prepared. Emma has a play date at 11 and I plan to run to the store after dropping her off. I need to make an appetizer for the holiday pot luck dinner with the neighbors. The babysitter will be here just before 5:00…”
The list seemed to go on indefinitely. As was my nature, I did not want to disappoint. “No problem,” I responded, stretching the truth for a second time that morning. “I will run to the mall and return to help with anything you need.”
Sensing the tension and exhaustion in my wife (that I too was feeling), I offered to take our three-year-old son with me. “Why don’t I take Max to the store,” I said. “Perhaps you can get some rest or exercise after dropping Emma off.”
“That would be great,” she responded, not knowing what was in store…
You can probably see where this is going. Unfortunately, the journey with my son that day concluded with a crash—literally and figuratively.
Does this story feel familiar? Do you see parallels with your own story? Have you considered if you are about to crash?
I came away from that moment knowing I needed to change but didn’t know the way. I embarked on a personal journey to become a more engaged, more balanced, more fulfilled person. I sought a better way and I found it.
I’ll share more about the what I’ve learned here over the next nine weeks and you can read the whole story in my book, Navigate Chaos, available October 10. I know you can discover a new-found peace that frees you from fear, anxiety, and stress. More importantly, you can live an inspired and productive life, without regret.