Well this is an iconic day for me. Something has happened to me that hasn’t happened in 20 years.
It’s a strange feeling. A feeling of being wanted and not wanted all at the same time. It involves my box. For 20 years I’ve been at it, but no amount of hours I put in satisfied it. There was a constant demand. Sometimes 60-80 times a day. My finger muscles would be so sore but I’d keep at it trying to get the desired level of satisfaction but in all my years as a working woman I never achieved it. Weekends, holidays, it didn’t make a difference, if I took a break, it just made it worse.
But this morning I got up early and it happened. Yes… my inbox is empty! I have answered all my emails, filed them and for a full hour it remained empty. It’s astonishing, a sight to behold!
As a self employed wedding planner, normally this time of year would be crazy busy with couples coming to view venues for 2021, this year’s clients coming to do menu tastings and finalise details. I’d be busy working on schedules, organising vendor payments, working on guest transport planning, creating song lists and table plans. It wasn’t unusual to be dealing with 60-80 emails per day. But two weeks ago my workload ground to a halt. Last Tuesday I had one email to send, it took me two days to get around to it. Why? I don’t know! Procrastination struck big time. Maybe my mind was saying, “Careful now, if you send that email, you have no more work to do, what will you do with me then? We might have to relax, and I don’t know if I can do that, it’s been a long time. I might like it too much and never start again.”
I haven’t taken a proper holiday in years. I am not complaining, I created a business so that I could live in the beautiful place others spend a lifetime waiting to visit, so I never feel like I need to go anywhere on holiday, Italy is not somewhere I want to get away from. Not even now.
But I never take proper time off, my emails are always with me. My laptop is always with me. I do practice some self discipline and delete the mail app from my phone during winter months so that I am only available during work hours and not tempted to check emails in the middle of the night, but this current quietness is a completely new experience for me. And I think I might like it.
I haven’t let my head go to the place of what is going to happen when this is all over. There’s no point. All my work in the last two weeks has involved postponing weddings to later in the year or to 2021, some have had to cancel unfortunately. It’s going to be a quiet summer.
As a born planner, I like to know deadlines, dates, timeframes, but this quarantine has challenged that. I found the unknown timescale scary for the first few days – it was like falling down a dark hole and not knowing how far the bottom was. It is still like that, but I’m getting more comfortable with the feeling of free falling, I’m breathing more deeply, starting to sleep better, I’m learning to enjoy the fresh breeze it is creating and living in the moment again. Hopefully, we’ll all land on a soft bed of feathers and come out all the better for the experience.