Surviving a crisis

I almost drowned once. No, I wasn’t caught by a rip tide. I didn’t lose my bearings and drift out to sea.

I’m speaking metaphorically.

I served in the leadership of an organization that went through a terrible ordeal—a conflict I’ve never seen the likes of elsewhere.

And it almost killed me.

Drowning—metaphorical or not—isn’t a pleasant experience. 

The thing is, however, that once you escape it and survive it, it re-calibrates your expectations. 

That heated conversation in a meeting? We can get past that. 

The difficulty planning logistics for a conference? We can muddle through. 

A challenging author? No worries. 

When you’ve survived extensive exposure to a near-toxic environment, just about everything else becomes manageable. As one former infantry officer put it, “Did anyone die?” If no one died; it’s a good day.

When you emerge after the crisis it’ll take you some time to find your feet again, but you will. 

Five ways to waste your weekend

Webp.net-resizeimage (2)Weekends are precious so make sure you don’t waste yours

It’s been about a year since our family made the change to both Anna and I working full-time and out-of-the-house. The way we think about weekends has changed immensely! It’s challenging to find a sustainable pace.

Before that, either one or both of us had worked from home. There are some definite down-sides to working from home, but that kind of flexibility does make it way easier to get a full work day in and stay up on chores–especially if you’re able to avoid an hour in the car.

Over the last year I’ve made a number of mis-steps in managing the week which have led to wasted weekends. Here are five easy ways to waste your weekend and go back to work on Monday feeling robbed.


Do nothing but chores


The weekend won’t last forever.

Use every last ounce of energy to knock out every possible chore you could need to do during the week.

Fall into bed on Sunday night exhausted and then when the alarm goes off in the morning: hate your life.

Better alternative: try spacing out chores every night. Make a schedule and try to avoid all-or-nothing thinking.

Eat comfort food


You
 finally made it to the weekend.

You’re tired. You don’t want to cook.

Just grab a frozen pizza, fling it into a pre-heated oven and eat. 

Better alternative: Plan out some salads, fish, or other healthy meals so that you don’t have to make a decision in the moment.

Hibernate in the house


You get up early every morning and leave the house. You spend ours in the car each week fighting traffic. You deserve to stay on the couch all weekend watching sports.

Don’t you?

Better alternative: make time for rest and for exertion. If all you do is veg you’ll find yourself becoming lethargic. If all you do is exert, you’ll find yourself exhausted.

Say Yes to Everything


You only have one weekend. Try to pack a week’s worth of fun into it. 

There’s a lot going on.

Do. It. All.

Better alternative: designate part of your weekend solely for things that give you energy and that lift your spirit.

Burn the midnight oil

Sleep is for old people.

Young people.

The weak.

Make sure you wring every moment from the weekend by staying up late and getting up early. You’ll make up for it during the work week.


So. How do you waste your weekend?

You have to pla…

You have to play this game [baseball] right. You have to think right. You’re not trying to pull the ball all the time. You’re not thinking, Hey, we’re going to kill them tomorrow–because that may not happen. You’re not looking to do something all on your own. You’ve got to take it one game at a time, one hitter at a time. You’ve got to go on doing the things you’ve talked about beforehand. You can’t get three outs at a time or five runs at a time. You’ve got to concentrate on each play, each hitter, each pitch. All this makes the game much slower and much clearer. It breaks it down to its smallest part. If you take the game like that–one pitch, one hitter, one inning at a time, and then one game at a time–the next thing you know, you look up and you’ve won.

Catcher Rick Dempsey quoted in George Will, Men at Work, p. 4.