The impact of: ‘stopping doing things for myself’
I was astounded by how many things in my life I have started to source out to other people. I don’t want to write a list, because that makes me feel slightly embarrassed, however I will be brave and put my toes in a little bit of water… Robert, Mr Magic, who fixes it all, from door knobs to hosepipes, varnishing wooden tables and floors, to cleaning out the shed – the shed that I open every year, the shed where I have no duplicates of anything and the shed where I know where absolutely nothing is; the shed where I do find things when I actually manage to get myself to search for it. Who the hell has ever thought that a shed was a good idea? Or, do I have to go back to my own self, the one that makes the purchases in the first place and the one that asked someone else to store it in the shed for the summer for when I will use it.
I always have an excuse, my time is valuable. I don’t want to waste my time on meaningless pursuits, like ironing my own clothes, because I have something ‘more important’ to do with my time. Fair enough, in this case it might be true, accurate and valid and the fact simply is, I, Suz, do not want to stand for 2-4 hours a week and iron (thinking about it now, it might actually be a nice thing to do, to be calm and still, to smell the fresh clothes and to do something repetitive, where my brain can rest and my creativity might even sparkle). Listening to a YouTube or practising my French in that time would also be an option…
What am I getting at? I am getting at this:
I had a new client that needed to book an appointment.
It took a lot of time and a lot of prompting to get this appointment booked.
Remember too, there is a consent form that needs to be filled out, you need to register and you need to book an appointment online. I suppose when you do it for the first time, it might take between 15-30 minutes. When you do it for the second time etc, it would probably take between 2-5 minutes, depending on connections, skills, application.
So, the client had a lot of pain and I was told that the situation was desperate and asked whether I could see the client. ‘Of course’ was my reply and I asked Judit (our Practice Manager) to ensure that I see the client ASAP. My thinking was… ‘desperate’ … well the client will sign-up immediately. I checked about 36 hours later – I saw no booking. I called Judit and asked her whether the client was OK and/or whether there was a glitch somewhere (I got worried because my diary was filling up and I promised that I would see the client).
Judit informed me that there was no problem, that the client was simply reluctant to sign-up because of the hassle of the registration, the consent form and having to make a choice of what session to book (my thinking… ahhh, not so desperate then).
I would imagine, no offence, I am speaking to myself here, that this person, like myself, has a PA. A good old Alice, doing absolutely everything for me – careful Alice, you might be asked to wipe my bum soon… The bloody problem with Alice and Judit and Robert and all the others in my life is that they are so efficient in helping me out; I ask, they do, and they are quick, they get things done. Boom, Boom, Boom. Tick-Tock. So when that hour comes, where I have to book an appointment for myself, where I am faced with a few more obstacles than usual, when there is no Alice, no Judit, no second tier Linc, no third tier… When it falls down to ‘me’… would I be arsed? Would I be arsed if it was ‘desperate’ or ‘plain necessary’ or ‘good for me’?
Is this constant out-sourcing of our lives; getting things delivered, getting things cleaned, getting things fixed, installed and set-up and then keeping them maintained and alive – is this helping us to be self-sufficient, to be self-reliant, to have the discipline or the little bit of oomph to at least try… or would our situations remain desperate because, you know what, it actually just takes too much effort?
Who books your holidays? Who does all the exploratory work for you?
What would my life look like, without a gardener, a cleaner, a handyman, an IT guy, an accountant, a PA, a practice manager…
Humility is what I am feeling right now, I think I am red in the face. Grateful yes, however grasping that the ease of dependence and delegation might be breading laziness, the drive to find solutions and to act by oneself. Be careful Suz. Find the balance between support and intelligent delegation, however, never lose the ability to apply yourself.
I am bloody unpacking my shed this afternoon.