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On Wednesday a few weeks ago, I got a very disappointing phone call. The TEDx event that had selected me to speak was being canceled with no warning. I had been really looking forward to becoming a TEDx speaker and had finally arrived at a draft of my script that I was genuinely happy with. But I took that call while feeding my 5 week old son and as soon as we hung up, he started fussing. Talk about an opportunity to put things into perspective!
I am sure that there will be many moments that crystallize my priorities but this was the first time since he was born that I really had a chance to see how my professional and personal identities have shifted.
Before my son, I would probably have taken a few days to mope about this sudden turn of events. After the disappointment was out of my system, I would have started looking for ways to get back on the horse. Since the TEDx event was in the same region as my in-laws’ previously scheduled beach week, I would have made the trip anyway.
Instead, the very first thing I did was focus on feeding and calming my baby. Within a few hours, I had already reached out to kick start a new round of TEDx applications and was rearranging my travel plans. I love my in-laws but a week at the beach alone isn’t quite enough motivation to get me on a plane with a 3.5 month old baby. Of course, I also started telling friends and family that the talk had been canceled and acknowledged that I was disappointed. But I quickly noticed that I was a lot less disappointed than I might have expected.
Although it has only been 5 weeks, motherhood seems to have given me a fresh serving of patience when it comes to my professional success. I was surprised at how quickly I was living the cliché of shifting perspective. 5 weeks has been long enough to assure me that I *will* be returning to my consulting business. Full time motherhood demands a type of single tracked focus that eludes me. I miss the dynamic challenges of my business and the varied knots I get to untangle for my clients. Yet the pressure to be maximally successful in minimal time seems to have faded from a ceaseless clammer to a dull roar in the background.
I still fully intend to deliver a TEDx talk, ideally in the 2022 calendar year. But now, that is what feels most important – looking ahead to the future. I am leaning into the silver lining of the simplified logistics this shift offers to both my personal life and my return to work. I have no bandwidth to mope and moan. Maybe, like the sleep deprivation, this perspective will be a temporary state but I like to think that this is a longer term change I will carry forward.
Success, for my clients and for myself, remains a priority. Add in motherhood and I am full up. No time to whine, on to the next step.
So here I go. For now, I will focus on helping my tiny new human develop the senses and skills he needs to thrive. Soon, I will add in my return to work. Eventually, I will stand on the TEDx stage. All in due time with the quiet confidence that success across all fronts will come with patience and persistence.
But if anyone knows a TEDx event looking for prepared speakers right now, please send them my way!