Don’t know about you, but as I reach Christmas time thoughts of the year that was tap me on the shoulder and whisper sweet (and not so sweet) nothings in my ear. I think about what I did well, where I failed miserably, where I picked myself up again and what I’ll enhance next year.
But among all of this there’s a question that I’ve never asked myself, a question that cuts right through the detail, the options and the excuses. A question, that was hurled at me from the back seat of the car with such innocence;
“Was it worth it?’
Tween and I had been talking about the year that’s been. I’d just told her that it had been a difficult year in the business, and that I was feeling tired.
What the question really made me consider is, what does ‘worth it’ mean?
I couldn’t answer.
And I noticed had the question been asked of my accountant I could promptly justify, yes, it was tough in points but it came out in the wash. If my solicitor asked I’d say A-OK. If my mum asked I’d say I was proud that I rose to challenges and if a colleague asked I’d tell them I’d had a ball through a lot of it, and we’d talk about the wins, the losses and the changes.
But when my child asks there is nowhere to hide.
I spat out something about it was good that there was food on the table – but I didn’t look in the revision mirror as I said it because she knew, and I knew that that wasn’t good enough. I tried to gloss it over with a few good news stories about the work of the year which also fell flat.
But the truth is that she knows just as well as I know that every single moment I spend in my business, is a moment I do not spend with my children.
Is it worth it?
The ONLY thing I know for sure about that question is that I do not want to be asking it of myself in 20 years time.
I want to know FOR SURE that it was all worth it, that I lived a life that was authentic to me, but also honoured the fact that I have been given this most precious opportunity to walk with these small people in their early years and beyond.
And how do you do that when you’re just getting through your everyday day?
Well, I don’t think you can unless you take the time to stop – feel – listen
This isn’t about writing lists, it’s not about ticking off to do’s and it even goes beyond an awesome plan for next year.
This is about peeling everything back and thinking about what really, REALLY matters, what is utterly non-negotiable for you and where you really need to thrive in the year ahead.
It doesn’t have to be a long process, but I for one know that if the same question was hurled at me by she who will then be teen this time next year I will know the answer. And it will be a very certain;
Yes, yes it was all worth it.