Years and years ago, when I was a manager at a Panera Bread – young and green and trying so hard – I was blessed to have a boss who embodied everything new managers want to be. One of the hardest lessons I learned from him was that trying to make up for whatever has already happened is a path to failure. The only way to make things better is to focus on doing it right this time.
At Panera, that meant if you blew your labor hours for the day you didn’t try to run on a skeleton crew the next day in hopes you could somehow catch up and end up within your target range by the end of the week. Here on the blog, it means that I’m not going to write eight months worth of back-dated posts and throw them up as if I can pretend there was never any gap. (Tempting though it is.)
Instead, I’m going to do what the confident, grace-giving adult version of myself would do: acknowledge the gap (and the reasons for it), pick up where I am, and move on from here.
Because here’s the thing: this year, my husband and I did the impossible. [And, as Malcom Reynolds would say, that makes us mighty!] We sold or tossed (almost) everything, including our house, and moved across the country. We transitioned into new jobs, a new home, and a vastly, brilliantly new lifestyle. To make that happen, we had to drop pretty much everything that wasn’t directly involved in that process… even important things, like this blog.
Now that we’ve started to find our footing, I’m ready to come back to this. (And I’ve got some great stuff to share with you!) But it’s important to me to do it in an honest, upfront way that honors who I am and what I know to be true, and that (hopefully!) sets an example that makes it easier for you to extend grace to yourself in the future.
Because if there’s one thing that is absolutely certain, it’s that rewriting your life is totally possible but never easy. Bumps, missteps, setbacks, and do-overs are inevitable. Letting ourselves get bogged down by regret, guilt, recrimination or discouragement just mucks up and slows down the journey.
So do me a favor. Take a minute today and ask yourself if there’s anything you need to let go of – anything that’s dragging you down or holding you back or mucking up your hopes for the life you wish you had.
If you find something (and you probably will, because none of us are perfect), acknowledge the gap between what you wanted and what is. If there are solid reasons for the gap, accept them for what they are without accepting an ounce of guilt, shame or discouragement for them. Then drop it all off a cliff, pick up your feet and move forward.