I hit the floor early every morning, so early that I’m usually on my second cup of coffee by 5 am. “Daylight’s burning,” my Granny used to say…meaning get up and get at it. It’s been my lifelong habit. I’m pretty worthless after 9 pm.
I’ve been feeling more than a little paranoid lately. As my schedule gets busier and there are more demands on my time, I find myself constantly looking at the appointment book on the desk at the office, the calendar on my computer, and the calendar I carry around, and hoping I’m not forgetting anything. Yes, I have been one of the last people on the planet without a smartphone, but I just ordered one a minute ago. It’ll be here in a couple of days. So I will be carrying around an electronic calendar, but I’ll still be checking it against the appointment book at the office, where I also record my activities for the benefit of my staff, who might wonder where I’m gone and when I’ll be back. I also record Chamber meetings, local events I’m attending and so forth in the appointment book, because staff members are sometimes involved or might want to be. I will also have to keep the Google calendar, because it is shared with the other members of the North Carolina Board or Massage & Bodywork Therapy, so that we can all keep up with committee meetings and the tasks that we have all been assigned to do and we are supposed to check in on it when we’ve completed our assignments. It’s a balancing act and I keep worrying about missing something.
I get to my office at 7:30. I handle the housekeeping chores, like cleaning the bathrooms, catching up any laundry left over from the night before, vacuuming and making sure all the trash cans are empty. People sometimes act shocked to hear that I still scrub the toilet at my office…well, if I didn’t do it, I’d be paying someone to do it, and I have the cleaning there down to a fine science of about 15 minutes a day. I’d have a hard time finding someone who only wants to work 15 minutes a day. When I’m there, I’m also the receptionist. I file all the insurance. I answer the phone. I schedule appointments and check clients in and out. When I’m on the road teaching, I pay someone to do the job…and frankly, nobody does it better than I do. It’s my business. It’s hard to find someone who will care about your place as much as you do and take care of it in exactly the same way. When I get back from a trip, I have to keep myself in check not to be too critical about how things were taken care of while I was gone. I know the clients got good service, I don’t have to worry about that part of it, but as for the mundane tasks of running the business, I will be pouncing on everything with my eagle eye, noticing that the blinds are dusty, or that the office helper entered a cash transaction as a credit card on the daily log or that the insurance was filed incorrectly and got kicked back.
In between all this, I try to keep abreast of the legislative and regulation activities going on that relate to massage, write my blog and work on the articles I am writing for the various magazines. For the past six years, I’ve also almost continually had a book in progress that needs my attention, too. I check in on my FB and youtube channels and make posts or upload new videos. In accordance with my own advice, I spend at least 30 minutes a day on marketing activities for my business…working up new ads, sending out the email newsletter, updating my website, calling clients, sending out birthday cards, or whatever it is I’m focused on that day.
Out of the estimated 50-60 times a day or more that the phone rings at the office, at least a half-dozen of them will be someone who wants me to answer questions about the massage board, continuing education requirements, or what they should do about some ethical dilemma they’ve found themselves in. Or I’m asked to do some project for someone, that in the end turns out to be a total waste of my time because they didn’t like the way I handled it. My e-mail is the same way, as are the messages in my FB inbox. I listened to Michael Reynold’s great e-mail ninja presentation this week, and implemented the “requires action” folder, and it is already stuffed full.
I’m participating in a lot of webinars and live events, which I’m grateful to be doing, but along with those also comes the accompanying responsibility of publicity. In addition to just getting ready to teach my own classes, there are radio interviews and video commercials to make, and of course the organizers would like those posted every day. I have to look back on my FB page and Twitter to make sure I’m giving everyone equal time. I also have this paranoia about not appearing to be fair and impartial, and I don’t want to give one event more coverage than another. I also try to help my friends in the massage profession advertise their events, and I worry about that…did I post Gloria and forget to post Felicia, or was it the other way around? I’m always checking back to see, and I’m afraid when other things take precedence, I feel bad when it doesn’t happen at all, especially if they’re helping me, which they usually do.
Like everyone else, I also have a household to maintain, laundry to do, meals to cook, a spouse to spend time with, bills to pay…I am childless, and those people who are parents have my admiration for doing all I do and more.
In the past ten days, my husband’s best friend died at the age of 61, another friend survived crashing his private plane although he did sustain some serious injuries, one of my brothers flipped his truck on black ice and thank God didn’t get hurt but it was still scary, and yesterday the wife of one of the musicians I play with on Sunday nights passed away, also at the age of 61.
None of us have the guarantee of drawing the next breath. So what if I don’t get everything done that’s on my to-do list everyday…I can’t take it to the grave and in the general scheme of things, the world isn’t going to come to an end if I don’t post a blog or make a new video. At the end of the day, all I really want is to think I did the best I could. Daylight’s burning, and I’m pedaling as fast as I can.