How Fisch Come Up for Air

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I’ve been craving a good sleep walking story to share with you all. You know, something lighthearted and funny to quickly read.

It’s even crossed my mind once or twice to poke the sleeping bear fisch to see if I can instigate something entertaining, but then I remember how sleep deprived Big Fisch feels most of the time, and my heart turns soft.

I know, I know. I’m weak.

The truth is, it’s just been a pretty serious season around here.

First year HBS students have been hunkered down trying to secure internships for the summer on top of everything else, and both partners and students seem a bit buried under our work load as we all attempt to thaw out from winter…and life.

I’ve been talking a lot about decisions here recently, because for us in this phase of life, the amount of decisions we’ve been facing just hasn’t let up yet.

Sure, we have a lot of fun moments sprinkled throughout our weeks and months, but the current demands get pretty exhausting and I think we’re all a tad burnt out.

I am, however, starting to spot the signs in my life when I’m personally heading towards the “burnt out zone”, and there are a few things I’m learning to do to help re-motivate, refocus, reconnect, and renew myself along the way.

A few of my life lines:

I seek out external inspiration.

I can get pretty tired of me. Not in a self-deprecating way, just in a “I need to hear someone else’s thoughts” kind of way. Keeping my nose in a book, listening to a podcast, or following a credible newsfeed, has proven to be a powerful tool for inspiration and insight. At least 15 minutes of this a day has the power to change my perspective, help me see things in a new light, encourage me, and remind me that the world is so much bigger than myself.

I check the health of my soul.

Recently, I nailed a sign to the wall above my desk that reads “It is well with my soul”. I love it because it reminds me daily that first and foremost, my soul needs to be well. It’s a built in check for me, because the truth is my soul is often not well. And when my soul isn’t well, nothing else I try to add on to my life will fix what is really wrong within me. It’s very easy to get off-centered and consumed primarily with things that don’t matter all that much. But I have found that peace, contentment, and joy actually are attainable even in the midst of many problems and stressers, IF my soul is connected with it’s source of life. Which brings me to my next point.

I connect back with my Creator. 

Never am I more inspired and rejuvenated in my purpose for living, then when I spend time in the presence of the very One who created me. Nothing man can offer as a rival to this will ever compare. No one knows me better, no one cares for me better, and no one is more eager to help me. He is the well-spring of life for my soul, and in Him I am promised to flourish.

I reach out to community.

There really is something about being known and knowing others that is life-giving. I’m learning more and more to let friends be friends and teammates be teammates. I’m learning to let others carry some weight when they genuinely want to, and when I really just can’t (…even). And guess what? You don’t always have to  be the one who just listens; sometimes you need to be the talker and the advice and guidance received in return might be just what you needed to get you back on your feet. No one is asking you to have it all together, and our load actually becomes much lighter when we stop pretending we do.

I remind myself to…”freaking work for it.”

Big Fisch likes to remind me of this phrase, and it often doesn’t go over so well in the moment. He states it boldly and simply, and I frown back. He holds his gaze at me, not letting me off the hook, and I intensify my furrowed brow. That is, until I remember it’s only deepening wrinkles that are starting to form. Then I stomp out of the room. I’m a real gem to live with.

But it’s true what they say. Success comes to those who…freaking work for it. Not those who sit around. Sometimes at the end of the day, I just have to remind myself that goals and dreams require the grind. I can’t skip ahead past all the hard work, and expect to just enjoy the outcome. When I’m feeling burnt out, unmotivated, and in a rut, sometimes I just have to walk over to the mirror, look myself in the eye and say “baby girl – you just have to work for it.” And often, that’s just the kind of gentle kick in the butt I need.

All Fisch have to come up for air sometimes. And escaping to the Caribbean just isn’t always an option.

Happy spring, friends!

Until next time,

-Tiny Fisch