I’m going to own this: My personal life is a hot mess.
It never stops. Just as one crisis diminishes, the next one arrives. It’s like I’m standing waist deep in the ocean, waiting for the next wave to knock me off kilter.
Do you know what I mean?
I now wear my personal crises as a badge of honor. My crises are part of who I am, and I have quite a list:
- Dad got Alzheimer’s. We put him in a nursing home. He deteriorates in front of our eyes, finally dying in May 2016.
- Mom got Parkinson’s. She struggled as a care provider for my dad, which caused tremendous depression. She became a victim of elder abuse, where her “care provider” swindled Mom of her life savings and is verbally abusive to her. She showed up on my doorstep in August 2015, begging me to let her stay.
- Mom lived with us for six months. I’ll say this as kindly as I can: My mother is a trying woman. Living with her was not a picnic. I move her to an assisted living facility so she can get better care. To this day, she tells me I abandoned her.
- My oldest son was failing high school. He dropped out in August 2016. He takes a year off. Then, he decides to go back to school for his senior year. He has a ton of credits to make up. Getting him through school is a full-time job – one I am grateful for – despite the stress.
- Emma, my beloved basset hound, was stricken with cancer not once, but twice, in 2016.
- My family had to move from our rental home, where we lived for years, and could not find a place until 10 days before our move-out date. (I did manifest a lovely home!)
- My mother fell and broke her hip, requiring a partial hip replacement. She’s not a compliant patient. She’s fallen a dozen times since her surgery.
During all of these crises, I have stayed in business. How?
I have stayed in faith. I took on contract work to guarantee income when the crises were taking too much time to work on my business. I relied on my tribe to lift me up. I asked for help. I embraced imperfection.
Yes, imperfection and I became BFFS.
Cope, don’t balance.
A student, whose father was recovering from a stroke, once asked me: “How do you do it? How do you balance your business when a personal crisis occurs?”
I told her you don’t balance. It’s impossible to balance, really (especially when you’re caring for an aging parent).
Instead, you focus on the day in front of you. You stand steadfast in the ocean as the waves pound you. It’s okay if you fall. It’s okay if you have to take a step to steady yourself.
It’s not about balancing – it’s about coping. That’s all you can do.
I wish I could give you concrete business advice here: Do this step, followed by this step.
I can’t. There is no magic formula. You do the best you can do.
I am rooting for you.
I always say to my tribe: I am rooting for you.
I don’t say it to be clever or disingenuous. I say it because I am rooting for you.
I know our personal lives can be in the crapper. It’s tough to keep running a business when your kid gets sick, or your parent dies, or your dog needs emergency surgery.
I am rooting for you to push through. To find a way. To stand as strong as you can when those waves hit. You can run a business, even when your life is a hot mess. I am living proof. Hang in there.
And in case you need to hear it again: I am rooting for you.
Jill Celeste, MA is a bestselling author, marketing teacher and founder of the Celestial Marketing Academy. Jill teaches purpose-driven entrepreneurs everything they need to know about marketing so they can become the Directors of Marketing for their businesses.
Jill is the author of the Amazon Top 25 Bestselling Marketing Book, That First Client, as well as the co-author of the bestseller, Cultivating Joy, and international bestseller, Gratitude and Grace.
Jill graduated with a B.A. in English from Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. She obtained her master’s degree in history from the State University of Georgia in Carrollton. Prior to becoming a marketing coach, Jill worked for 14 years in the private sector, and has experience in marketing and public relations in healthcare, IT and small business.
Jill lives near Tampa, Florida, with her husband, two sons, two guinea pigs and a basset hound named Emma.