MacGyver and Self-care

Something you probably don’t know is that I run my business using a notebook computer. I work between two different offices and I like the flexibility of being able to carry my computer with me—so, no desktop computer for me. Sure, my team provides support with their technology, but a good part of my brain (and almost all of my work) lives on my notebook computer.

Last week, I packed everything up to head to my out-of-the-home office and as I was unpacking to set up my computer on my desk, the part of the power cord that plugs into the computer fell apart in my hands. Gulp. I’m pretty conscientious about the important stuff that’s on my computer. I have good security, and do all that I should be doing to update my passwords and keep everything backed up. But I had never thought about the power cord. And without a power cord, my computer was going to be a useless, dark screen in about an hour (because of course, the battery was already partially drained). And it was going to stay that way until I could find a replacement cord (which I quickly discovered was going to have to be shipped from somewhere far away).

There were some moments of panic—I had a web page that needed to be updated that day with content that was only on my computer. I had Skype video coaching calls scheduled, and a couple dozen other things that I instantly realized were only accessible to me today if my computer could access power.

Fortunately for me, this story has a happy ending. It turns out I was able to do some very sketchy MacGyver-worthy maneuvers with some scotch tape and paperclips (I kid you not) that allowed my power cord to survive on life support for a few days. In the meantime, I spent an outrageous amount of money on shipping to have a replacement cord express mailed to me. A backup cord is also in the works.

Insert big sigh of relief here.

Why am I sharing this story? It occurs to me that the power cord I took for granted is an awful lot like the things that allow us to connect to our own personal power and effectiveness. And I think these are things that a lot of us take for granted—big time. The things that allow us to shine and to thrive—self-care, me-time, and self-prioritizing, often get shoved to the very bottom of our to-do lists because we get so focused on taking excellent care of everything else.

It’s easy to be so tuned in to the important responsibilities we feel to others and the expectations we have for ourselves about how things need to be done.  We get so busy and it can be tempting  to overlook the critical component that, like the power cord, allows us to apply our creativity, our passion,  our love and our talents to the people and things we care so much about.

A computer is no good if you can’t turn it on and we lose our unique goodness (and secret sauce) when we don’t show up primed, with a full tank of mojo.

Are you falling into the trap where everything else is using up all of your energy and it feels like there is nothing left for you? The truth is, it doesn’t matter how important or busy we are. We’re only as good as our connection to our power source.

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