Over the past couple years I’ve become more and more familiar with Enneagram types. For those who know me, you won’t be surprised to learn that my most defining characteristics come from the Enneagram type Seven – also known as the Enthusiast, the Adventurer, the Generalist, the Wunderkind.
Enneagram Sevens tend to be busy (check), fun loving (check), versatile (check), and scattered (check). A Seven’s deepest fear is being deprived and trapped in pain – especially a pain of the heart. We also fear that if we focus on only one or two things, we’ll miss out on others. Because of this core fear, we tend to spread ourselves too thin and dissipate our energy. (double check). Eventually we hit the proverbial brick wall and shut down. Yesterday, my brick wall showed up in the form of pink glittered popsicle sticks.
The day began with the greatest of intentions as most do – bring the family dog to the school pet show, race to the office (pup along for the stay today), discover one employee called in sick so there’s only two of us left in our gorgeous 6500 square foot office. It’s okay, I tell myself the workload is painfully too light anyway. I’m still feeling the positive energy of a constructive week until I look around to find my piles of good intentions – magazines I intend to read, marketing promotions I intend to act on, new business prospects I intend to call, paperwork I intend to organize and file. I can’t stand it any longer! I wipe off my desk and stuff a couple cardboard boxes with distractions. I clear some space.
The phone rings – one of my favorite clients loves the work but has more revisions than I had hoped for. Check my ongoing conversations via LinkedIn – no one listening. Phone call from another client asking for the poster we just designed for an event to be more “cheesy.” Really! Does anyone really say that?
My positivity meter begins to waver and I feel pangs of creative insecurity set in. Time for a distraction so let’s pay bills. Thank God the expendables have been lightened too. Copier is still not working properly and I demand a month’s credit on the lease – something I would not have been as bold to ask before, but these days I look for every opportunity to conserve. Check the server tape back up – it seems to be running properly – fingers crossed the server doesn’t blow up now that we no longer have a full time IT person.
I return to my office to find those damn boxes of intentions blocking the door so I take the last hour of the day to spread out and sort everything over the production table. I know I will feel better after a little clutter cleansing.
An employee asks for last minute vacation time. I know what this really means, and I’m not surprised or upset, but a sadness begins to seep in to my gut. I’ve run out of steam and can’t constructively sort any more for the day. The dog is whining to go home and I want to hug my kids.
I pull into the garage, holding back the tears of a day filled with sorting intentions and reaching out to an audience who isn’t listening. I’m spent, but I’ve got to hold things together and not let the kids feel my insecurities. I enter the door, kids are absorbed with the television. Mommy isn’t on their agenda until commercial break, so I make my way to the kitchen to grab dinner leftovers. It’s here I find my daughter’s latest creation in progress. Pink paint is splattered across the tablecloth, gold glitter sprinkled like fairy dust all over the table, chair and floor, and best off all bits of paper towel are glued to the glass table. “No mommy,” she cries. “It’s not done. Let it dry. I need one more day to finish.”
Bleeeeeeeuuuuup. Shut down. Power off. Dinner is the furthest thing on my mind and at 7:15 all I want to do is curl up in my bed, pull the covers over my head and tune it all out. This is what maximum load looks like in my world.
How do I get out of this you may ask? That’s another long entry for another day, but let’s just say if it wasn’t for my beautiful children I would be stuck in this muck for an eternity.
Today, in spite of birthday parties, science projects, grocery shopping and household chores, I created time and space to be fully present. It helped to talk with mom too. As I reflect on the last couple days I remembered the image above from Willow and Frank. This is the place I visit when I search for peace, where I unwind my constricted heart and live life unscripted. Tonight I will close my eyes and dream of this wonderous fairy tale.
*original photo by Willow and Frank