Overbooking Ourselves & Squeaky Door Handles

August 19, 2021

I blearily looked up at the time on my monitor and noticed it said 12:36am.

Dammit. I did it again.

I overbooked myself.

There I was, trying to meet a deadline before I went camping with my family the next day (and wouldn’t have a stitch of internet for the whole weekend.)

So I had to finish.
I had to put my head down and work until I was done, because I had no other choice at the moment.

And you know when this happened?

Last week.

No matter how much I teach about ways to prevent overbooking and how to give ourselves realistic timelines and how to avoid nights just like this…

It still happens to me.

I’ve struggled with this in the past – the things I teach and strategies I promote are all things that no matter how much I think I have under control – still rear their fugly little noodles from time to time.

My inner mean girl will say things like:
“This just shows you’re a hypocrite! You haven’t solved this. Who are you to teach others when you haven’t fixed it for yourself?”

Thankfully the more mature me knows better (and isn’t such a b**ch.)

See these issues and situations we encounter aren’t something we ever truly “fix”. They aren’t a giant hole in the wall or a broken window.

They’re more like a squeaky door handle.

When we hear it squeak it annoys us and we promise to fix it sometime. Then it keeps squeaking until we can’t take it anymore and apply some WD-40 to it (or weasel piss as my husband affectionately calls it.)

The squeak goes away and we’re fine.

But sometime later that squeak will come back – the grease wears off, the kids have slammed it too much, or the handle is old and needs some extra love.

So we notice the squeak, remember what worked last time and go grab that can of weasel piss.

The key takeaway here isn’t that the door handle is inherently broken or not good enough – we don’t throw it out and go get a new one.

We notice the squeak, we remember what worked the last time and go grab that can of weasel piss.

Much faster to get the desired end result of a squeak-free door handle.

So the other week when I realized I had overbooked myself, I didn’t beat myself up too badly – I knew this was just a squeaky door handle.

I accepted that I had one more long day ahead of me to finish up a few things.

I called my favourite contractor and asked if she could take on a few projects.

I emailed a client and said I would need to extend a deadline.

I said not right now to another project that came in.

My own personal working brand of WD-40.

It’s in accepting that we most likely will never truly “fix” these things that allows us to put into place systems and stopgaps so that they happen less frequently or are able to be recovered from faster.

And so yes, I still struggle with overbooking myself. I probably always will.

But knowing I have that can of weasel piss at the ready makes all the difference.

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