Are you really saving time?

by | Feb 22, 2006

I subscribe to lots of newsletters or ezines, and I cancel most of my subscriptions after an issue or two. As a result, only two or three newsletters show up in my inbox each week. Still, I have been in the habit of deleting most of them unread in order to “save time.”
As a short term tactic, I think this makes sense. But in the last year or so my short term tactic morphed into a permanent strategy. That was a costly shift.
It was costly because I started to live as thought I “couldn’t afford” to spend time with writers like Jennifer Louden, Mark Silver, and Charlie Badenhop. These three happen to be colleagues and friends, and perhaps that’s part of the reason I did not think I needed to spend time with them. Don’t I already have a pretty good idea of how they think? Well, lately I’ve been reading all of their newsletters, and the fact is that each time I’ve come away with something I did not see before.
Sometimes it feels as though I have made a career out of turning everyone I meet into a client. On the plus side, that speaks to how much coaching is part of my nature. On the minus side, it has meant that my friendships can become lopsided very quickly. The more I could use a friend, the less I reach out. After all, haven’t I proved time and again that other people need me more than I need them?
Oh well. This would be a gloomy tale indeed if I weren’t so pleased with the discovery that not only do I need other people but that it is a profound privilege and pleasure to receive their support.
Before I go further, I should say that the picture i have painted is inaccurate in one important way: The Charming Prince (TCP) melted my self sufficiency years ago, and he’s given me countless opportunities to soak up support. Thank you, TCP! I also learned to receive paid support, and I’ve been the beneficiary of coaching, healing, and teaching. But to expect support outside of marriage or a professional relationship? I think not.
(Too funny. The more I write the more aware I am of the exceptions. My friend Kitty B, my friend Sara, my sister Maggie. You don’t suppose I tend to be a little hard on myself?)
I notice I have wandered from my theme: saving time and gaining ease. The connection is this: when I’m busy doing it myself, I don’t have time to learn from others nor do I notice their outstretched hands. Sure, there will be weeks when I delete newsletters unread so that I can devote my attention to a special project or — imagine! — simply vacation. But for now I am happy to be reading my friends again, basking in the warm glow of their experience and affection, aware once again that I am not a solitary laborer in the cosmic rock pile.