As the blur of summer comes to a close, I have been getting ready for the fourth quarter rush. This is typically our busiest time of the year. New business is steady, but we are under pressure to launch most of our in-development projects by the end of the year. As a result I’ve reinserted myself more heavily into our processes, which I periodically do to see how we can optimize what we do and how we do it.
With my summer commitments safely in the past, this seemed like a great time to jump back into the thick of things. Then I got sick for a month. After a few weeks of feeling horrible, I did some WebMD’ing and decided to go to the doctor with my findings. I met with him and his army of medical interns to discuss my symptoms, and following a barrage of tests, my findings were confirmed, mostly. I had started to suspect that I had a stomach ulcer, when in fact it is only inflammation. It is what I refer to as a “baby ulcer” because telling people you have duodenitis sounds scary.
Taking some strong antacids and curbing my desire for caffeine and spicy food has certainly helped bring me back to about 95%, but it’s clear that this will take some time to fully heal, and in the meantime, I also need to keep a handle on stress which has been an interesting challenge considering everything that I have on my plate. I think I’m actually getting the hang it of though. The prospect of inviting searing stomach pain if I get too worked up about something is pretty motivating to just shrug and say “Oh well!” and let life go on. That is not to say that I don’t care about things, but I am getting better about skipping the “upset” part and moving right into “let’s just deal with it” part. The only time I’ve noticed “upset” sneaking up on me is when I’m driving (or in some cases, being driven). As long as I live in Massachusetts, I’m not sure how I can avoid this.
In any case, there’s nothing like a health scare to make you take a good and serious look at your life. All of this has forced me to slow down–which is nearly impossible for me to do otherwise–and reassess many things in my life and at work. While I would have loved not being sick this past month, I am actually looking forward to challenging myself to work differently, and ideally creating some long-term solutions that will prevent any baby ulcers sneaking up on me in the future.