Letting down vs. letting go

It’s been a rough month.

So far this year I’ve put my “work” time into three things: software development and consulting for clients, writing a technical book for a publisher, helping run coworking at Room to Think for great justice.

I haven’t felt particularly built for any of them, but all three are prerequisites for some other still-unclear thing I should be doing with my life.

Or so I thought. Suddenly this month, each one pretty much ensured the failure of the other two!

I couldn’t help coworking succeed because I was too busy with client work and book writing. I couldn’t bill clients for the time I spent blankly staring at their work; too many late nights writing and long days of coworking decisions, all rattling around in my now-fried brain. And how can I afford to deliver the book I promised to write, with potentially paying clients waiting for results and now a coworking space to salvage?

I’ve been a letdown to a lot of people this month.

Or so I thought.

Turns out, in at least one situation, it’s okay that I let go. In a month, Room to Think is dead / Long live the coworking community — in others’ more capable hands.

“My” book, as well, is likely beyond my intervention. It wasn’t about me anyway. If the publisher decides to find a more punctual champion of this particular technology, so be it.

For my clients too, I am not the goal. They’re after a result with a budget and a timeframe…we should still be able to make up for lost time and meanwhile, my invoices sure ain’t gonna much hurt their budget.

Not that this is all without consequence! Oh no, I wish I would have handled this month much much better. I should have more quickly let go of my own goals, and had more care for those around me instead. If I’d done that from the start, maybe even my own good feelings and positive self-image wouldn’t be so let down right now, because they wouldn’t have mattered in the first place.

Share this: Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Reddit
Nathan Vander Wilt

Nathan Vander Wilt

Nate loves to wrestle big hard problems into little approachable softwares (/books/posts/tweets). If he's not busy designing apps for clients, he's probably busy building ideas for fun. Lately he's been also busy growing fish and plants together in his suburban greenhouse, and sharing good books and loud music with his family.

Liked this post? Follow this blog to get more. 

  • Nate (and Hannah), don’t take this the wrong way, but I love you. You are a fantastic and incredibly intelligent individual with a giant heart. I greatly appreciate you and am so glad to call you friend. Thank you for caring so much. Truly.

    I am so glad you realize that you did not let anyone down. In fact, you voluntarily given a year of your time to this community and helped create great momentum. To that—I think I can speak for everyone—I say THANK YOU.

  • Becca Lingley

    I’m so proud of you for realizing there were too many plates in the air to fully manage; and I dare say the family plate probably wasn’t even being juggled because the time just wasn’t there (let alone your passions and hobbies). I’m so thankful that you have evaluated your life and made the changes that you needed to make both to be successful with your career, and to allow you the balance that is needed in life – for the benefit of your family, friends, clients, and community. A full year to a start-up non-profit is no small undertaking. It takes blood, sweat and tears. I dare say people won’t understand the depth of what you gave until they start one themselves. It’s more than a full time job in and of itself.Take care.