Right about the same time the opportunity came up to apply for my current full-time job, my mother was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. Knowing I still had a teenager at home and would also be one of my mom’s primary caregivers gave me pause. But my mom loved her years working at BYU and was so happy when I was hired part-time at UVU, she meant it when she encouraged me to apply for the job and then to accept the position when it was offered to me.
So since I’ve had this job I’ve gone a year helping to care for my dying mother. I’ve helped my kids when our first grandchild was born early–right as we hit deadline for a huge contract project with a federal agency. We stood watch during that time we hoped my mother-in-law would just wake up from her surgery. And I’ve dealt with foot surgery and a much longer-than-expected recovery from that. I’ve also helped bail out a few people when they either over committed themselves or life happened to them, all while managing my own projects.
And while I may have gingerly juggled a few balls and desperately grasped them just before they hit the ground, until today I’ve never dropped the ball.
And today* I just blew off a phone conference call with a major player in another federal agency with whom we wish to partner for not just an upcoming project, but also the possibility of future projects.
Fortunately, it’s not urgent, and the man has been quite understanding.
But for someone who takes responsibility seriously and just doesn’t blow off people (except maybe, occasionally, my visiting teachers when I truly forget not hours of last remembering an appointment).
And I felt badly.
I owned it. No excuses. Just “I apologize.” Because I sincerely do.
And here’s hoping I never drop such a big ball ever again.
*This was after laying awake half the night worried over dropping the ball after the arrangements I had for someone to hang out with my grandson for at least half my workday so I could hit some important conference calls fell through last minute. The first conference call was a disaster.
THERE IS A REASON PEOPLE DON’T GENERALLY TAKE A CONFERENCE CALL WITH A TODDLER IN THE ROOM!
I didn’t even try the second one.
And then I forgot the third. Which was probably the most important.