When I was hired by the American Heart Association | American Stroke Association in 2016, I walked around Central Park calling various friends and family members and brimming with excitement.
I planned for my first day. I was going to go to bed really early the night before and have every outfit for the week picked out. I wanted to be sure I had all the lunch-packing materials on the ready and that I had clean laundry and sheets, and also a spotless apartment. I was prepared to set myself up for complete and total success and nothing could possibly go wrong.
The night before my first day, myself and two of my roommates walked to our neighborhood grocery store at 10:00 PM because I was out of bananas. My laundry basket was full. My sheets weren’t clean. And reader, I did not go to bed early.
Instead, my roommates and I stayed up laughing and reveling in the joy that is an ordinary Sunday night in late August in New York City.
There are times in my life when I relive that night—exhausted, disorganized, and laughing all the way to the grocery store. Usually, I think about that night when I’m on the precipice of something else of deep significance or importance—like when I have a big project I’m working on or a momentous occasion to celebrate or the knowledge that a certain week might be extra busy.
And when I do, I don’t remember missed hours of sleep or an organized closet or whether or not everything I wanted to accomplish prior to the event came to fruition. But I do remember looking out over the Hudson River with one of my dearest friends and somehow just knowing that the details would take care of themselves.
There’s absolutely value to being prepared. But not at the expense of your sanity. I don’t remember a whole lot from that first day of work. It was a blur of faces and names and responsibilities and paperwork. But I remember everything about the night before.
Sometimes the “big moments” aren’t the ones our resumes reflect. Sometimes, it’s the quieter moments that we could never expect that change our world completely and leave us a little more ready for whatever life throws at us.