marketing-can-wait | emergency room sign at a hospital

When Life Happens, Marketing Can Wait

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s this: prioritize your mental well-being. I was reminded of this last week when life happened all at once. I had to quickly re-arrange my priorities, and guess what? I decided that marketing can wait.

 

As it turns out, a lot in our lives can wait. “It” doesn’t need to be done right now – or in some cases, ever – but that’s a blog post for another time (and another blog that isn’t about content marketing!).

 

Life happened

 

Last week was a lot.

 

On Sunday evening, my family was driving home from the airport. I was texting with my friend, Brynn, whose family had taken care of our dog Marley while we were away. Marley is a rescue pit bull/bull dog mix, and Brynn had been her foster mom for six months while Marley waited for us to find her. 

 

“Marley’s ear is bleeding,” she texted, “but I have no idea what happened! She was playing outside. I don’t see blood anywhere – outside or in the house.”

 

“No worries,” I responded. “Things happen.”

 

Marley was a different dog when we arrived at Brynn’s house. Instead of high energy and happy wags, we were met by an animal that closely resembled Eeyore, but worse – she was shaking. Brynn and her husband were besides themselves. We told them not to worry and we took her home.

 

If you’ve ever had a dog, you know that they don’t show pain. Well, she did. As the evening progressed, her panting and whimpering increased. At 11:30pm, my husband and son took her to the emergency vet, a 40-minute drive away (a drawback of living in a small town in the mountains). As it turned out, Marley was bitten by one of Brynn’s other dogs and had puncture wounds in her right ear. She was placed on antibiotics and given pain killers.

 

marketing-can-wait | Marley and me

Marley and I hiking on a beautiful spring day last month.

But wait, there’s more

 

So there I was on Monday morning, trying to get Marley to eat breakfast and take her meds when my sister-in-law, Yvonne, called. When I was done explaining what happened to Marley, she gently asked, “Did you get Dad’s email this morning?” – referring to my father.

 

“Oh god,” I sighed. “Now what?”

 

“Uncle Paul died this morning.” I nearly dropped my phone before bursting into tears. Uncle Paul was my mom’s younger brother. Out of all my elders, he was the youngest at 71. He wasn’t in perfect health, but he wasn’t on a battery of meds or suffering from a chronic illness, either. 

 

Our brief phone chat a few weeks ago suddenly took on new meaning. I’m so glad we ended it with “I love you.”

 

marketing-can-wait | Uncle Paul

Uncle Paul with our old dog, Buddy, in November 2018.

 

Needless to say, I barely got any work done that day. One of the things on my to-do list was “Write blog post.” Didn’t happen.

 

Tuesday was no better. Even on meds, Marley’s ear looked like a superfund site. I took her to the vet, where they cleaned out the gunk and prescribed a heavier dose of antibiotics, plus ear drops.

 

Back home, there was no rest for the emotionally weary. In a stroke of bad timing, we had to prep the main level of our home for new hardwoods to be installed. This meant moving everything but the big pieces of furniture to the garage, moving ourselves to the lower level of our home, and living through brief but loud construction. The sanctuary that is our home suddenly wasn’t.

 

I spent the week constantly monitoring our poor dog and cleaning her ear, waiting to hear about Uncle Paul’s funeral, checking in on my family, and trying desperately to focus on work.

 

By Friday, I was mush. Lots of sleep and doing as little as possible over the weekend was just what the doctor ordered. Well, we did go to our first live music concert in two years, but that’s good for the soul. And it was preceded by a two-hour nap.

 

Anyway. Here’s the thing:

 

Marketing can wait

 

I spent the week pushing anything that wasn’t revenue-generating off my plate. Projects with deadlines got pushed to the top of the priority list. Any projects that didn’t have a strict deadline got pushed to this week.  

 

I also moved phone calls and pushed all marketing related tasks to this week and next. 

 

And yes, I told people what was going on. I’ve never been shy about sharing my personal life with clients. Last year when our dog Buddy died of cancer, I was so weepy that I had to tell clients or they would have wondered why I looked like I was at a funeral. (People are very understanding, by the way.) 

 

Give yourself some grace.

 

Clear your schedule as best you can. 

 

Take care of yourself.

 

The world will not stop spinning if you put off marketing or other non-urgent tasks. 

 

Did anyone notice that I didn’t publish a blog post last week? I can guarantee you that the answer is no. 

 

Likewise, you can delay a product or service launch, take time off social media, and push a newsletter release date back. In the long run, it will not hurt your business or brand.

 

Postscript

 

Marley is back to 100%. Uncle Paul’s funeral is tomorrow. And our home was put back together Tuesday night.

 

Life goes on.                                                      

 

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