Embracing polysemy, I declare this upcoming workshop to be both a sign and a problem, thus making it an opportunity:
To figure out what I really want to do
To face my fear over professional failure
To push myself
To make time for myself
To practice just getting things done and moving forward.
After realizing how close it was to the event, I opted not to cancel and to go ahead with the workshop. I reached out more to colleagues for advice, and decided to stress less.
Today I called the office to learn a few more details about the event, including how many people to expect. Tonight I was able to put together a 3-page e-hand-out for participants and wrestle the outline into something workable. A bit more time on it, and I’ll have something acceptable to present. Yes, I really really wish I would make more time and do a better job. But I won’t do that right now, so I’m happy with figuring out what a good level of effort would be and providing that.
Incidentally, I think that may be one of the main lessons from my doctoral program: don’t overthink it, and don’t work harder than you have to (otherwise known as work smart, not hard). While this advice fails in a number of ways (note my lack of an academic career), it certainly makes for a more pleasant experience.