It can be very easy to want to dive in and get everything taken care of so that it’s off our plates, or on the flip side, go into overwhelm and not do any of it. It can be tempting to ignore anything that feels like an obstacle, and just keep sailing on. Starting a project and getting a few things done can start chipping away and inspire you to continue. For example, I grew up in a family where we cleaned the house and did the laundry once a week. The dishes were always done after every meal. Papers were organized, and the garden was maintained to breathtaking beauty.
When you've piled so many things on your plate and those days happen, defeat can be brutal. We've all experienced it, which can rock us off our feet. Creating resilience is essential. So too, are compassion and acceptance — both with yourself and with others.
Know yourself, become aware of your limits, and honor them. Those around you reap the rewards as well.
Balmy summer afternoons seem made for these quieter pursuits, a twist on the traditional siesta of the Latin world. I have strong memories of sharing the front porch with my grandmother on summer days, each of us with a glass of iced tea and a book, magazine, or crossword puzzle. I remember the feel of the condensation cooling my hand when I gripped my glass, and I remember the soft background noises that were ever present: cicadas, lawn sprinklers, small children playing, the occasional barking dog.
Overwhelm can cause mistakes. Slowing down a bit avoids pitfalls (as much as possible). Those thoughts are worth much more than mere pennies if they are cared for properly - just don't let them swamp you. When you multi-task, although it seems like you'll get more done, you actually lose productivity by dividing your attention.
When do you run your mind tapes during the day? Just before sleep or first thing in the morning? We all do it. The balance happens when we don't let it cycle over and over and over and... over.
None of us knows what the future holds, and one thing that this past year has brought into even more focus for me is being in the present moment. Where you have power is NOW. Stop speed dialing through your to-do list and pause. Stop replaying what has already taken place and move forward. The wrangling during the night about conversations you wish had gone differently, the chances you didn't take, the flashback to years ago, none of these are events that can be changed.
The holidays are upon us, which adds yet another layer of responsibilities. Whether it's baking cookies or coordinating a gift for your mom from the family, this time of year has its own pressure. Or perhaps it's navigating the grief of a loved one no longer with you. All of this can have an additional impact this time of year. Speaking to a friend about this recently, we referred to this as "emotional whiplash." You might feel emotions and deep-seated feelings that others won't understand, side by side with the demands of what needs to be done.
Murphy's Law warns us: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong." That is a mindset that many people carry with them; is that you, too? It's easy enough to do when you've hit your limit of things on your to-do list or experienced a series of negative events. But here's a different perspective I would like you to consider: When things appear to be going wrong, what if they're going right?
These lists can be anything from doing laundry to composing a financial plan for yourself and will elevate the mind chatter and help alleviate missing things. I know some people who create a list with hours/times added to it. Personally, that's a bit restrictive because there are times during my day that I know I need to get a shopping list together and balance my financial record, but my energy level may be drained that day. So, for me, having a general to-do list within a week highlighting deadlines is a more effective solution.