I was 8 hours away from having to feed the 23 people who were showing up at my house for the holiday dinner party. My kitchen had been magically transformed into my office. With one hand I was peeling potatoes; with the other, I was busy emailing and texting from my two dumb phones. After all, work didn’t stop just because it was a holiday. With each tick-tock of the clock, I got more and more stressed. It was going to require the 8 arms of an octopus if I had any shot at getting everything done on time. I was so fubar’d. Why do I keep doing this to myself?
In Wendywoman’s Office….
Wendywoman had been on overdrive for months now, pushing herself to a near state of exhaustion. She felt distressed saying “no” because she didn’t want to disappoint anyone. With each “yes” came another commitment on top of her already crazy travel and meeting schedule. Then there was her family. They needed some of her time too! There wasn’t enough of her to go around. She had let her overachieving superhero personality and lifestyle almost destroy any balance she once had. An inevitable fall off the tightrope would cause unnecessary suffering.
Stop! It was time for her to make prudently considered choices about what to commit her time to. Fortunately, she already had the simple tools necessary to restore balance to her life.
What can you do?
It took a really good friend saying to me, “Wendy, even when you are here you aren’t always here. You have your hands in a million different things and your mind is off working somewhere else.” Wow! That was like a slap up side the head. I had become a crabby crappy. Just like Phrantic Phoebe’s life is out of balance from always saying “NO NO NO”, I found myself on a precarious tightrope from saying “YES YES YES.” I was a people-pleasing “YES” woman, committing my time and energy to requests and demands that didn’t feed my own passion and soul. I prided myself on being the queen of multitasking, unable to see that it was taking it toll. My chaotic schedule had been giving me a phantom sense of achievement. What choices can you change so you slow down and find the joy in your life?
I made a list of everything I was working on to determine what was mandatory (boss made me do it) and what was optional (kids made me do it, who made me do it?) It was surprising to find the list heavily weighted with optional activities. I was certain it was the other way around. Focusing on the optional list and evaluating line by line how I got involved to begin with revealed a shocking pattern. Who needed a “honey-do list,” I had an “I-do list!” On the surface it seemed like an easy fix: just start saying NO. Saying NO to others can often be a challenge, but a good place to start is by saying NO to yourself. That you can do.
This week’s challenge to my blog readers…
Make a list of all of your optional commitments and rank them in the order of how much joy they bring to you. Keep the items you are really interested in on your list and cross out the rest. Don’t allow the pressure of another person to determine what stays on or comes off the list. Be prepared to cut things out and say “That doesn’t work for me right now” to activities that don’t make your heart sing. Instead use that time to relax and nourish your own soul. Send me an e-mail at Wendywoman@wendywoman.com or catch me on Facebook (Wendywoman) to let me know how you are doing.
Will you spend the week being fulfilled or frazzled?