Posts tagged balance
Why relaxing isn't relaxing

The schools in my area are on spring break this week. I am working and, starting tonight, watching the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. When spring break begins, I feel a sense of relief and success. One reaon is that I’ve made it two-thirds of the way through my son’s school year. Another reason is when there is a school break or a holiday, people are less anxious about their legal issues. I receive less e-mail and fewer phone calls which allows my day to feel more fluid and less disjointed.

Most weeks are not disjointed. Life, in general, feels more disjointed. Our attention is rarely on one thing at a time. It isn’t from multitasking, rather it is because there is a “high” that comes with seeing new information.

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Never Enough

“Screws fall out all the time, the world is an imperfect place” The Breakfast Club

This blog post was knocking around in my head through the holiday season and resurfaced in the new year. During Christmas, there were many times I felt inadequate. How many gifts is enough? How many holiday gatherings is enough? Should I do more? Can I do more? Worry about all of these questions causes me to miss out on the joy that comes with gatherings and gifts. To abate the guilt, I wait until the 2 weeks (even 2 days) before Christmas to buy gifts so I don’t struggle with whether I am doing enough. And I participate in every gathering.

New year for change

I remind myself every New Year’s Eve that I have more time on my hands on January 1st than any other day of the year.

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Fear of being lazy (FOBL)

Taking time for yourself is not lazy

What is holding you back from taking time for yourself? This time of year, preparation for the holidays can be the reason you don’t do things you enjoy. In all honesty, isn’t it like this all year long? A list of tasks and goals to be achieved for someone other than yourself. I’m not saying that you don’t benefit as well. There is usually a sense of satisfaction when you do something for someonse else and there is often a mutual benefit.

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Just say ok

From the moment you wake up, you are making decisions.  Thousands of microdecisions are made everyday.  You are either taking action on a decision or processing whether or not to act.  There are likely several decisions ping-ponging around your brain at any given time.  It is exhausting.  

Every person has a process of sending a decision through several internal filters or a personal algorithm.  Those filters include your values, your desire for control and your intuition to protect yourself.

Our decision-making systems can be on overload because companies build their business to give you lots of choices.   To prove this, go into a Starbucks and listen to 10 people place an order.  Or walk down the cereal aisle at the grocery store. 

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Stay in your lane

One of the main reasons I blog is to work through a problem or situation, reflect on an experience, and to have personal accountability when I make a recommendation (which is pretty much every blog post).

One of my personality traits is to make sure everyone is happy.  I am a peacemaker and problem solver no matter where I am.  I don't like people to feel uncomfortable or disregarded.  I don't like to leave a situation in unrest with no plan to fix it.  Trying to make sure everyone is happy comes with the disadvantage of trying to have the answer for everything and be everything to everyone.  

I learned, with practice, how to say "I don't know" and, even more specifically, to say "I don't know everything".  That doesn't stop me from wanting to know everything or following up with "I will find out".  

Here are a few ways I can support someone and stay in my lane.  

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When you feel overwhelmed

You make thousands of micodecisions every day.  The time you get out of bed.  The amount of cream in your coffee.  The length of your shower.  Along with microdecisions are macrodecisions. Do you get your child a tutor? Do you tell your boss you are behind on a deadline?  Do you hire an expert to do your taxes?

The combination of thousands of microdecisions and proably dozens of macrodecisions each day can build up to feelings of overwhelm.  As you age, it gets worse.  You have to pay more attention to your health and food (or feel the side effects).  You have more assets and debts to manage.  You have increased caretaking responsibilities.

Sometimes I feel overhwhelmed to the point of mental paralyzation.

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I don't know everything

I don’t know everything.  GASP!  And a hush settles over the crowd. 

Ok, it didn’t quite happen this way.  I did say “I don’t know everything” out loud this morning, but there was no crowd.  It was me, my husband and my 8-year old in our house.   It wasn’t a hush, rather there was no response to my statement, i.e. silence.

Today was the first time I said “I don’t know everything” out loud.  Lately, I’ve been seeking out ways to shortcut conversations with my son when he starts nitpicking at my behavior.  This morning his statement started with “mom, you said . . .”. 

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