Monday, November 26, 2012

Dread vs. Tread

Have you ever put off something because you just knew it was going to be hard, boring, tedious, or all of the above? Even if putting it off makes that task even more difficult, boring or tedious? That's dread for you- a nasty little emotion that makes us panic for no reason- most of the time. And the times it does warrant a little distress, it's never the big hullabaloo we thought it was going to be!

Like doing dishes. or cleaning the oven. Or packing up a house. Not that I speak for myself, of course. I never dread or panic. That's my evil twin, Elizaboob who does that. Actually, she would make a good scapegoat for my next example. Let's call our ladies Elizaboob and Elizadidit. (think Highlights magazine here folks!)

Let's say Something comes up. It doesn't matter what that Something is, but it's Something that needs to be tended to within the next few days. Just enough time to dread doing it. How do these ladies handle it?

Day One:
Elizaboob would start off with a non-nonchalance bordering on laziness. 'I have plenty of time to do this' she tells herself, and feel relieved that she doesn't have to think about it until tomorrow.

Elizadidit sighs, puts on some good music, and gets it over with. Afterwards she realizes it wasn't nearly as bad as she thought, and has time to relax before everyone gets home.

Day Two:
Elizaboob wonders how she will get Something done, and needs to plan so things stay interesting. She makes lists, charts and even Googles information about Something so she's ready when the time comes. She winds up going to bed late because she had to finish re-writing the checklist for the seventh time.

Elizadidit was done yesterday and has time to spend doing other things, dread-free.

Day Three- Deadline:
Elizaboob has three hours to get Something done, and all her plans fly merrily out the window when Disaster Strikes, usually involving the kids. Now she is trying to do everything at once, missing the deadline by an hour, and the Something looks like it was thrown together by rabid guinea pigs. She is stressed, worn out, and bedraggled, regretting ever putting the darn thing off in the first place.

Elizadidit is sitting on her porch with a glass of iced tea and some homemade cookies fresh out of the oven because she made her deadline two days ago. She'd help Elizaboob, but they are opposite aspects of the same person, so her existential hands are tied. She eats her cookies and drinks her tea, so glad she wasn't dealing with Elizaboob's dread.

Maybe you're Elizaboob. Maybe you're Elizadidit. And maybe you're a little bit of both, like me. I just hope that we all see that dread isn't the answer- action is. The more we dread it, the faster and harder we should work to get it done, and get it done right. All I know is I'd rather be the chick with tea and cookies than the one who needs therapy!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Make Your Own Music!

Do you remember the saying 'He follows the beat of a different drum'? So why do we as individuals keep playing to other people's music instead of making our own? Especially when it comes to everyday living!

I can't tell you how many organizational gurus I've listened to, bought products from, and read. All I can tell you is their system, though it sounded good and seemed easy, just didn't fit my life the way it should have. There were some good ideas, and some I could implement into my time and energy levels, but as a whole the plan was a complete failure.

And when it didn't work, I felt like a complete failure!

I was like a classical pianist trying to play Billy Joel. I might get a few of the chords right, but the tempo and inflection of the notes I was playing were horrible! I was trying to write music for my life to someone else's sheet music. It just wasn't going to work!

Then that little light bulb went off in my head- why am I trying to fit this person's lifestyle into my own? Why am I trying to put a square peg into a circular hole? And do I have to carve my life to fit this particular style of organization?

I tried this also, and all it did was make things worse.

The problem was  that I should have been carving the mold itself. I need to be carving an organizational plan that fits me, not the other way around!

And I bet you feel the same way.

So how do we go about doing this? By listening to other people's music and picking out what works for us. There is nothing wrong with borrowing ideas to make your own plan! Plan number one might have a note or two that works for you, so borrow it. Write it down. Then do that with all the other plans you have stashed away on your bookshelf, computer, or wherever you keep your organizational stuff. Mine is in a neat pile on my desk- the only neat pile on my desk.

Now, take a look at your finished list. do the notes work together? Can you tweak this or that to make it work better? It might take a little time, but once you have your own personal plan in place, try implementing it to see if it works. Whatever does, keep, and whatever doesn't, toss. Pretty soon part of your organizing tasks will be to donate all those books and delete all those files.

Make your own music. Be your own guru. And dance to the drumbeat that only you can hear.

Just don't post it on Youtube!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Young at Heart, Old in Body

Let's get this straight. I. Am. Not. Old. Just because I ache from neck to knee from going food shopping, doesn't mean I have one foot in the grave. But it doesn't mean I can run a marathon either.

If I was fit it would be another matter, but I'm neither fit, nor a spring chicken. I just tell my kids to stop the the old lady jokes and pass me my darn teeth- because I forgot where I put them.

This is what I tell my children:

I am not old- my joints just need oiling. All those popping noises you hear when I stand up are just figments of your imagination- probably from having those nasty little ear bud thingies in your ears for too long.

I am Not old. So what if I have a few teeth missing and bad gums? That's because I didn't listen to my mom when I was little, and now it's payback time. Do you want teeth like mine? Then keep forgetting to brush your teeth like I did. This is the perfect time to prove to me that you are so not me. Be a rebel and brush, dagnabbit!

I am NOT old. I'm not even youth impaired. I am youth intolerant. Especially when  it comes to your music. Who sings that stuff anyway? Rabid weasels? And who writes the lyrics? Someone with absolutely no decent morals? Maybe you should go to your room and read your Bible until I find you someone nice to go out with who doesn't text when I'm talking to them.

I. Am. Not. Old. I am not slow, I am tired- I just unloaded the car of groceries to keep you metabolic super-brings from perishing of hunger. I'll make dinner after I take a nap. Go do your homework.

I am not old. I am well-seasoned. I am fine wine. (I was going to say well-aged cheese, but that stuff smells and gets moldy as it ages.) I am real chocolate covered cherries (the kind with the clear yummy stuff inside of it, not those cheapo knockoffs). It takes a good amount of time to become this wonderful.

Inside I am twenty-two. Outside, I am....not. If the mind truly did rule the body, my innards and outards would match, but they don't. They're not even close. But I am young at heart, and that will keep me alive longer than if I was an old curmudgeon who didn't smile at the irony she faces in the mirror each day.

So I'm not as young as I used to be. It's better than not getting any older...right? Sometimes it's nice to take a nap once in a bit. I think everyone should take one at least a few times a week- it might make the world a happier place. As for the noisy popping- I think I'll record it as a rap beat and make an album...oh wait, they don't make those anymore. Soundtrack? No. There's no record button on the computer, so now what? Bah! Maybe I'll just ask my daughter after she gets home- and I get my nap!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Truth Vs. Lies- What Words Do We Feed Ourselves?

I saw a post on one of my favorite Facebook sites that asked 'What words do we feed ourselves- truth or lies?' And I had me one of those WOW moments!

We've all heard the old saying 'You are what you eat', but do we really pay attention to what goes into our mouths? Speaking from experience (and taking a good long look in the mirror), I know I certainly don't give a flying fig what I eat, as long as it's tasty. (figs? Fig newtons...Mmmmm..)

Sorry about that. Back to the blog.

How much attention do we pay to what we tell our minds and hearts?

Let's dig deeper here- I know I can be quite negative about myself. I look at my body and joke about not just having buns, but an entire bakery going on around my butt and belly, and secretly tell myself that I'm getting older, and it will be harder and harder to lose weight. I don't have the guts to get thin. I don't have the drive. And I certainly don't have the time to waist- er..waste to get in shape. Besides, I'm in good shape- round is a very good shape...right?

The undercurrent of all those self-inflicted jokes tells a different story. You can't do it. You will never do it. Don't even bother- the second you'll do, you'll fail. Then I go find something comforting to eat and try to forget. I've lied to myself enough that  start to I believe the lies.

But what if I told myself a few truths? What if I told myself I don't need that second helping? That I could make that first mile in under twenty minutes? Under fifteen? (at least after I hit twenty minute mark first!) After a while, wouldn't I begin to believe those?

Yes, but only if I work at it until my positive self-talk becomes a habit.

We need to get into the habit that we can do things, that things will work out, and that you can succeed. You can have all the support in the world, but it you don't believe it yourself, you might as well be alone, standing in a room all by yourself. 

Does it matter what you want to do? Nope. It can be a diet, or a business, or a new career- and yes, even motherhood! Tell yourself you can do it and that nothing will stop you, and you'll begin to live it.

Look in the mirror each morning, and say something positive that you can do. Do it in the middle of the day. Every time you pass a mirror (or any reflective surface), tell yourself that you are fantastic and you can do what you need to do to get the job done. Or lose that weight. Or whatever. Even if you feel silly at first, keep doing it to stay on track. Or close your eyes and say it in your mind. Do it enough that you start to believe it!

And squash all those negative words you feed yourself!