I recently found myself walking in circles in my unorganized office. My head was spinning with all of the responsibilities and projects I currently had on my plate. The list seemed endless. I was homeschooling my youngest son for the first time this year, entering my second year of graduate school, working with a few new coaching clients, speaking to publishers about a book I had written, managing my household, and oh yes...parenting! My to-do list not only seemed endless, but it all appeared important!
With a feeling of overwhelm and anxiety creeping up on me I suddenly heard an answer to my question (yes, this voice came from inside of my head, don't judge).
Nope. I can't do it all.
Whew. Thank goodness. But what do I do now?
Just because I have a gift for juggling multiple projects at once, does that mean I should? In all honesty, I really like having several big things going on at once and not sure this part of my life is meant to change.
So... what has supported me all of these years? And what is it that I need to be focusing on right now? Luckily, my friend Christine Carter wrote a book titled "The Sweet Spot, How to Find your Groove at Home and Work". I had been reading it again recently and recalled one of the chapters that really sang to me.
"Easing the Overwhelm"
I took a few genius points from Christine's book and decided to do a few things right away:
- Choose my top five priorities and say no to everything else
- Stop Multitasking
- Eliminate Junk Stimulus
- Silence the Smartphone Siren Song
So there I was trimming my to-do list, focusing on one thing at a time, cleaning out my closets, and changing the settings on my phone so it would NOT beep at me unnecessarily. Do you ever notice how your whole family stops and looks at the phone every time that it beeps? Ick.
I'm going to admit that I became a little (ok, A lot) obsessed with the cleaning out my closets part one weekend, but man is this activity therapeutic. I highly recommend it and would not let your fear of a little OCD nature get in the way of this healing process. Just. Do. It.
I asked myself again what has sustained my somewhat nutty way of living all these years, and I received the second message (yes, I'm answering myself once again). You do all know that the answers are already inside of you right? Just stop and get quiet enough to hear them...they are there. I promise!
The thing that nurtures me most is connecting deeply to myself and the ones that I love.
This time I took a few genius points from myself:
- Meditate and/or center myself each and every day, even if for only a few minutes/seconds at a time
- Slow down and look into my husband and children's eyes
- Stop and be present with my dogs (they might have founded Zen in another lifetime)
- Start reading that big fat Harry Potter book aloud to my eldest son each day
- Leave my phone and computer in my office or purse most of the time
- Tell my people (aka: two boys and a husband) how I adore them at least once daily
- Tell me how much I adore me at least once daily
Living is simply a constant negotiation and these life lists are my most recent. I personally have an awful lot of delicious life juice to squeeze out of each and every day. For now, I'm going with organization, mindfulness, and connection to help me pave my oh so yummy path of existence. It's also not lost on me how lucky I am to have this "problem" of figuring out how to do as much as I can in the course of the day while still feeling nurtured and alive. Not a bad puzzle to try and solve eh?
As Mary Oliver asks us...
"What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"