That Clock Is Chasing Me!

Do you ever find your approach to organizing your week ends up being the approach you take for your weekend?  During the week, everything I do is according to what time I have to be somewhere, what time I have a conference call or a meeting, and by what time I hope to get to bed at night.  I need less of that on the weekend and get into such a routine of living by a schedule getting away from that on the weekend can be challenging.

I had to travel to Atlanta for work this week.  As I was on my way to the airport to fly home, I was sitting in traffic on 285W thinking living on a timetable can be exhausting.  I spent my day in meetings with an invisible clock looming over my head.  90 minute meeting with one group, 30 minutes for this person, can I afford to eat lunch, 5 minutes with this person and if I leave the office later than 2:30pm I might miss my flight.  I spend a lot of time mentally calculating the minutes as I rotate through meetings and whatnot so I can fit everything in.  As I was sitting in traffic, the clock was still looming.  It kept reminding me traffic was in the way of my perfectly timed return to the airport, rental car return, and the circus that is security at the airport. I was in such a rush I bought a late lunch in the terminal and found myself eating a chicken sandwich that I would probably normally throw out ( waste not want not, what?).  In retrospect, I think cafeteria food would have been better.  I was so hungry and felt I had no time to give thought to anything except getting to the gate.  When the plane finally boarded, I just inserted myself in the boarding line.  Normally my attitude is, everyone will get on the plane so who cares when I get on the plane.  Yesterday, I wanted to sit down so badly and disconnect my brain, I was one of those people who was ready to bum rush the plane.  Living the rat race life for sure.

I woke up this morning and revolted against myself.  My whole week involved a schedule that had nothing to do with me and only what I must do to do my job.  It was wholly exhausting and time consuming.  Usually I push myself out of bed on a Saturday morning to get things done.  Today I stayed in bed till 10:00am because I decided who cares what I need to get done, bed is better.  I resolved to do nothing today requiring an agenda and decided to ignore the clock and my nagging pragmatic self.  What difference does it make if I do not get “stuff” done?  I did, however, decide to do things I have wanted to do all week versus needed to do.  A day of, “oh this is what I WANT to do right now.  Now I WANT to do this.”  Instead of “I need to get this, that, and the other thing done and how do I find the time.”  What I want to do takes very little effort; often anything I need to do is a chore so I opted for “want to do” today.  I find the days when I can ignore the clock that normally chases me to be much more relaxing and perhaps even more productive.  My brain certainly seems to be bouncing around less than it was and the numbing feeling that is created by keeping on top of everything has subsided.  (Maybe numb brain is only unique to me when the brain is on overload; however, I really feel like my brain is frozen sometimes).

I often say my brain is just going to quit on me or move out and find a new home.  I run it ragged.  I am sure many people have the same problem.  My brain must feel like it runs an ultra-marathon every day.  Recently one of my friends said she wishes her brain worked like mine because it is always “working” on something.  Funny thing is, I laughed at that statement and told her my brain is exhausting.  I am not sure if it is enviable!  I suppose it is just another reminder that I have to hit the stop button sometimes and just be less regimented. Do what I want and do what I enjoy; instead of requiring myself to meet timelines or to do things in a specific way every day of the week.  I always try to remind myself: if the words should or have to are part of my day, I am probably doing something as a result of some obligation or requirement either placed upon me by my own doing or something else’s.  I prefer ‘I want to’ because it usually proves to be energizing versus tiring.  And even when ‘I want to’ is tiring, it is usually satisfying and positive.

That said, I want to stop writing now because I want to go to the gym.  I have one place I am going later today that requires adherence to a schedule – the movies.  I can live with that!  Thank you for reading this blog!


The Power of Positive What?

Where does confidence go when it leaves? I have times when it is tough to convince myself “I can do it.”  Maybe it is a normal part of life?  To feel clueless or unsure of how to accomplish a task or tasks at hand can be quite discouraging.  I read a quote today, “if you cannot change your situation, change how you think about it.”  This is very sound advice, however, sometimes changing the way you think can be challenging, for me at least. I realize we control our thoughts and we control our destiny, but I cannot discount the days, when I wake up thinking, “Not this again.”

When confidence goes, it is hard to be positive.  It is a domino effect that you have to keep in check so it is never gets out of control. Oh yes – revert to the power of positive thinking.  It works miracles,  most of the time. However, sometimes, I just need a few days off from the power of positive thinking.  There are so many things around us outside of our control and many things we just have to accept and roll with.  It can be really challenging to be a ray of sunshine on days when pulling the covers over your head feels like the best escape from…well…nothing.  Nothing ever resolves itself by hiding under the covers so I opt for just leaving the positive thinking to others.  Sometimes it just has to be that way.  I was talking to one of my friends today who said, “Maybe I could  just win the lottery instead of going to work every day.”  Always a good business plan regardless of whether it’s realistic. Who can say they have never had a lottery dream?  Her follow up comment was, “Oh the power of positive thinking!”  I told her I would have to leave the positivity to her today and I would just sit on the bench.  It works well sometimes. Just sit on the sidelines for a little while with a big “BOO, HISS” sign and let people around you provide the cheerleader effect.  You can do it!  This too shall pass!  Just let it go!  It is good to have friends to trade off with at times.I know I try to find the good in every situation, no matter how annoying my friends may find it…especially when they would rather sit on the sidelines and leave the positivity to me (I better ask Google is positivity is actually a word).

This too shall pass is what my Mom has said since I was a little kid. I have adopted it myself and find it to be a relevant statement in many situations.  I know I get bogged down in day to day things and sometimes I feel like I am dragging a boulder behind me.  The boulder just drags everything with it.  Confidence, positive thinking, rays of sunshine flat as pancakes.  (I have the image of those words being flattened by a giant boulder in my head).  I wonder what it would be like to look at me right now, from an outsiders point of view.  Would others know about the pile of word pancakes I am dragging behind me?  I guess it would be better to pick up those pancakes, fold them up, and stick them in my pocket (or my laptop bag, as the case may be).  Inevitably, I will unfold them and let them fly again so why drag them in the dirt?  I think an itty bitty bit of positive thinking just creeped out of me – not sure how that happened – as I thought it was gone for the week.  Maybe this too shall pass will be around 7pm Friday night.  Or maybe when I wake up on Saturday morning.  I think I will set a deadline for myself and go do something to occupy my time until I feel like tackling the world of all things possible again.

Thank you for reading this blog!

Are The Right People Around You?

Building upon an idea requires the right people to provide support or to add insight .  My vision is fuzzy when it comes to visualizing color and creative interpretation.  I am working on a blog makeover and when I made the decision to do this, I felt like I was standing in a strange city without a map or GPS.  I was unsure of how to approach my vision.  On a whim, I reached out to someone I found online who has a side business of creative design for blogs and websites.  When I shared my vision, she replied with some abstract ideas that I loved.You know you have found the right person when you see their suggestions and say, “WOW! I love this!”  I can be a very literal person and while I can do many things, envisioning a creative or artistic design is difficult for me.  I can describe what I want and convey what inspires me but bringing that together into a picture can be tedious!  I need someone who can help me interpret my vision or show how colors or patterns can be complementary.

My strengths lie in areas that are less artsy and more logical.  I can envision ideas on a practical level and come up with concepts. When it comes to colors, coordination and aesthetics, it is a struggle.  I knew I had to find someone who could help me with my blog idea.  There are some things just better left to people have skill sets that are different than mine.  Plus, I really have little interest in doing creative design or blog design and much prefer the surprise of someone else’s interpretation and ability to run with a vision or an idea.  Ask me how to solve a problem, I can probably come up with a solution.  Ask me to pick out fabrics or patterns or colors for anything and you may see a blank look on my face.

It brings me to the idea of understanding your “power”.  What are the tools you have intuitively and naturally that you can share with someone else to help them along whatever path they are on?  What do you hold in your hands (figuratively) that you can work with and use that may be stifled or collecting dust?  We all have something and it can vary from ability to fix things to baking cakes to interior design to writing. Recognizing what you do well is really important.  Recognizing where it would be helpful to hire help or to have someone pitch in is always will serve anyone better.  It comes down to knowing your strengths and capitalizing and knowing your weaknesses and accepting them.  It takes so much more effort to try to make a weakness a strength and so little effort to ask someone if they can help when it would be most beneficial. For example, I have a friend who may as well be a professional shopper/stylist.  She has taught me how to incorporate colors and style into my wardrobe in ways that I can repeat on my own.  However, every now and then, I need her assistance shopping because she has a eye for fashion and I do the best I can.  When you ask for help or hire someone, make sure you have people who are excellent at what they do and make sure you choose people who will show up. Consistent. Reliable. Trustworthy. Objective. Present. Supportive. These are the words that come to mind for me when I think of who I want to working with me.  It is important to gather the right people to support your vision else you may find things slow down or do not turn out as you envision.  If you are lacking what you need in the people around you, make a change.  If you find yourself going to a person who understands your vision or can give you helpful objective or even actionable feedback or advice, then you have the right person. Know when to run with what or who you have and know when to bring someone new on board and to make a change to benefit your path.