Monthly Archives: March 2014

“I Feel Great, and I am Doing Great”

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Some days, I feel like The Little Engine That Could… Except that I can’t. I really don’t think I can get up that hill without some serious intervention (double mocha caffeine, martini, 100 hugs, a crying meltdown, a prayer meeting, etc.).  But I am in the middle of it all- the boy lost his coat, the girl forgot her shoes, the water bill is due, the boss has asked me to do something I don’t want to do, the dog just started having seizures, and I am in my car, trying to get to work on time.

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My friend Sheri has a mantra “I can do more, I want to do more”.  I laughed in her face (more with shock than rudeness, I hope) when I first heard her say that- she was already way over a sane person’s limit (she wanted to run MORE miles of an extra leg on a relay race, having already run her 15 required miles and had not slept in 48 hours).  But lately I have stated saying just that out loud to myself when I get overwhelmed.

My usual go-to statement when I got overwhelmed was one word “Oh-God, I-can’t-do-this, please-help-me- I-cannot-do-this.” Compared to Sheri’s mantra, mine seems self-defeating, doesn’t it?  What if I switch it to “I can do this. I can do more.  Thanks for your help, God”.

I was running a puny 3 miles at lunch today, in the wind, on 4 hours of sleep, cranky as all get-out. I decided to put my racing mantra in gear.  About mile 9, I usually start feeling the knees tweak, the ankle ache, and I am not having as much fun as I did when I signed up for the marathon.  I start saying out loud “I feel great, and I am doing great”, over and over and over and over.  It gets me to the finish line.  And today, I was able to finish my little windy, grumpy, tired 3 miles with a half smile even.  Try it.

Of course we need to process the stressful stuff and cannot just push it down with a blanket Pollyanna phrase. These are for the middle of your day emergencies when your panties are in a huge wad.  I also have been known to sing “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming” in an ode to Finding Nemo.  That makes me laugh because I liked that movie, and I like Ellen Degeneres.  And I (usually) haven’t lost my son.

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Try these tomorrow when the milk boils over, the creamer is all gone, the teenager uses up most of the gas in the car, and you get bad news on the phone. Last Tidbit: teach it to your kids.  They have terrible days too, when they forgot their pencil, the teacher marked them late, they lost their lunch money, Mom harped on him for using all the hot water, and it seems like a dream to us, but they are still learning to handle it all. Our little fishies need us to model to them how to keep on swimming.

 

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Don’t Sell Out to Easy Money that Costs You Too Much

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Too bad no one will pay me to sit around and read Game of Thrones while eating chocolate chip cookies.  That is what I love to do these days.  Clearly I need some more motivation towards my passion, and to pick up that book again.

The work life balance is so tricky- make enough money to eat, clothe, shelter, etc. and yet don’t give so much energy to the job that nothing is left for parenting and relationships at the end of the day.

Secret of responsible parenting: Don’t sell out to “easy money”, whether it is marrying too soon to a bad choice for “financial companionship”, or sticking with a job too long after it has stopped being a source of pride and energy.  Work is hard, and we would rather not do it- that is why they call it work!  But at the same time, don’t let it become such a burden that it drains your parenting energy.  I need to fix my budget and give up a few things so that I can do a better job balancing work and parenting.

I have not written about my day job very often… It is a time crunch every damn day, and requires personal, technical, managerial, and vast communication skills. I am good at it.  Yet it does not feed a really crucial portion of me.  I am not sure what to do about that slow leak of my soul, seeping out the windows of my office as I sit at my computer.  These economic times and this phase of my parenting life doesn’t lend itself well to going out on a limb.  It is so easy for us to be conservative and stay in the rut.  Don’t risk it, just stay put.

I was on the phone with my Reiki Master and friend Mary last week, telling her I might work on a way to cut back on my corporate hours and get my own Reiki business off the ground finally when she started gasping and exclaiming “Oh my God, a red-tailed hawk just landed in my back yard, looked at me, and took off!”  She continued, “Wow! Yes! Yes!  You need to do that!” and then “That is a clear message.  I have never seen a hawk in my backyard*.  You need to do this, Anne.”

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So limb, here we go…  What or where is YOUR limb to better balance and fulfillment?

* I don’t know if divine intervention sent the hawk or a scraggly cat that looked like tasty prey. I am sorry kitty-cat if you had to be lunch in order for me to risk and try something new!

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