Today is what I will call a ‘flake day’. It is one of those days that I flaked on two important-to-me appointments. For both appointments, I left people hanging. I would like to say that this is not normal for me…but I would be lying.
What is normal is that I mostly have my schedule and act together and show up for my appointments…WHEN MY WEEKS ARE NORMAL. This week is not normal. For one, the weather is messing with the kids’ schedule and 2 hour delays are changing my priorities. Second, my husband is travelling (which is becoming a normal thing). Lastly, I leave tomorrow for some R&R.
Here is what I would like to say to myself.
- So good to see that you are practicing NOT being perfect.
- So good to see that you are willing to own your mistake and move on.
- So good to see that you are able to sit with the thought “I’ve screwed up and ruined my opportunity” and turn it around to…mistakes happen, you’ll be ok, people will understand AND what if the opportunity is ruined? What does that mean?
- So good to see that you recognize where you can change how you handle complicated weeks…like, leaving lots of empty space for dealing with the complicated week, and not adding to the schedule after the week has started.
Some thoughts to ponder:
- Why is it that I ‘tend to’ pack a lot into my schedule during weeks that are complicated?
- Why is it that ‘Murphy’s Law’ is that when my schedule is tight, more things show up to fill the empty spots on my calendar?
- Why is it that I feel compelled to ‘say yes’ and book the earliest date even if it makes my week busy and complicated?
I will leave these questions for now…and I set the intention that I will be more “present” with my schedule and be aware that during busy/complicated weeks it will serve me to ‘un-complicate’ it as much as possible. I also intend to be willing to see that urgency is not the best policy.
I do like busy. I do like connecting with others. I don’t like missing my meetings and I don’t like how I feel about it….so I am looking to see where all of my desires can be met within the framework of balance and grace.
I officially release myself from this situation and move onto….PACKING and QUICK SHOPPING….both of which I’ve left to the last minute…which is for exploration ANOTHER TIME.
Life is good…and will be feeling great on my trip! Deep cleansing breath…
The idiom ‘eleventh hour’ has been a potential blog post title twice before because it seems that I often sit to write at the last hour of the day which so happens to be 11.
It is often my attempt to eek out a post before the days-end.
I know I’ve used that phrase before because basically through my young-adult life, that is how I got stuff done…at the 11th hour. I really never was curious about its origin until tonight.
I love that the internet can effortlessly give me a hint at what I am curious about. I say hint because I still hold the belief that you can’t trust everything you read on the internet.
I love that I get this curiosity from my dad. Who has an affinity for knowing a little bit about everything and a whole lot about some things (like flying).
My short journey on the Search Engine (toot toot) produced this information:
“Late; shortly before an anticipated event. Matthew’s parable of the laborers in
the vineyard (20: 2-16) has the men hired at the eleventh hour being paid as
much as the ones hired early in the morning, even though the eleventh-hour
people only worked for an hour. From this sense of being barely in time to
receive some benefit comes the concept of time running out.” ” From “The
Dictionary of Cliches” by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985).
I am grateful that I am able to post this at the 11th hour, by the skin-of-my-teeth, post haste!
Skin of my teeth
Geneva Bible, 1560, in Job 19:20
Teeth don’t have skin, of course, so the writer may have been alluding to the teeth’s surface or simply to a notional minute measure – something that might now be referred to, with less poetic imagery than the biblical version, as ‘as small as the hairs on a gnat’s bollock’.
1545, usually said to be from “post haste” instruction formerly written on letters (attested from 1538), from post (3) “system for sending mail” + haste. The verb post “to ride or travel with great speed” is recorded from 1558.
Every Monday, I have a standing date with two other soul-mates. We spend between 90 – 150 minutes exploring the current place in this game called life and specifically in our business endeavors. It is an amazing gift we have chosen to give ourselves and we have rarely missed a week. It is quite stunning.
Today, I was in an interesting state-of-mind and situation. I had to stay outside during the call because the “precious” pooch had chosen that time to be needy and he would bark if I took him in, or left him out alone. So, as I was connecting with my ‘people’ I was also connecting with my ‘pooch’.
As I paced the yard I noticed the abundance of piles. You know the kind of which I speak. So, in order to ‘triple task’ I decided to get some bags and pick up the piles…did I say they were abundant?
It turned out that in the time that I was picking up the messes, it was my turn to share the adventures and lessons of my week. So in essence I was quadruple tasking…dog-sitting, people-connecting, poop-picking, and soul-bearing.
I was overt about my ‘business’ with my callers and as I bent and huffed and puffed, I also spewed my stories. Essentially I picked up shit while I shared my shit. I found it quite entertaining.
The amazing and curious thing is that when I was done with my turn, so were the piles, THEY WERE ALL GONE. Amazing. The call carried on and the others did their sharing and then we circled back to me before the close of the call…and wouldn’t you know it, I was bending down to pick up a new fresh pile just as it was my time to speak again. REALLY. Quite a message there, eh!
It does beg the question that as we share and process our junk, so do we ‘clean up our shit’.
I was going to say ‘food for thought’, but I have a feeling I’ve turned your stomach a bit. Oops!
I had intended to write to start off the month “right”.
I was waiting for the perfect time to allow my fingers to alight the keys (blasted perfectionism).
It is now almost midnight (a bit later than expected).
The content is light.
I can sleep tight.
Knowing I did myself right.
By writing just a tad tonight.
As one of my dear friends has pointed out, Casey is proving to be my buddha. I am learning a lot about myself through the experience of integrating a puppy into my life.
There have been many times while waiting for the dog to do his “business” that I’ve thought of “p” words that relate to there puppy days. Here is the running list so far.
Perseverance – this word can be used in many contexts but a few are, being consistent with training; letting the pup “wine it out” in the crate; staying out in the cold at 2am until the pup decides to pee and hopefully poop.
Pee and Poop – I’m reminded of my early days with my kids when I was monitoring their ‘movements’. I am certainly motivated to witness these being done OUTSIDE. We’re not 100% there but the hope still remains.
Perfectionism – um…that is to say…I have to release it. I went in to this relationship having watched videos, read, listened to friends and family and guess what, learning vs. real life application are a lot different…and the sense of overwhelm and ‘not doing it right’ thoughts and feelings are definitely on hyper drive right now.
Puppy Breath – this one is confusing to me. Every dog owner I’ve met wants to pick up the dog and smell his breath. I smell his breath often and every day and all I smell is kibble…is that what is rewarding? OR is their adult dog’s breath so bad that their perspective is skewed.
Patience – this one goes without saying. I am learning (or maybe re-learning) what it means to be patient with such things as waiting for pee and poop, cleaning the carpets as a result of the above, and tolerating nips and barks while attempting to curb them.
Prankster – This dude is tricky and cannot be trusted (no duh! that is the job of the puppy). Today’s prank was to attempt to take the daffodil off its stem. After three redirects from me, he cunningly swiped it off and booked away from me. Ay Carumba.
Puppy Love – The cuteness factor of our dog really helps me to see through the challenges of early puppy days. I am still warming to our ‘Casey Bear’ but I do find moments where I enjoy the connection with him. This creature certainly is independent, opinionated, sneaky, smart and not easily ‘fooled’ (I could say the same of my daughter as a toddler so I am in familiar territory). I toggle between love and overwhelm. If I were to be honest, I had to warm up to my newborn babies too (which surprised and confused me at the time). Maybe that is how I roll; I need to build mutual connection, but once that is formed, I am loyal and deeply connected beyond measure.
Peaked – sleepless nights, multiple trips out for potty breaks and walks, and the constant oversight of the puppy has me a bit worn out.
I am reminded of the Little Engine that Could….
I think I can, I think I can, I think I can
I got my kids off to school alive (always a bit check mark on my to do list). I went to the gym (an easy one to take OFF my list). Additionally, I got several significant ‘no fun’ items done. On top of all that, I reduced the Mount Ranier sized pile of laundry to a hill.
I am not writing this to stroke my ego; I’m writing this in a bit of shock and awe. I really don’t know how I got from here to there in terms of my motivation and drive to get things done, despite the desire to crawl in bed for the full day. In fact, I did crawl in bed for a 20 minute nap and still was able to get up and contribute today.
My hunch is that my normal ‘trick-myself-into-doing-things’ was on autopilot today and I was able to set small goals to get a little done which then lead to more than expected getting accomplished.
I am excited to see that it just might be possible to have habits become so fluid that you don’t have to do the pep talks and pats on backs after a while. Another possibility is that the full moon actually HELPED me take action even in my depleted energy. That possibility is fine with me too…because I like looking at the check marks on my list (the list remained in my head today – I couldn’t be bothered to write it down).
This morning a fun little exercise came to me….popped right into my head. It is a solution to a current motivation problem I have. I feel that some days I think of all the things I “need to do” and overwhelm happens. Then the time zappers come; Facebook checks, refrigerator checks, email checks and back round again. Before I know it, I have done not much of anything (or so I tell myself). I am pretty sure I am not giving myself credit for what I really do accomplish….and for some reason it still ‘isn’t enough’.
My “exercise” is based on the thought “What if I set goals that are meaningful AND manageable and if achievement of those goals determine whether I’ve been successful or not?”.
Soooooo….For the next 25 days I will attempt this little ‘5×5 Exercise’….if you didn’t notice by the way, 5×5=25 (genius right?). Here are the list of 5 things I will do 5 of…and if I accomplish each of these 5 things, my day will be a success AND if I do it for 25 days (accommodating for holiday travel), the MONTH is a success!
- 5 “to dos” (related to either running my life and/or business)
- 5 minutes of meditating
- 5 glasses of water
- 5 chores…5 minutes a piece
- 5 media checks (can check email/Facebook five times in the day)
Bonus – I would like to exercise 5 times a week!
Just for kicks – Here’s to the number 5 means….numerologically speaking
The number five is all about changes. The changes can be from good to bad or vice versa. On the positive side, it is associated with new and visionary ideas, quick thinking, expansiveness, daring, versatility, action, curiosity, exploration, promotion, and freedom. Negatively, the number is also associated with restlessness, edginess, dissatisfaction, hasty decisions, discontent, impatience, and boredom.
I am facilitating a 10 week class covering the 10 elements in the Joy Diet by Martha Beck. The book is a tiny little wisp of a book but good golly it packs a punch. I would highly recommend this book. Even just reading it can be valuable (which I did 2 years ago)…but to actually follow the process, that is kind of like valuable on steroids.
I’ve enjoyed connecting weekly with my six fellow Joy Dieters. It is sort of like Weight Watchers and when we ‘weigh in’ we each have our story of how we skipped doing the work on a few days (or barely did it at all). On our last call I’m imagining our perfectionist ‘alter egos’ (mine is called Princess Perfectionist) were having a proverbial tea party over our judgments of ourselves and our thoughts of ‘throwing in the towel’ because we weren’t doing it “right”.
Side Note: The word “right” will forever have air quotes attached to it in my book because “right” is no longer my target. “Good enough”, “give it a go”, “test and try”, and “fail fast”…those are new supportive concepts in my repertoire.
Back to the Joy Diet; the first chapter is called Nothing and the intention is to do NOTHING for up to 20 minutes. Martha Beck is gentle about this idea to assuage any perfectionists from stopping at the first chapter. She is gentle but she is very clear that is supremely important for the Joy Diet process. The task is simply to attempt to make the space to do Nothing and when possible do it in the vain of ‘meditating’ to clear thoughts and judgments and just ‘be’ for 20 minutes. I’m slowly working my way into this habit (which carries through the 10 chapters).
We have also covered the next two chapters Truth and Desire…these topics brought up interesting insights, unexpected feelings and “unfinished” business to explore in terms of my thoughts and beliefs. Thanks to my Joy Diet crew, I have been able to talk things through and be coached. It is amazingly valuable to be able to witness and be witnessed in this Joy Diet journey.
Even though Princess Perfectionist has been keeping me company through this process, I am deciding that my Wabi Sabi approach is a way more enlightened way to ‘show up’. Our next chapter is Creativity….I can feel the giddy school-girl in me getting excited. Giving myself permission to explore creativity is like being let out of class for an extra long recess…we’ll see if my expectations are met. I hope to write about it here (one of my creative playgrounds!).
My intention this week is to be perfectly imperfect (aka Wabi Sabi) about my Joy Diet process. There…that feels so much better than what Princess Perfectionist has been saying in my ear these past few weeks; I need to refill her ‘chill pill’ prescription!
I have known about this website www.reverb10.com for about 11 days now. It is a 31 day challenge where there are daily prompts to reflect on and write about in blogs or journals. I have resisted doing this for one reason only…I am a bleepin’ perfectionist. I thought I was a “recovering perfectionist”, but this has shown me that I still have tendencies.
Here is why I’ve not written…because I didn’t find it on the first day it started. I found it on day 3 and was conflicted by how I would be able to participate when I was late to the game?, then I put it off another day, then I thought I’d pick it up on an ‘even’ day (can you say OCD?), then I put it off, then I came up with a plan to do them all in one post to catch up…then I put it off. This circular thinking only accomplished ONE THING….it accomplished me doing NOTHING. Grrrrr. Anyway, it is now Day 15. I’ve missed 14 days of the 31 day challenge and I’ve decided to jump in here, not look back and assume that these next 16 days will be exactly what I’m meant to do, no more no less.
Just so you know my inner critic is speaking to me right now (let’s call her Princess Perfect) and she is saying…Oh but aren’t you going to do the other previous prompts? Those NEED to be done to complete the challenge, what if you’re missing something good? Won’t you feel inadequate for not at least acknowledging the other 14 prompts.
AND NOW, I say to her…SHUT UP ALREADY and let me be a little courageous, a little naughty, a little imperfect and just do it right here right now in this moment and going forward…that is how I am CHOOSING to do it and…YOU ARE NOT THE BOSS OF ME. So, with all that being said, here is the prompt and here is my answer:
Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010.
- Being coached by Martha Beck
- Being with my tribe in Colorado
- Weekly visits with my buddies
- Almost daily walks with my friend
- Kids being so cool at the ages they are
- Vietnam and Cambodia with my husband – 15 years!
- Starting this website
- Continuing on my other website
- Finding Good Vibe University
- Reading tons of inspirational books
- Being with family on multiple occasions
- Buying flannel sheets and loving my bed again
- Rainbows, sunsets, Eagles, hummingbirds, lakes, nature, connection to something bigger than me
- Clients who inspire and challenge me
- Photographing beautiful people (especially babies)
- Witnessing magic on a regular basis
- My mom and dad
- Piano lessons, music shows, soccer games, school assemblies, playdates, game nights, outdoor adventures, slumber parties, movies, everyday magic of being a daughter, sister, wife, mother…and human being.
- If I don’t remember these things, I believe I will know that I am loved, I do love, I am happy, I am well and I love this game called life!
- “Princess Perfect” here – I don’t like ending at 19!
Wow, 5 minutes is longer than I thought. Wow, my memory is going. Wow, I sense that I missed something big. Wow, that is powerful. Wow, I have a lot to be grateful for just in this year…imagine if I were to think of my whole life…STUNNING (that is one of my new favorite words).