Preparing for a More Relaxed Trip

September 8, 2011
When you are getting ready to leave home for a business or pleasure trip, how do you choose what you need to do and what can be left undone?

I have had a conundrum this week as I prepare for two weeks in Europe (yes, I know, it’s terribly painful, but someone has to do it to keep the travel industry alive).

In the past, wanting to make the maximum use of any time I had before  leaving, I would put pressure on myself to have “evergreen” posts completed before I left. You can see the last post, Viewing Time as an Ocean, for an explanation of the term. Writing at least three posts a week seemed necessary.

Now, as I said in that post,  I am trying to stop viewing time like a bullet train I have to catch. Yet whether seen through flowing water in an ocean or the window of a train, there is limited time to complete tasks I want done. And it has struck me that there is one thing I’ve been forgetting: setting aside time to learn more about my video camera so I can take the kinds of pictures I can turn into several videos for my websites.

Something has to go and I’ve decided it will be writing enough evergreen posts for three a week. Instead, I can manage two a week (Mondays and Thursdays) of  various videos or photos I’ve enjoyed finding on the Internet recently, and a couple unpublished articles I’ve had around for awhile.

So during September come here and be inspired and/or entertained. As the theme for this blog says, enrich your life, enrich your relationships. I think these will do that for you.

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Be Kind to Yourself and Your Body This Holiday Season

December 7, 2010
You will do a better job of making other people happy in this holiday season if you have compassion for your body and spirit.

If you haven’t read the introduction to this series of suggestions for a guilt-free, stress-free holiday, read Talking Back to the Voice of Unhealthy Guilt.

Then write the following on a piece of paper and put it where you can see it throughout the day:

Because I choose to be kind to myself and to my body, I select only those activities which allow me to comfortably plan them, accomplish them and enjoy them.

If you put this affirmation into practice, how would that affect your relationships?

 

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A Clear Yes or No to Holiday Requests

December 4, 2010
It doesn’t pay to be wishy-washy when asked to do something you may not really want to do, especially over the holidays.

What Part of No Don't You Understand?Stress-free Suggestion Number Two

If you haven’t read the introduction to this series of suggestions for a guilt-free, stress-free holiday, read Talking Back to the Voice of Unhealthy Guilt.

Then write the following on a paper and put it where you can see it throughout the day:

I will say a clear “yes” to those things that bring pleasure to my life and a clear “no” to those who would dictate how my holiday unfolds.

If you put this affirmation into practice, how would that affect your relationships?

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Perfectionists Feel Pressure of the Holiday Season

November 22, 2010
If you are a perfectionist who sets unrealistic deadlines that don’t get met, become a recovering perfectionist, learn to accept the constraints of time and energy, and set more realistic targets in the future.

As I’ve written a number of times in posts on perfectionism, unrealistic self-imposed deadlines, no matter how enjoyable they may appear, often interfere with the pleasure of living.

Yesterday I was caught in that position because I wanted to do a video on “Gratitude of a Recovering Perfectionist.” I knew it would be fun and was to be my first official video featuring me. I told myself when I woke up that I WOULD get the video done yesterday.

I looked forward to having fun with a new lighting feature I got as an early Christmas present. What better way to share what I’ve learned about my life as a recovering perfectionist than to create a video I would force myself to complete in one day, no matter how it turned out. What you saw, with very minor editing, would be what you got.

Can you hear a “however” coming? Here it is. HOWEVER, I first had to finish editing the print version of Healing Relationships is an Inside Job, a deadline imposed by my publisher, a job I didn’t think would take very long.

Let’s skip the gory details of searching for errors that seem so obvious when looked at by a reader (like “the this” I found on one of the pages), and so hidden when searched by the author.

Even though I have been selling the ebook for several months, periodically I’ve gone in to to catch a few mistakes here and there. I’ve also decided to restate some concepts in a way that makes them clearer. You can tweak digital forever and a day. Print is print. When it leaves the printer, errors will stay for posterity.

Nevertheless, there comes a time when it is a relief to put a book “to bed.” It’s like the relief of getting the little ones into their pajamas and tucked under the covers; you are through doing anything more for them that day.

So while I didn’t have time yesterday to do the video, I have FINALLY finished the re-editing — at least 99.99% of it. All that remains is getting an opinion on semi-colons and colons, the rules of which are sometimes confusing.

Therefore, on this Monday of Thanksgiving week, I am especially thankful to have the hard copy ready for the printer. Having this finished will stop me from making minor adjustments to the online version.

In any case, after I realized I couldn’t do the video yesterday, I planned to do it today. However (ready for another one?), I  have to get ready to leave for Northern California tomorrow. Since I am trying to follow my own advice about not attempting to do more than I can comfortably fit into the time available, I will keep the video as the last thing I do — which probably means it won’t get it done until we return next Tuesday. Don’t you find that work always seems to expand to fill the time available?

However (here’s the third one), I am reminded of an article I wrote a number of years ago. It offered suggestions for avoiding the pitfalls of taking ourselves too seriously in this season of expanded expectations.

In fact, I’ve decided to upload posts every few days in December to encourage you (and me) to not put self-imposed deadlines on our calendars, deadlines that may not leave us energy for simple holiday pleasures.

Wouldn’t it be great to take our complaints about how things are turning out to a complaint department headed by an angel who listens calmly and then tells us things will be okay if we just calm down?

If I listen carefully, I believe my angel is telling my inner perfectionist that you aren’t going to have a terrible Thanksgiving week because I didn’t meet my deadline for doing the video. I assume you will enjoy the video whenever I get it done. So enjoy the turkey and all the trimmings. For one day go off your diet and be thankful you have enough to eat. There are so many who don’t.

On Thursday I will post a piece about how I give thanks to people I don’t know. Don’t expect you will read it that day, but it will be there when you get around to checking the blog sometime in the future.

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Today Anything Goes

September 12, 2010
What would you choose to do if you set aside a day to do nothing that was scheduled?

I am glad to report that I am almost recovered from the shingles that broke out on my behind in July. As I said, sitting in front of the computer wasn’t easy. However, I must confess that I took advantage of the situation in the hope that readers who came to the blog and learned of my situation wouldn’t expect too much from me. (Nothing like playing the “poor me” card to get out of work.)

Now, however, I’ve stretched out the recovery time as far as I dare and am feeling a bit guilty for not posting for more than a month.

Nevertheless, it’s interesting that I have decided to write today, since this is an “anything” day. That’s when I do anything I feel like doing, and nothing else. Used to call it a “nothing” day, but “anything” sounds a bit more positive and the results are the same. I wake up and nothing is planned. Interestingly, I often get more done than when I have scheduled chores.

And in case you’re interested, “anything” days are different than “something” days when I do plan activities in advance; but the rule there is that nothing I plan can have anything to do with “work.” Actually, I enjoy everything I do, but no matter what I call it, it’s nice to have a day when I don’t feel I have to pay attention to the usual to-do list. Free choice is a wonderful elixir.

Consequently, here I am writing in the blog even though it’s not on my list of things to do today — after all, today I don’t even have a to-do list. But getting this done feels good and that makes it worth my doing it.

When I sat down to write (it being easier to sit than it was a couple weeks ago), I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say. Did I really have something worth writing about that people would want to read? Then I thought about my reaction to other blogs and realize that I enjoy a wide variety of posts even though most of them probably wouldn’t win the best-post-of-the-day award. I just like discovering what other people are thinking and learning new ideas for making my life better.

So with this post I offer you the idea of an “anything day” because I suspect your calendar is filled with almost as many things to do as mine is. I suspect your health and mental stamina will improve if you allow one day (or more) a week for a little serendipity. Having choice is a wonderful elixir.

Since this blog is about “enriching your life” and “enriching your relationships,” ask yourself this question:

  • How would giving myself a day in which I have nothing planned improve my relationships?

Would love to hear what you think about anything days, something days, and even half-and-half days when you have a little of something planned together with nothing specific.

Photo from Wikimedia

 

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