March 28, 2020 — Is anyone feeling a bit trepidatious of when we are “let out” and then it’s going to be a wild frenzy of running around again, a RE-reprioritizing of the New Normal but with revived elements from the old? The second school is back in, the classes, the activities, the meetings are all back on in person, you will be forced to make choices or they will be made for you.
The Stress Goggles are waiting…
Right now, when it’s a relatively calm environment, albeit an odd, strange calm with an unfathomable element to it, it’s still calm. You can’t deny it. If you’re NOT feeling it, then you need to take a second and notice if you’re applying the old filters. Laundry and dishes can wait, they will be there.
Take a few deep breaths. What can you gently yet firmly take advantage of right now that will be very difficult after the air horn goes off and they say, “GO!!!” and the lunacy begins anew?
I want you to sit for a moment, think back to 3 or 4 weeks ago, to your life “B.C.” (before coronavirus), and catalog the things that were difficult, challenging, keeping you in that (here come the cliches) “under the gun” “behind the 8-ball” state? Another way to put it is:
If someone could’ve pressed the Pause Button for you, what aspect of your day or life would you have immediately re-evaluated and put a doable system in place for yourself?? What small, yet tactical set of actions would you have created or implemented? Something seemingly minimal, yet so very helpful, that would then become essential, and seamless?
I am a constant seeker of new systems that I hope will work for me. I join and purchase memberships into communities that offer structure and accountability that will raise my success rate a little, but honestly, I’m always hoping for it raising a lot. But that all depends on if it is something I, Ryan, can fully integrate and make it something that easily (read: automatically) runs itself inside my life and brain and actions.
Before the shizz hit the fan and sent “normal life” into orbit and was replaced by this New Normal, I was specifically working on the One Thing I felt would give me tools to solve issues that were bringing me down on a consistent basis, shredding my confidence as a person, mom, so-called organizing expert, all of that:
It’s called last-minute living. Hair on fire moments. Running around in Stress Goggles.
Feeling like I sucked, all the time. Spending energy tearing myself down by giving the Head Trash Monster free reign in my brain.
Last-minute living is characterized by, but not limited to, the following stressors:
missing events completely
overpaying for items or re-buying
doubling back for forgotten items
time wasted going in circles looking for things
wasted time that then consequently consume time set for [exercise, self-care]
expired opportunities that would have been fun
wasted gift cards/coupons that would have provided fun experiences or monetary gain
yelling at family members
Just writing all this down ignites all those above-mentioned emotions in me that helped me identify the absolute need to examine what was happening daily and what things I could do to have any hope of improving (or even, SOLVE) some of these issues. I was desperate. Interestingly, my particular flavor of last-minute living was way more prevalent before the ‘shelter-in-place’ order, but it’s still relevant.
As a P, (a creative, right-brained, not type-A, a squirrel), it means that I function most easily when I “figure things out as I go along”. I’m good on my feet, I can pivot, I don’t stress too hard about details. Wellllll, that type of functioning has its negative outcomes, (see the list above!)
People who are more J, (structured, left-brained, type-A, planners), can more easily dedicate their focus to tasks that contribute to a more planned out, prepared execution of their day, a project, whatever it is on deck for them. (that takes more effort for me)
Don’t get me wrong: I love how I am. It has as many benefits as detriments. Everyone is a work in progress, and knowing your strengths and weaknesses is the special sauce. Your super-power. I have the tools in me to create the systemic habits that will raise my success rate and therefore, silence that Head Trash Monster and let me have more and more Yay Me Moments.
CALM is what I seek. When I am calm, I am successful. When I FEEL successful, I am unstoppable. You’ll find me in my Zone of Genius.