Saturday, September 29, 2012

Gone Fishin'!

Yesterday was Friday.   For some reason, it seemed like that week consisted of 14 days, not 7.  It was a chilly, dreary, rainy day.    I got up at my usual 5:00 a.m. and headed for the gym.  I love going to the gym, especially on Fridays for my QiGong class.

After the gym I stopped to see my Mom.  She had surgery a couple months ago and is still pretty much housebound so I like to stop and see her often to check up on how she is doing and just to chat. 

By the time I got back home after doing errands, it was almost noon.  I headed for my studio and picked up my “to do list”.  The usual suspects, send out weekly invoices, pay some bills, answer emails, write a blog, start the newsletter, etc. etc. and, oh yeah, design gift basket to fill the waiting orders.

It was when I looked at the orders and saw that all of them were scheduled for delivery next week, I decided what to do next.  Nothing….  That’s right, nothing….

I shut my studio door  and put the "Gone Fishin'" sign on the knob, (mentally because there is no door to my studio and I don't have a "Gone Fishin" sign), poured a glass of wine and turned the TV to On Demand.  Don’t ask me what I watched because I couldn’t tell you.  I spend the whole day, doing nothing.  Well, I did finish crocheting that baby blanket for a friend who is due in a couple of months, but that doesn’t count.

Sometimes doing nothing is exactly what you need to do to.  Mentally, I was a chilly, dreary, rainy day and even though I could have made the gift baskets I needed to fill the orders, written my blog and newsletter and have done all of the other things I do in my job, doing nothing was the better choice.

According to the weather forecast, it is going to be chilly, dreary and rainy for the next several days, but I am back to feeling like my warm, sunny self and am recharged and ready to go.  Heading for the gym this morning, stopping to see my Mom and running errands again but I’ll be back at my desk later this morning rockin’ and rollin’.

The view from Laurel Mountain today is … re-energized.


P.S.  The photo is of our Gone Fishin" gift basket.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Overwhelmed to Unperturbed in 5 Easy Steps

Every night I set my alarm for 5:00 a.m. but I never hear it go off because I am always up and ready to go before it rings. I can’t wait to start my day. I love my work at Laurel Mountain Basket Co and can’t wait to see what the day has in store for me.

Today was a different story. For some reason, when I woke, I just lay there, not wanting to get out of bed. I kept thinking about what I had to do.

The list of “things” I “had to do” was overwhelming and for once I didn’t know where to start. The solution was simple. Stay in bed and do nothing.

Doing nothing is one solution, but it is short term. I needed to figure out why I was feeling so drained and what I was going to do about it.

Had I taken on too much?

Are my expectations too high?

Am I being a perfectionist and putting too much pressure on myself?

I could honestly answer yes to all of the above but changing my personality would take too long so I needed to figure out what else I could do to get back on track and get my energy and enthusiasm back.

1. The first step was to take a step back. Things are moving so fast. The whole world seems to be spinning out of control. We have instant communication with email, texting and cell phones so people expects instant results. Stepping back and taking a deep breath helped me put everything on hold for a minute.

2. Next I made a list what I thought I needed to do. Yup, it was a very, very long list.

3. Once completed, I looked at each item ONCE and made a decision on where it belonged on the list. Was the item an A,B or C priority? I actually found there were things I thought I needed to do that were probably a Y or Z on a priority list.

4. The next set was to ask for help. Okay, so I’m a bit of a control freak and delegating is not something I do easily but if I was going to regain my sanity, I needed to ask for help.

5. I needed to create some boundaries. I decided to embrace the philosophy “ Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part". And I decided I would not feel guilty hanging up on persistent telemarketers.

Now that I have a manageable plan, 5:00 a.m. can’t come soon enough.

The view from Laurel Mountain today is -- calm, cool and collected.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Not Quite Feng Shui

You'd never know it but only a couple of months ago my whole house was filled with the semi useless possessions a couple manages to aquire over lifetime!  Moving a 800 square foot work space into a 1800 square foot house was definitely a challenge, but with a little de-cluttering and some downsizing of the gift basket company, it worked out well.

The first thing I did was get rid of everything we hadn't used in the last 20 or so years.  I had sweaters and jeans that were older than some people I know.  Why were we holding on to the set of fireplace utensils, when we don't have a fireplace?  And as much as I loved Janice Joplin and Creedence Clearwater Revival, did we really need to keep all of those albums?

The key was to narrow my focus.  Following Lau-tzu's teachings, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step",  I set out to conquer one small section at a time.  I chose a closet or a drawer and not move on until each little job was completed.  I was surprised at how quickly I was able to de-clutter the whole house when I didn't let the size of the task paralyze me.

I have managed to acquire new clutter but it is well contained in my office space and I'm okay with that because ... "If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, what is the significance of a clean desk?"  (Dr. Laurence Peters, Educator and Writer).

The view from Laurel Mountian today is .... uncluttered.