The best-laid​ plans

I was frustrated this morning.

Yes, me. Even though I often write about reducing stress, focusing on what is important, taking time out, sleep, self-care, meditation, gratitude, and good nutrition. All of these things have the ultimate goal of reducing frustration and increasing joy. And I walk my talk. I know about these things because I do them. So what happened?

I look at this picture of my handwriting and realize that I was a bit stressed yesterday, too. The words are small and tight, kind of how I felt at the time. Because I walk my talk, I structure my life in such a way that I don’t experience much stress, and if I do I have tactics for dealing with it. I have recently upped my game though and there are some things that I have been slacking on. I am not getting my healthy movement every day and I am staring at a blue screen for most of my waking hours. So I’m not as Zen-like as I once was. Plus, everyone around me was frazzled yesterday. Is it the holiday madness or the phase of the moon?

By the time I wrote this I had run out of brain power. It was around 8 pm and my child was waiting for her bedtime story. I could feel my brain scraping the barrel for the last bit of spark it could muster. Like my cell phone, I had used up my whole charge and needed to be plugged in. David Asprey says there are a limited number of decisions we can make in a day (1). Decisions take energy and when we run out of energy we start making bad decisions. Thus, the quality of our work goes down and we are quick to anger or frustration. I know I have experienced that. The days before my wedding come to mind.

One way to combat this, according to Dave, is through proper scheduling and sticking to your schedule. Write everything down in your planner and then all you have to do is follow the guide you have written. Of course, you have to make other decisions, like what words to use, what parking spot to chose, the day to day choices you make in your job, but not having to think about what you are doing next frees up ample space to deal with these things.

This is a great idea in theory, but how often does your day go according to plan? Take this morning for example. I purposely get up early to write. I like to get started on this right away so the freshest bit of my brain power goes into my blog. I pour my coffee and get straight after it…once I get an idea. That’s the hardest part. Usually, I have notes from things I have read the day before, so I read through those, browse Medium and WordPress, and hopefully come up with something that starts me off.

It happened yesterday that my child woke up half an hour early and thwarted my plans, so I got up even earlier than normal today to hopefully get a good start in case this happened again. The universe was having none of it. My internet is down. Again. Is there anything more frustrating? (#firstworldproblems) Luckily I have good cell signal, an unlimited data plan, and the option to use a personal hotspot for connectivity. No excuses. Find a way, right? I was looking at a blinking cursor on a blank page when my child woke up. She came out to be with me and of course, wanted to chat.

So my work got put aside. My first priority is my child. As frustrating as it is to get put off of my plans, my silly to-do list has nothing on her. I focused on how grateful I am to have her and to have the stress of fulfilling work, school, even the flaky internet (less so the unsympathetic guy I talked to about the internet not working). So now I have been up for 3 hours and am just now getting my 500 words in. So what?

Is my goal of a daily blog more than I can handle with school, child, launching a new business, and all of the other things that a mom does every day? Believe me, the possibility crossed my mind this morning. Is the stress that I am piling on myself worth it? No one is holding me accountable for my daily to-do list but me. No one is adding things to my to-do list but me. I am in charge of whether I do it or not.

The truth is, yes it was frustrating this morning, but I actually like writing. I like learning things and then sharing them with others. Seeing clients one on one is great, but I can help many more people by sharing my ideas globally. I just looked at my list of categories I use to qualify my blog and one of them is “self-compassion.” I will focus today on being more compassionate with myself and allowing myself a little more space to de-stress a bit and get some perspective.

I will continue to write every day. Somedays I might say something that is useful to you, somedays I might not. If it helps one person it is worth it. Each of us should do what we can to improve the world around us and this is my thing. I am thankful for the opportunity.

I am now taking new clients! Here is your opportunity to work with me one on one. Don’t worry if you are not local to me, I can conduct sessions via Skype, FaceTime, or over the phone. I have limited space available, so don’t wait! Contact me here for more information or to set up an appointment. 

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(1) Asprey, David. Head Strong: The Bulletproof Plan to Activate Untapped Brain Energy to Work Smarter and Think Faster–In Just Two Weeks. Harper Collins, 2017. 

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