Waking up two hours after falling asleep on the recliner couch tonight, I felt as if I had been hit by a truck. How was I going to muster enough energy to write an article? I pondered borrowing a chapter from the book that I have been writing for years and haphazardly reviewed some possibilities. I found that each chapter was left hanging and it wouldn’t have made sense to include a section part way through.
Then I wondered if I should wait until the morning and submit an article in the wee hours; however, that would have meant waking up to an alarm on my first morning off this week. By the time I decided just to get down to business and write, my computer decided to do dozens of updates. I was feeling defeated.
It was in that moment, beating myself up about leaving my column until the last minute that I realized just how much I accomplished this week.
I started with a fabulous holiday weekend, travelling to the Corn Maze at Mockingbird Hill Farms, with family; doing a walk to the waterfalls at Kinsmen Park and some photos overlooking the city, with hubby; completing many successful days of organizing and cleaning up at renovation projects on the go and getting a variety of tasks crossed off my perpetual ‘to do’ list.
I managed to get some significant things handled, including voting in the advance polls, all on top of catching a number of Blue Jays games. Even though I am not a baseball fan, even I have the fever! It is remarkable just how many things we can do in a week.
Why is it that we are so hard on ourselves? Why do we feel it necessary to put ourselves down? Why do we create so much guilt in our mind and bodies? It is as if we are our biggest critic. When I have forgotten to do something or make mistakes I literally hear myself say at times, ‘Oh, Julie. How can you be so stupid?’
When we makes lists, often they are unattainable, in the time we expect to accomplish them. Often we have great ambition to get a number of things tackled and then life gets in the way. Regularly, we set out to handle something but we run into people, start a conversation, get distracted and end up well behind schedule.
With the first snowfall this week, there was even added pressure. We still have wooden Muskoka chairs outside, we need to put fuel stabilizer in our motorcycles and store them away, we have a shed to finish, we have to find shovels, snow scrapers, boots, hats, scarves and mittens. So much to do!
Each night this week, all I could do was drop my things at the door, eat, and then melt into the couch, like a big blob, never to be found again. Dramatic as it seems, we have to give ourselves a break. Life happens and we must simple go with the flow.
Things will get done eventually. The messes will get cleaned. The tasks will get done. If they never get done, okay you have a problem; however, if you set the goal of getting things done, eventually you will get there.
I have index cards in my desk and drawers at my home and office. I write all of the things I hope to accomplish in the day. The next day, I write out a new list, if there are more things to add, or I keep plugging away at the old one. I cross lines out as I go and look forward to ripping the card in half and recycling it, when complete. It is a ritual really.
This is also a great way to write larger goals. Getting another book done is one of mine. It has been on my ‘list’ for years. Eventually it will happen. As long as I do a bit at a time, I will get there.
Today, I hope you rest, renew your energy, take a deep breath, write out your lists, do something replenishing and fun and then start picking away so that you can eventually rip your index cards in half.
Let’s not take ourselves so seriously though, that we miss out on the good stuff. Work hard and play hard is a well-known phrase for a reason…
‘The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.’ ~ Arnold J Toynbee