I have been away and back again. The work while I was away did not itself go away. Dare I say it multiplied? In some odd and inconceivable way, it’s like the demands of the day-to-day were bunnies that couldn’t get enough of each other! Alright, I think I’ve painted the picture well enough. Let’s move beyond the dirty laundry.
We’ve all thrown a fit
When you feel like time is not something you have any control over and you never have enough of it, what do you do? Do you scream, cry, throw things, or collapse in defeat? I’ve been there. I know how easy it is to slip into despair or to tell yourself that it’s impossible to do all the things – yet it seems like everyone else is doing it just fine. Yikes! Yet another lie we fool ourselves with time and time again.
Rock your 24 hours! They are yours!
We all have those same 24 hours and while we may not all commit ourselves to outside work for the same number of hours, which may provide differing amounts of free or less restricted time, we all have to do things like eat and sleep, repeat. If collapsing in despair or sticking your fingers in your ears and humming loudly are not the best or most productive options for an adult human – what are you to do?
Be clear on your yes and no
Be clear on what you’re saying yes to and what you’re saying no to. What I mean by this is, you’ve got choices. Each day you will decide whether you say yes to doing laundry, yes to preparing a meal, yes to going to your job, or you’ll say no to those things. You always have a choice. If you realize you have a choice and make room to listen to your answer, you’ll feel more empowered with how you’re spending your time.
Priorities change – you decide
I’ll give you a very recent example from my own life. After coming back from a trip there were things that piled up and didn’t get done when they normally would have in a typical week. So, that meant that there were a couple of days when I was saying yes to things like laundry, cleaning my bathroom, vacuuming, and grocery shopping because they were pushed to the forefront. All choices have consequences and we needed food and clean clothes to wear! However, I did that for two days and felt somewhat caught up with those, lingering laundry aside. I have three baskets of clothes currently in my line of sight. One of the three holds folded clothes. I looked at them today and said “no, not today” and instead I said yes to writing, which I had been actively saying no to for the past week to say yes to other things.
Find your reason to begin
I started this practice one summer when I was getting so frustrated because our neighbors would mow their lawns more often than I would. Mowing the lawn often falls on me during the summer because I don’t go to a job in the summer and my husband does. So, I would get frustrated witnessing my neighbors put more time and energy into their lawns than I was. I made myself feel guilty telling myself that I was the loser house on the block that was an eye sore to my poor neighbors and then end up prioritizing mowing the lawn out of resentment. Yuck! Again, I wondered how they could keep their yards so well manicured while also working (well, to be honest, one of my neighbors is retired so I stopped comparing myself to him), while also having children in their house to feed and not to mention keep the inside of the house somewhat clean or at least picked up! I really shot myself in the foot when we got a dog.
You need to move on
To preserve my sanity I decided when I felt that guilty twinge in my stomach telling me I had to keep up appearances, to acknowledge the feeling stating it for what it was and determining that it was my choice whether to say yes or no to that particular activity today. If my decision was no because I didn’t find it necessary to mow or I had other things to say yes to, then I would honor that decision and MOVE ON. Yes, moving on is sometimes the most difficult part if you aren’t good with making decisions. I feel that this practice has improved my decisive power.
Now when I look at my accomplishments for the day, I appreciate all I have done rather than being blinded by all that I did not do. I made choices, which is a necessary part of life. By recognizing that you’ve made a choice and have stuck to it, is like patting yourself on the back. You give yourself appreciation which also propels you toward the things that you will actively say yes to with gusto and pride. Err, as much as this is possible when it comes to the mundane tasks of life – like laundry. 😉