The stuff trap
We work so hard to get the home we want.
Our first home, then the next one with the extra bedroom and the baby. Then, a bit more garden and a nicer neighbourhood. We stretch ourselves on the mortgage and go bigger, better, a spare room, renovate, decorate, debate style and colours, textures and space.
Update the beds and the sofas; gather paintings and photos, treasured gifts, assorted rugs, children’s creations and great finds. Memories kept safe in an object linked to a time and a place, a person, a moment past.
We gather the toys that collect dust, the exercise bike we absolutely need along with the tummy trimmer, the yoga mats, the balance ball, weights, oh and then there’s the cross trainer for goodness sake. We don’t use them but keep them because one day…
The books, there are so, so, so many books. Fiction galore, art and travel, then the many hundreds linked to work – every kind of mental health and therapy, every kind of diet and health, food, nutrition, recipes – and the collections resulting from the latest new hobby that help when asked what would you like for Christmas and are never used (wire jewellery making, fleecing, exciting pottery glazing, wild naked gardening etc).
The things we saved for or that friends passed on. Those we searched and searched to find the perfect one, the ones we could hardly afford and the ones we stumbled upon amazingly in a pile somebody left out for recycling.
How do we give them up? How do we choose?
How to part with the things that have meant so much, that you love and that you are proud of.
Maybe it’s a bit like losing the toned arms and tummy, the pert bottom and glossy hair and giving up the significant job.
Will I still be interesting looking older, without a beautiful house, without all our stuff?
Will we miss it all so much it’s another regret or will we feel free and lighter. Something tells me it’s the latter but dare we risk it?
Doing or going to do – that is the question.
Lets have a word about procrastination, avoidance, distancing.
A client came to me about ‘all the things he has to do, and that he was not succeeding or getting anywhere’. He felt between a rock and a hard place, nothing was working.
We spent a lot of time talking and have spoken many times before about other things. I noticed that one of his frequent sentences was:
“I am going to……”or, I will do …” and often, “I should have done….”.
He was very focused on all the different things he had to do and on the point that he was not good at multi-tasking instead of focusing on a job in hand. Therefore getting nowhere other than more and more depressed and worried and distanced from what needed doing.
I explained that an example of multi tasking could be talking the phone (clutched under the chin) talking to a client whilst feeding the baby in one arm and stirring the soup with another. Or, filling in your accounts on the computer whilst on speakerphone to a supplier and watching (and worrying about) your expensive employee chatting to their best friend on the phone, again.
I suggested that having various jobs or commitments, keeping hydrated and exercising are not multi tasking unless he was planning on lifting weights whilst riding on the sit-on mower and making deals on his mobile.
I also suggested, somewhat forcefully after he kept escaping from our conversation to all the things he will do, he only needs to do one of these various jobs at a time. It creates variety, which we all need. The jobs do not over lap at all and if each job was given an allotted day or time slot and done properly, whole heartedly and thoroughly he wouldn’t have to think about it whilst doing another job. Therefore no multi tasking required.
I advised that he take job A – (which is basically selling) and has a list of everything that is required, the clients list, items he needs to sell, his target written down clearly. Then on that job’s day he starts and does absolutely everything he can with all his resources to get the best possible outcome on that day. So e-mail, phone calls, post if all else fails. Explore every avenue and be creative (if a contact number is not immediately available look at every possible way you could get one or make contact). At the end of the day he may feel a little frustrated if he has not made any contacts BUT ultimately he will feel immensely satisfied that he did everything he could to the best of his ability during Job A’s time slot. No point worrying about it afterwards, it will not change a thing. Let all the hard work percolate until the next time it is Job A’s time slot.
Next day he takes Job B and applies the same intention, intensity and determination and so on.
Maybe as there are a few different jobs have 15 – 30 minutes just to address any e-mails or things to deal with such as if the best client in the world’s PA sends an email to arrange a meeting…
Then, when he is mowing the garden (or driving the kids to dance class or doing exercise) he can put some great music on or an audio book, drink a beer and multi task happily (beer drinking is not applying to the bracketed options obvs 😉 this then becomes recreational rather than part of the job pile.
Lets also talk about ‘job’, ‘task’, ‘commitment’. Make them fun/interesting/exciting and they become enjoyable. Who wants to just do a job compared to playing at chatting to people, finding out how people work, feeling successful and providing something that someone needs? Who wants to do a task or fulfill a commitment when they could be playing at mowing, singing their heads off drowned out by the engine, zoning out to their favourite tunes or being told a facinating and exciting story. Think about how to make what you do into what you want to do. Life is to be enjoyed not endured, how lucky we are to have it.
I worked in a shop at one point and it was so boring until I made a challange to be the fastest on the till (it was the olden days, you keyed the money in as you passed the products along the counter beside you) and to try to get as many people a day to smile. In the end I had lovely if brief chats with people who I got to know in a chitchaty way, and was the fastest cashier in the North – my till was always out by a few pence either way (always!!!) so I didn’t get a pat on the back but I did get a lot of smiles 🙂
The moral of the story is you can spend so much time worrying about that big pile of stuff over there rather than concentrating on jumping right on top of the smaller, more manageable pile of stuff right in front of you. Jump right into the centre of it, splat!, and sort out every tiny little bit of it then go over to the big pile, take what you can carry and put it where the little pile was and jump splat! into the middle of that one and deal with it. How satisfying!
Saying “I will do….”, “I am going to do….” and “I should have done….” is SO much better changed to “I am doing”.
I am drinking water and I am hydrated.
I am exercising and I am fit.
I am dealing with this now.
I am doing my best right now.
I am in control.
I am satisfied.
I am finding a way to enjoy what I do.
I am doing it, now, in the way that works for me.
I am I!
I am moving this blog back to Whatdesrididnext.wordpress.com. If you want to join me there I would be very happy! Thanks for reading.
Little woman, me?
Well I am little physically, 5′ 1 1/2″ to be precise.
I don’t like being called short but small, petite and little are fine.
That is not the issue. It is far more sensitive than that.
Yesterday I mentioned to someone how much I have always wanted a certain type of stove, the one that warms the heart of the house.
They said something along the lines of “your husband will have a fit at the running costs”.
I groaned just typing that.
Why, is it assumed that I would not have a fit at the running costs, pay the running costs, be responsible for the running costs, finance the running costs?
We had friends to stay a while ago and took them on a petit tour and passed the hotel de ville. The lady said “Our husbands should buy us a place like that”.
Our car has been called my husbands car and our house has been called my husbands house. Even my businesses have been called my husbands businesses on quite a few occasions!
I once had a male printer who had made a complete hash of my brochure printing – they went from mainly blue through a few balanced coloured to mainly red and back again through thousands of brochures. It doesn’t matter what the brochures were showing really, bad printing is bad printing, but they were clothing so highly important that people saw correct colouring.
When I asked what he would do he said nothing, he didn’t need to see them and indicated I was making a big fuss and condescendingly suggested I had a little chat with my husband about it! Well, you can imagine.
Needless to say I (not my husband) did not pay him.
When I laughingly told my husband about yesterdays comment (it was by a lovely man who would probably be really embarrassed at how it sounded, or think I was ridiculous for taking it that way 😉 he asked me ‘Does it bother you from a significance or a sexual equality point of view?”.
Such a horribly and annoyingly reasonable question.
I do hate, after all these years in business, that being female can make you so insignificant in a business and financial world. I also dislike that I still care and need that significance.
I wish I could calmly rise above it and be content with my own knowledge of my achievements.
Or maybe I don’t. I want to be thought of as super woman, divine wife, perfect mother, great business woman and I want one of those oil guzzling stoves for ‘my’ kitchen.
The great unmentionables!
I have had lots of conversations about my last post with people who related to various points. I am so glad we have had the many experiences we have had and can use them to help others!
I did wonder for a moment or two if was a good idea to post about dealing with anxiety.
Firstly on a personal basis, because it is ingrained in us almost from birth not to tell other people if we have problems and the post wasn’t only about me, it was about my husband too. ( To allay any fears, I would never betray a confidence to anybody, we follow a strict confidentiality code and that applies to each other too, so of course we were both in perfect harmony and agreement about my post).
Secondly from a professional perspective: “could it affect our business if people know ….” well, I had to get over that one quickly – we believe that having lived through various situations, problems, conflicts etc etc in our lives makes us very much more aware of how they effect people. Also, having overcome different things, we have the experience – the proof if you like, that it is possible.
Lets not perpetuate the belief that emotional problems are something to be ashamed of!
And lets face it, most good diet councillors have run the gauntlet of losing weight and are still working to keep it off. Drug and drink rehabilitation sponsors are themselves in recovery and so they know exactly what one is going through.
You wouldn’t expect your driving instructor not to be able to drive.
A person who has experienced and achieved what they are teaching is often a much better bet than a person who has just learnt through theory.
We believe that we are more credible because of what we have experienced, what we manage and what we have overcome and therefore have a greater understanding of the things our clients experience, need to deal with, manage and/or overcome.
We have seen people open up and well up with relief because, on hearing an experience of ours, they suddenly realise that someone really does understand. How often do people think they are the only ones who feel the way they do, or that nobody will understand them. You can bet your bottom dollar that if you are in a room full of people there will be someone else who feels just like you do. Who would totally get it if they only knew how you felt and who would be grateful to know you understand them too. People think they are in a little bubble all alone and can’t tell or ask for help – they often think there IS no help – but they can and there is!
We are proud of our life experiences, good and bad, they have helped make us who we are and are an added qualification from the great university of life. Whilst we don’t need to talk about them all the time none of us should need or want to hide them.
We are all human after all and that’s something to celebrate.
I say again PLEASE lets not perpetuate the belief that emotional problems, anxiety, depression, low self esteem, eating disorders and all the long list – often seen as the great unmentionables – are something to be ashamed of!
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