Monthly Archives: December 2014

5 Ways to Keep Going

I am literally squeezing this into the few minutes of free time I have. This week has been nothing but homemade Christmas presents, work, laundry, packing for my family trip next week and freelance deadlines.

So, how can you too keep going despite a to-do list as long as the Mississippi?

1. Find out what times work for you and demand them. I’m up late because I know I am most productive between 8-11. If it means I don’t have a lot of free time in the morning, I accept that.

2. Eat, stay hydrated, and sleep. Keep your health up, even when you think it would be a lot better to double-fist cheeseburgers and fries.

3. Avoid falling into the trap of thinking too much about it. And by “it” I mean all the things you need or want to do. Don’t fall into that abyss of overwhelming stress. Just do it. Ride the momentum of inertia and do, do, do.

4. Laugh a lot. And sing. And hug people. I’ve been watching reruns of Parks and Rec. It helps.

5. Stay in the moment. It’s easy to pummel yourself over what’s happening tomorrow or what you didn’t do yesterday. But instead of wasting your time on stuff you can’t control, pay attention to what’s in your hands.

Chill

If there is one thing I always feel like imparting to people, that I try to tell people that they can do, that I wish I could have told myself some number of years back, it’s this: chill.

It’s December, and I live near a very popular mall in the Pittsburgh area. As I was driving home from getting my car inspected, I watched a long line of cars get progressively longer on the way down the highway, heading toward the exit. I could read in the way people were driving – with stiff jerks, quick breaks, and wiggly swerves – that tensions were growing between two groups: the people trying to get to the mall and the people trying to get away from it.

If you let people get under your skin, you’ll never survive. Not right now and not in the future.

If you allow the persnickety voices in your head to snipe at you, you’ll lose your mind.

If you refuse to take a breath and remember that none of this will kill you and all of this shall pass, you’re going to die.

Okay, that last one is a bit dramatic. But have you seen the studies about getting stressed to death? Scary stuff!

And don’t think me a paragon of virtue (or do — and tell me all about it, in flowery detail!). This topic came to me because while I sat in the Ford waiting room – one of my favorite waiting rooms; does that sound crazy? – I took out a notebook to try to diagram out what was making me feel so overwhelmed recently. I had been feeling aimless. Stuck. I didn’t know why. So of course I was expecting needing some great amount of time to dissect all my inner turmoil and problematic scramble of ideas, mismanaged priorities and opportunities that had fallen to the wayside.

I was done in about…twenty minutes. And I was left, laughing to myself as I loaded up Hulu, going, “Uh. I was really built up over nothing.”

None of it is a big deal.

So there we go, folks. Which are you going to be? The serene Ford Focus that passed its inspection and is taking its time heading home while listening to Pinkerton, even if it make take an extra ten minutes? Or the honk-happy Buick who almost slammed into an elderly couple because if it had to wait through the light one more time, it was going to have a hernia?

Your choice.

Happy Holidays! (5 Things Happening Right Now Because Geez)

Hi, guys. Did Thanksgiving zip by you, too? Because it did for me. All of a sudden I looked up and it was Monday. Now, I’m out of leftovers and losing my mind. Also, doing these things:

1. Christmas. Christmas, Christmas, Christmas, Christmas. I love this time of the year. Everything about it makes me a warm buttery ball of happy. I am working on gifts and donations and foodieness and decorations and, and, and, and!! So much Christmas, so little time.

2. Rats. I am adopting three rats. I’ve settled on the names Moby, Oreo (shut up, Brett*) and Chu. They are adorable and I am so very excited to have them joining my family. And I found this short essay which explains why you need rat people in your life, too.

3. I’m going to a talk about positivity tonight with one of my best friends. It’s all about creating a more vibrant life and feeling powerful and alive. I’m looking forward to going.

4. Tomorrow starts a special holiday series of How to Have a Day Job. It’s not too late to join the fun and figure out how to:

  • Enjoy the holidays without getting burned out.
  • Juggle festivities with responsibilities.
  • Take stock of what is important about this festive time of the year without losing sight of it behind a massive pile of work.

So click here and sign up already!

5. Christmas! Did I mention that already?! It’s enough to count for two!

*Brett is a dear friend of mine who has been around through a few pets, one of the first being a guinea pig named Cheeto. He does not approve of these food-based names. And to that I say ‘nyah.’