Monday, December 1, 2014

Doing more than just getting through it

I took this photo out my kitchen window last Monday. The town has been busy scooping up the leaves left at the curbside. They "vacuumed" up a large amount at our house last week. Larry has been busy gathering more for them to pick up this week.

Happy December! Is anyone else finding it hard to believe that the end of 2014 is upon us?

December is a particularly busy month for many. Work may be busier than usual with end-of-the-year assignments. The different holidays call us to prepare, often with shopping, cooking, cleaning, and decorating. The obligations can pile up. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

I’m facing a workweek that seems overwhelming to me. In fact, I’ve been dreading it. I have some challenging assignments with the newspaper that will keep me working late at least two, possibly three nights this week. And I have some personal obligations to take care of.

Even before I started my four-day Thanksgiving weekend, I looked forward and hated the thought of this coming week. It would be one of those weeks that I’d just get through, I thought. Just put my head down and do it and anticipate the weekend.

But . . . I don’t want to do that anymore. I don’t want to feel like I have to “get through” certain days. I no longer want to wait until everything is “perfect”—not a hint of depression, no anxiety, no obsessive thoughts, no obligations, no responsibilities, etc.—to enjoy and appreciate life.

Granted, we all face difficult times when through necessity we just put one foot in front of the other. But this is a workweek I’m dreading. These weeks are a regular part of my life. I don’t want to wait for the good days anymore. I want to allow myself to have a good day any day.

This thinking harkens back to the post I wrote a couple of weeks ago about what makes for a good day. Shirley Hershey Showalter kindly posted it on her blog.
I can’t keep the good days for just those outside the newspaper office. Yes, things get hectic. I feel anxiety when facing a tight deadline, when covering something particularly controversial.
But I enjoy the work. Why not enjoy the day? Why not make each day, in some way, a good day? Even if I feel anxious, even if I fall into some OCD compulsions because of the stress, why not see the opportunity for a good day?
After all, this day is really all I have.

So I made a list of things I could do throughout the day to enjoy the day, to do meaningful work, to handle any extra anxiety, to do more than “get through” the day. And I’ve done some other planning and some preparation.

This week will be an experiment for me. I’ll report on how it goes.
In the meantime, please share in the comments section something that you do to get through the overwhelming, busy times. I love reading about others’ strategies, and I’m sure the other readers will appreciate them, too.

I’ll be back on my regular blogging schedule this week, so I’ll see you Thursday!


  1. i hope the week goes better than you anticipate. i find i often worry myself over something that turns out better than i thought with most of the stress being put on myself ahead of time. :) i know you have real deadlines to deal with, but you've managed those many times before. take a breath and smile for yourself now and then. :)

  2. I've found that sometimes a little help comes when you least expect it. I've been feeling very overwhelmed and like I need some down time, and it turned out a colleague lost a client and now she needs extra hours. So is going to take two of my sessions this week with my client, which means I get the unexpected gift of two less days of work! I am so thankful, because I really feel like I need time to relax and do some things at home right now. It does mean I'm out a little money, but it will definitely be worth it.

  3. For me, mindfulness is so helpful in these situations. Just awareness of the moment, of what currently "is" and not thinking of what's to come. Good luck!

  4. A day doesn't have to be perfect to be worthwhile or good. Good attitude.

  5. Oh Tina I wish I knew I am swamped right now and I do not even have a job with a pay cheque:) It is a busy time of year but I think Tex said it best most times I worry for nothing and place a lot on my plate and worry about how I will get it all done then it gets done and I wondered why i worried so much. No secret recipe there just have faith it will all work out. HUGS B

  6. Well, I think your list is a fine start. It's easier getting through the days now that I'm retired. But when I worked I would always try hard to find some "me time" during the day. I might just go down the hall or take a building walk, get a snack. In the nice weather I would walk around the exterior of the building -- not so much fun when it was cold or icy! And yes, I'd even sneak in my favorite blogs now and then! It made the rest of the day so much better.

  7. It's nice to be organized like you are. I'm afraid I stick my head in the sand and hope my problems will go away. When I bring my head back out things usually look better.

  8. I can relate to what you are saying. I'm a journaler and list maker. Sometimes I just sit quietly to clear my mind. Also I take little steps. If I am overwhelmed when cleaning the house, I think "one corner at a time" and I put on the music. Hope your week is a good one!

  9. OK that is really cool how they pick up your leaves! We have to put them in bags and then the city comes and picks up the bags.

    I find Mindfulness to be very useful in helping me get through things. So much of life just passes me by when I worry about what happened or what will happen.

  10. It seems as if the holidays, with all their pressures, can be a source angst for many people rather than a source of joy. As introspective as you are, I know you have made great strides and that it will be better this year - we are here for you :)

  11. I love this post :). I'll tell you what I did today to handle stress
    Today was a hard day and as I didn't want to allow myself to go into negative thinking, i tried 'funny self talk". Anytime I felt sad or bad, I would talk to myself like i would talk to a little child and say: no!! don't go there. It's not good for you! Then I would laugh at myself and it worked!

  12. The older I get the less I like this time of year. It has nothing to do with the weather, but everything to do with the hype, the greed, the busyness and the parties. I am a person who is not truly comfortable at social functions and there are way too many of them coming up. I have no strategy to deal with it besides refusing certain things that I really, really don't want to do. There's no law that says we have to participate fully. Otherwise, I just grin and bear it. I know that everything is temporary and that helps me get through uncomfortable situations...that and flat-soled shoes.


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