I started this blog nearly 2 months ago, and today it is time answer these questions and to finish it! Yes, I have been busy. Yes, the holidays have come and gone, my grading is done, and yet there is so much to do - to catch up on what I didn't get done while I was being "too busy." But I have missed writing. I felt guilty wanting to blog when so many other deadlines were pressing. I also think I let the search for the perfect topic come between us, when all I really need to do is just sit down and say hello. So here I am. "Hi! How have you been?"
So... Where Have I Been? In between all the projects I've graded, the conferences I've attended, and the presentations I have made, I have been searching for something to inspire me to write again. I considered a lot of ideas, but nothing just sent me rushing to the computer to begin composing a new post. Sometimes Facebook is my inspiration because people share photos or words of wisdom that get me to thinking. "Liking" it isn't enough. But with all the New Year's resolutions and advice that people put forth I've found a couple of gems. I feel like some of those deadlines that have come and gone served to repress my creative spirit, and now the words are starting to fill my head again (not just come out of my mouth!). So this morning when I finally sat down to write, I found this short draft in my blog spot and it was a perfect fit to begin writing what I wanted to say!
Now... Where Am I Going? My first piece wisdom for myself (and others who want to benefit from my experiences): You Can't Do It All! I love being busy but I didn't like some of the results of the last 3 months because I was TOO busy! I wasn't a very good friend or family member. Conversations started with, "Hi, what are you doing?" Working. Grading. I have a conference call in 20 minutes. I will be gone to provide training, attend a conference, meeting, etc. At no time did I say, "I just finished reading a great book!" (I have several on the shelf waiting for me to take a break); or "I invited the grandkids over for a play date" (not a babysitting day); and even worse, I did not ask, "How are you?" I whined too often. I made excuses. I squeezed in lunches and baking days with my friends and family by putting them on my calendar so I wouldn't schedule something else. I stayed up late most nights, too late in fact, grading or picking up, because there just wasn't enough time in the day. My house didn't get cleaned unless we were having company, and the clutter on the counter only moved when it was time to bake or be the hostess. I was still wrapping gifts Christmas Eve! I did a lot of things for others that were important and worthwhile, but.... At some point, I have to say no or at least maybe. I have to realize the world will go on even if I'm not involved in every decision or every activity. I have inadvertently trained people around me to expect that I will do it and that they are not needed. That is on me and I shouldn't complain about being too busy or no one else stepping up. I have to change and be willing to have others look at me funny when I say "I can't do that today." Most of all I have to stop SAYING I'll find some balance and actually start DOING that!
The second piece of wisdom I am committing to is to Be Present. I know you think that since I'm involved in so many things, so how could I not be present? But I'm not. I play on my phone too much. I am constantly thinking about what else I have to do, and when I'm going to get that done. I am a planner (some would say control freak). I am not as good of a listener as I could be because I often am thinking of a response instead of truly listening to what the other person is saying. When ideas pop into my head, I start mulling those over even if it causes me to be distracted from the task at hand which leads to mistakes or forgetting. (That's different than walking into a room and wondering what it was you came in here to do!) I think the first thing I will do is when I'm talking with others, I will put my phone away - not just down, but out of sight. I think I have a relationship with my phone because I'm by myself a lot during the day and it allows me to check in with the world or provides me with a break from my work through some entertaining game that I rationalize as beneficial to my brain. That is a habit... like chewing fingernails, or opening the snack cabinet every time you walk by. You have to find ways to change your behavior. Put it down. Don't touch it. Do something else. Look at the other person in the eye. Be present.
My final piece of advice to myself is to: Be kind; make a difference; clean my office; get organized; be a better friend, wife, mom, grandma; learn something new; read more books; find time for me; clean my house more often; exercise more; watch what I eat; call my mom; grow my business; blog every week...... Oh NO! These habits are going to be hard ones to break... or should I? Maybe I just need to aim for balance and moderation! Welcome to my world!
I'll be back next week with an update on my progress! In the meantime, have a great week. It's been nice to talk with you again!