As I am buzzing around the house this morning attempting to get ready for work and figure out all the things that need to be done for a little getaway, I am mindful of some advice I have been privy to over the years.
So I thought I would just share some bits of it with you.
On packing. I got this advice when traveling to London with a group of high schoolers. Our seasoned leader suggested we set out everything we think we will need and then remove half of it.
It’s a painful process for someone who likes to take her entire home with her wherever she goes…but I have found this harsh cutting to be a most welcome piece of advice to lighten the load of traveling.
And yes, it would be cheating to set out double what you think you need to start with…in case your little mind wandered there.
Another piece of wisdom I have applied to life came from my mom when she was teaching me to sew.
As I would attempt to read the entire pattern before I started and work my mind through every step, thus becoming overwhelmed and discouraged to the point of quitting before I started…she would remind me to just read the next step.
You can only do the work one little block of instructions at at time and when the time comes for the next one, you are ready and it makes sense.
This has been something that helped me break down big tasks my whole adult life.
It involves a lot of self-talk to remember to just do the next thing, but it is effective for those of us who stall easily.
Another life hack that has been most beneficial came from my chiropractor.
She has had to remind me, as she tries to work out the tightened muscles of my neck, that I do not, in fact, carry the weight of all the world’s problems on my own shoulders.
And then she tells me to take deep breaths.
If you struggle with tension and a feeling that if you drop a ball, the whole cosmos is going to spin out of alignment, I cannot encourage you enough to stop, drop and breathe.
Deep breaths are life giving.
Finally, a word spoken to me by my husband early on in our relationship.
On a visit to his parents’ home, his dad offered me a chance to mow with their riding mower. I had never mowed with anything, let alone a golf cart with a blade on it…but I felt like I wanted to try.
I was horrible at it.
And embarrassed. Because for me, it’s really important to do all things well.
But Russ consoled me with by asking me how many times I had driven a riding mower in my life.
So you are learning, and you will get better as you practice.
His gentle words and the reminder that I will not probably ever nail my first attempt at anything was grounding advice that has kept me sane over the years when I want to feel I have failed at something new.
It also gives me perspective and courage to try things since I can know in advance there will be a learning curve.
PS…Full disclosure, I never did get better at mowing, which was kind of wise on my part since I don’t care much for it….but the advice given was worth so much to me over the years.
Another nugget came from a mom-friend back in the trenches of parenting.
As we chatted about the current phase that one or more child was going through that was just about to put me in the need for serious medication, she remarked…well, give it three weeks.
A little farther down the road than I was, she had noticed that if you could refrain from over-reacting and over-intervening, a lot of things seemed to dissipate over a three week stretch of time.
After three weeks, you can determine if a behavior is becoming a habit or was just a temporary glitch.
Three weeks is short enough to prevent a young child from completely adopting a bad character trait and long enough for a parent to prayerfully consider the best way to help them overcome it ….or watch it be replaced by something better…or worse…at which point…you start the clock again.
I have been pleased to discover that the three week plan works for a lot of troubles in life and helps me not react with a knee-jerk response.
So there you have it…
A few words of wisdom and now it’s off the races!
Have a great day and remember…you are loved and covered in prayers and good advice is priceless so look for it like gold <3