I have always felt that I handled change pretty well. During my teaching career, I often would be the person who would dive into changes (as long as I believed in them) and help others make the jump. This year, after getting to the point where I feel I can make plans and follow through with goals, etc., I’m now also dealing with the transition from work-life to my retirement-life. I’m far from being bored. As I’ve said, I feel like a kid in a candy store. I really want to try almost everything (not skydiving, though).
I’m excited, but also overwhelmed. Partly, my ADD leads me to scamper from one project to the next. That was a good skill in past years; as a teacher and mom, I could multi-task with the best.
However, now this scatteredness is causing me stress. For example, I’ll start dishes but then realize that (as the water-fills up the sink) I can go throw in a load of laundry. From there, I see the cat food needs filling. Realizing the water in the sink might overflow momentarily, I head back to the kitchen, still holding the bag of cat food which I sit on the counter so I see it when I go back into the laundry room. With the water just turned off in nick of time, I wash a cup which makes me realize that I haven’t drunk any water yet this morning, so I get the teapot to fill with water…
Time Slips Away
This type of scatteredness ends up with me fatigued and a bit frazzled on my bed, the untouched tea still on the counter in the kitchen, a few clean dishes drying as the hot wash water is cooling still half-full of dishes, washing machine beeping it’s done, and the cat who has now knocked his food bag onto the floor, eating the bits that have spilled out. Eventually, I get all the started things done, generally that same day, but time seems to slip away without me truly focusing on what I want to be doing in this new place in my life.
I could duplicate items,
As a teacher, my time was very scheduled and orderly. Each day I knew, for the most part, what I would be able to accomplish. I would make my list on sticky notes or in my on-line lesson planner to keep me focused during my “free times”. If I didn’t get something done, I’d move it to the next day without too much of a struggle. Albeit, the stress to always do and get things done did end in my leaving teaching due to developing Fibromyalgia, so I’m not suggesting this is a good way to live.
Focusing on the PurposeFULL
What I am needing is a direction. Each day can be eaten up by things that call at the moment but don’t add up to anything meaningful.
This past year, I focused on my health, working towards lessening the symptoms of fibromyalgia which had brought me to halt. While I still need to do this daily, this coming year, I want to grow, learn, contribute in a purposeful way. For me, I know that to do this, I have to be purposeful in my moment to moment choices.
Last week, after feeling overwhelmed with what I want to do vs what I have to do vs what I think others expect of me, I decided to put it all down. I ended up first prioritizing my areas of focus.
- When I make an event, I am color-coding for how it fits into my 5 goals.
- I can repeat an event very easily.
- I can delete or change the date or time for any event without a problem. This is important that I can be flexible when I never know when a day or more is going to be a wash due to a fibro flare.
- In the event creation screen, I can add details, documents, or links to help me remember information. This is especially helpful for doctor’s appointments. If I don’t write it down, I often forget to bring up a question or concern.
to ask about ruling out Sjogren’s Syndrome.
I had never heard of it before until it was mentioned in
- I can add the address for the place of the event which allows me to click it to bring up Google Maps. I tend to get lost easily (not a symptom of fibro; I’ve always been directionally challenged).
- I can invite family/friends to an event that helps them to remember we have it scheduled or to know if I will need help.
- I can add as many reminders as I want. I generally have one email of one day ahead and then a message one hour before. I can’t tell you how much this has saved me since I’ve been using it.
- I am now adding in not just officially scheduled events like doctors’ appointments or hair cuts, but putting in my own daily things like yoga, family, writing, etc times.
PS-I’ve also fixed up my GoogleKeep notes, color-coding for the 5 Goals and putting the goal label on them so that I can search say “health” and on the screen comes up all my notes for doctors, medications, history, etc. for ease of reviewing, sharing, and updating. (Oh, and I can add reminders to the notes if needed or put a link to the note in my Google Calendar.)
What do you do to help you live your life purposefully? I’d love to learn from you. What are your strategies?
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