Breathe

Sometimes it is my best friend’s job in life to tell me to breathe. 

Today is one of those days.  For some reason things culminated this morning.  It started with my smallest dog eating two baby bunnies right in front of me while I was trying to save the nest. 

I do not do well with bad things happening in nature and especially to baby nature so this was horrific for me.  Let’s just say I would have never made it on the farm. 

The rest of the nest is fine, I have relocated and I believe momma bunny has found them and they are still alive and doing fine.  Whew.

But something else happened this morning that really hit me on a personal and professional level.

My best friend lives in another state and being a big ol’ corporate girl and single mother of two teenagers, she is an extremely busy woman.  Most of our communication comes throughout the day in texts.  I sent her a very brief message about this incident and her response was this:

Breathe

I kept repeating that word while I was working through the issue.

Breathe

I had to make myself take deep breaths when I started to get upset.

Breathe

I have done what I can and now I am waiting.

Breathe

I know in that one word what she is telling me.  Relax, take a deep breath in and release it.  Release it all.  Have you done your best?  Have you given everything you can in the upmost manner with the best of intentions?  (Yes)  Then breathe, let it go.  There is no longer anything you can do to affect the situation. 

With the simple act of taking a deep breath in and releasing it slowly you physically allow yourself to release the situation. 

Let it go.

Bad things happen.  Mean people suck. Life is a balance of the good and the not so good.  Without the not so good, how would we know how good the good really is?

Things happen that are out of your control.  Then there are times that you do have a measure of control and it is just not pleasant.  You will get through it.  You will learn something from it.  You will survive it.  You will have a better day.

All you can do is your best, with the best of intentions, and then let it go. 

Breathe

 

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Brand Strategist and Career Coach

Certified Professional Resume Writer

www.CareerPolish.com

 

The Counterproductive Way to Reach Your Goal

The first real weekend of Spring.  I had visions of tilling the garden; building the fence and gate; mowing the yard; weeding the flowerbeds (how do weeds grow so much more quickly than flowers??) and preparing new flower beds.

 

Guess how much of this outdoor work I got done?

 

None. Nada.  Zip. Zilch.

 

The weekend took a whole new direction by late Friday and all outdoor plans were thrown out the window. 

 

I still had a wonderful weekend and spent it with family.  Always treasure that.

 

Yet there is that little part of me that, as of 9 am this morning looking out the window started to remind me of all that I wanted to get done and the to-do list I already had mapped out for this week now compounded on top of the weekend not-got-a-single-thing-done list.

 

The anxiety started to creep in.  I automatically looked at my calendar to see when I could try to squeeze all this in and the anxiety increased. 

 

That’s when my coach-mind spoke to my overanxious to-do-list-making mind:

 

 

It was the same voice that looked at my agenda this morning and was able to keep me in check.

 

 

Too often we put so much emphasis on achieving a goal, or completing a to-do list that we actually sabotage ourselves.

 

 

Failure to relax causes us to fail.  We need to stop trying so hard all the time.

 

There are 24 hours in the day.  We need a good chunk of this time to sleep.  We need other chunks to eat, groom, exercise or meditate, play, and relax.  If we try to squeeze every single moment out of every single day on one goal then we become seriously out of balance.

 

As does the goal.

 

It is heightened, we put more pressure on ourselves to achieve it and we completely loose proper focus and health attitudes.  It becomes a mission or obsession instead of a goal.  Have you ever seen anyone obsessed with anything?  It is not pretty.  Think screaming, crying, hysterical young teenage girls and the latest teeny bobber rock star.  It is downright frightening. 

 

There are a few things of high priority on my to-do list today.  There are also a number of things I would like to get done today, but need to get done the first part of the week.  I can look at this list and not freak out because I know I am not getting them all done today.  I am not sacrificing down time to kill myself to get it all done.  It puts more pressure on me and I am not able to give it my best.  That is not what my clients deserve.

 

So I wrote it all down and then I took a few minutes to relax.

 

So far I am almost half way done with my must do list.  So I took a break to write this blog, this is one way I relax.  Once I post it I will be more refreshed to finish up what I need to do.

 

I think I average it out to about five business priorities I can do a day at my best quality.  That is my frame of reference.  If I surprise myself and get through quicker than I think, then I can start on my would like to dos.  This gives me a little more time to sneak outside and do yard work.

 

If not, well, then I will do what I can in the time I budgeted for outside time. 

 

My point is on this Monday, just relax a little will you?  It will  all get done as long as you keep it in perspective and retain your balance. 

 

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Brand Strategist & Career Coach

Certified Professional Resume Writer

www.CareerPolish.com

 

Listen to the Dog

Happy BrutusMy littlest dog has a fascination with the bathtub.  Anytime I go into the bathroom he immediately pops up on the edge, looks in then turns around and looks at me like he has missed something.

If you are a pet owner you know the look.  The one where they scope something out expecting to find something and when it is not there give you a look like, “ok, what did you do with it?”  Put down an empty food dish to see what I mean.

It’s not that he loves baths, all my dogs do well getting a bath, but not that they are overly excited about it.  So I couldn’t figure out what the heck he keeps looking for so expectantly.

Then it hit me – he’s looking for the happy.

When I am stressed or completely exhausted one thing that I love is a hot bubble bath complete with candles, oils, scents, scrubs – the whole relaxing works.  I go into that tub a bundle of nerves and come out peaceful – and smelly pretty, too.

Brutus is looking for whatever is in that tub that makes me go from crazy to serene.

Today I have been having a hard time getting him away from that tub.  I couldn’t figure out why today was worse for him than normal then it dawned on me.  For the first time in a couple weeks I finally had my bubble bath.

These past couple weeks have been nothing less than chaotic.  All good chaos, mind you, but completely, out of control, crazy, are-you-kidding-me chaos.  The intensity has been so much that I’ve been too exhausted to even draw that bath, until last night.

Apparently it worked, peace is now in our home, and Brutus is trying to find what did it.  Or he is telling me to get in there more often because I have been a crazy lady.

Job searching can have highs and lows; complete famines or all out feasts – you just never know.  Either way they can be stressful times and it is during that time that you need to take care of yourself the most.

I will admit over the past couple of weeks I have been so charged with all the positives and taking care of all the wonderful things going on that I have neglected myself.  I haven’t been eating well (that is when I remember to eat) I can’t really remember what sleep is and my hair has been in a permanent ponytail.  From the moment I open my eyes to the time I finally collapse at night I have been going; mentally, physically and emotionally.  I was freaking exhausted.

I should have been paying attention to the little dog.

He kept getting up on that bathtub and looking at me.  Over the past two weeks he wasn’t looking for the happy so much as telling me to get my butt in there and slow down.

Take that day, take that moment to just stop and breathe.  Take time to rejuvenate and find the happy.  All things, positive or negative will be better handled if you take care of yourself first.  If you are starting to find yourself so run down that you forget even the most basic things – like eating – stop.

Listen to the dog.

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.

www.CareerPolish.com