Achievement Addiction on Hiatus

My husband and I are from the same camp of hard work. In fact I’d say we’re both addicted to the feeling of accomplishment we get after completing our projects and tasks. So much so that to not be crossing off items from a to do list may feel slightly like failure. There’s no doubt, we’re achievement addicts.

We apparently have forgotten about the “being” part of human being in our drive to do. And thus, there will never be enough “done” to get the feeling we matter. It’s a hamster’s treadmill of promises we overachievers get caught on. It will all be perfect after this project gets done.

And then along comes Summer.

Summer is a concept/mode in which you are asked to relax. It demands you become a relaxed outdoor person with nonchalance and a tan. You are supposed to stop focusing on your list and unplug. Really? Yet, As hard as it is to let go of the “going going” and “doing doing”, I secretly sigh with relief because when Summer comes because it’s just the excuse I need to give myself permission for some long thwarted relaxation.Outdoors person on

This year I saw Summer coming and prepared myself. I took care of all my self-care items to begin to prepare for the mandatory mood shift, all while still accomplishing my list. Proactivity at its finest. And then I invited friends over to christen the start of the relaxing and celebrating season with an all day chat-fest. And that felt like I’d accomplished a lot for the group of us. We all needed it.

I’d taken care of all my chores in preparation for the gathering. My floors were vacuumed, my shopping done, and my laundry caught up. And I was able to allow for me to do something I wanted to do and not just something I had to do.  I sat all day and laughed and drank and entertained and I was a Being. And I’m thinking this is the way to do Summer alright.My tribe in my backyard on

So for all you Doers, who are reading this and thinking you probably need to do more for you. You do. I told my husband the other day that you can’t get more work out of a dead mule. Let Summer give you permission to have a seat and not do laundry today. Or ask someone else to make dinner (call for carry-out) and go chat with an old chum on the phone for hours. These are messages to yourself that you are worth more than the sum of you check marks. You get to enjoy and relax just as much as the rest of the world on holiday.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.




Get To Work Self

I’m pretty good at thinking and dreaming tasks and projects up. Those ideas flood my brain all the time. What I’m not good at is taking all of those notes and plans and concepts and then organizing them, prioritizing, and scheduling them.

I have several folders and two journals that sit by my chair. I write down most everything I am inspired by or am considering. And then the folders and notebooks eat my genius. More thoughts are then piled on which may or may not make it onto a to-do list or a goals list. Remember, there’s no good system in place for anything. Fiona sleeping on me on

To you, I may look like I’m getting stuff done but in my world, I’m a scatterbrained mess whose efficiency sucks. I’m an uber-creative who forgets herself. Oh and a mother of a two-year old. Brain muddled.

I do notice that when I do conquer my fear of my goals and then list out my why and the steps to my goal, I am much more likely to meet and complete it.  Dare I say Duh? And the family is more likely to eat dinner on time if I plan my meals and prep even a little ahead.

I am not a huge fan of listing out everything I think I can do today. Or I used to be. Made me feel grand and ambitious. But now, if I’m unable to complete even just half of my proposed tasks, I’m liable to feel like a failure for the incompletion than focus on the accomplishment. On the other hand, if I don’t aim for the achievement of any goals, as in “put it on the calendar and if I can I will”, then a lot of stuff won’t even be attempted much less on the dlide on

I sound like the guy who keeps stepping on rakes. And this is what I’m now going to tell myself. The reason that I’m not plotting out these ideas is because, behind the scenes, my self-esteem and self-assurance are still dragging. There’s a great big gap between what I want to do and what I think I can or can’t do and fear creeps into the crack between and takes a hold. That’s why those precious thoughts are thrown away or abandoned.  I could have a great organizational system if I felt I was worthy of success. Busted.

I have a new organizational tool awaiting me for the new year. It’s the Get To Work Book created by Elise Blaha I bought for myself as a birthday present. It’s time to begin to use it to schedule my January goal steps. It was expensive so there’s a big motivation. I love Autumn because it feels like such a great excuse to come inside and regroup. And to take the time off from “succeeding” to do this rethinking and organizing. To forgive yourself and to gather friends near to garner the support for your next risk.

I know I’ve asked this before but do you have a system? Do you love/hate lists too? Do you like the fall as much as I do and naturally just contemplate yourself and your direction at this time? Do you have fear of success like me?

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

When Your Possibilities Become A Bad Thing

I am totally option gal. I hoard options like it is my given right as a free person. I love choices, love to multitask, and am multi-talented. I am also a child of the media generation. Homework with the radio and/or the TV on at the same time? No problem.

But as an adult with a multitude of mandatory jobs as a parent and a wife, and many other creative endeavors I aspire to experience and learn, I have long been overwhelmed by my possibilities.

working hard on

I write again and again about my brimming to do lists. And have gotten to the point where I long to have a good long crafting day without worrying about how dirty the toilets are. Because they are dirty right now. And how could I possibly think of doing anything fun when I have a potential health safety issues to take care of in my bathrooms.

When possibilities become a problem, it’s time to take a hard look at why you’ve collected them and what it is that you need to let go of or embrace to make a how to move on plan.

  • Do a brain spill and see what hopes you have pinned where –

If you can, separate them into different categories after you spill them. Perhaps you see a pattern of visits with people and cards to write. You could be in need of people intouch-ness. Crafting projects galore? You may need some creative time. Cleaning and fixing? You need a space that’s in order and unbroken. There’s nothing at all wrong with any of your needs. They’re asking for your compassionate attention.

  • Prioritize your possibilities

Somehow, I have an unwritten rule book in my head about which things can happen before the other things happen. It’s a conscious unquestionable choice that I must have my kitchen cleaned before I get on with the rest of the day. Dirty bathrooms would make my Virgoan Grandmother roll over in her grave. But I can call myself on it and choose differently today. Because I am actually in charge of this vehicle called family and life. Don’t anyone try to tell me different. I can also say no thank you to anyone else trying to throw stuff down on my to do list without me choosing to put it there.

  • Now is the only time you’ve got – Most important!

Now is the only time you’ll ever have. Make it possible to have the things that are most important happen in a “now” coming soon to you. Schedules and lives and priorities change. If the time isn’t now, do not however doubt that there will probably be a time in your future when you’ll be able to sit and knit. Or write your novel or just read a book. Mine. Sigh. A little faith here on the knowing-there-will-be-a-time will allow for the release of the anxiety of not being able to do so now. You may find that this perspective change will shift you into a place of permission to do it sooner. Or you’ll revel in the knowledge that you are not giving up, just allowing this to be a two-year from now goal.

  • Schedule It –

Plop that bad boy right into you schedule. My husband says it’s harder to make an appointment than break it. When you get to that moment in your life, that day with that activity scheduled, it may be entirely possible that you may have to cancel. But it’s equally possible that you’ll have opened up a door to make progress.

  • A half hour can make all the difference –

Even the smallest activities can be scheduled as opposed to waiting for the “right time”. On your phone calendar or your wall calendar, you can write tasks in at 30 minute intervals. A half hour to clean/clear a closet. A half hour to wash all the fan blades in the house. A half hour to read.  Keep your expectation about that task at that time and you may surprise yourself with your progress with this method.

  • One step forward can make up for many back –

I find when you are not actively involved in any of your possibilities, it can make you feel anxious. Take one action step towards any of your goals/activities, and you’ll feel so much better. Even one work-out always makes me feel proud. A half hour with some paper, glue, and markers to work on making a card for a friend and I’m invigorated.

Fiona writing it down on

When there’s too many important tasks, nothing’s important. When you overwhelmed by your options, or your obligations, you lose your priorities and your clarity. Perhaps it’s partly about the permission we give ourselves to move on. And maybe it’s also about our lousy methods to organize our thoughts and our time around what we feel we want to do and what we must do. I do think we can outsmart ourselves and using the above mentioned tasks as guides and inspiration, there’s more than a little chance that our possibilities can become the probabilities we want them to become.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest  too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.


My Christmas Gift To Me

PMS, a full moon, and Christmas aren’t a good combo. Even with a whole lot done, I felt incomplete and irritated at everything this past week. Not feeling the ho ho ho in the holiday tone. Here I had a beautiful baby, everything to be grateful for, and I felt resentful. What?stroller smile

I want to judge it and yet I can’t when it may be telling me something needs an adjustment.

I’ve been feeling more jazzed than ever to move ahead on my blog. Take the next step. I planned to use all the pictures I’d already taken, enjoy an afternoon or two of all out creativity and take more pictures. I’d have blog posts for days.

Then life happened to me. A ton of “do-this-befores“, baby interruptions, and regular chores. When I missed my dental cleaning appointment, I had a fit. I would not be writing all those blog posts I’d intended to. The timeliness of them had passed anyway. I still had no help with the baby. And all the “Making Big Blog Plans for 2014” posts was making me feel crappier.DSC02394 - Copy

By yesterday, 4 days until Christmas, I was saying, “I think I might need some time off.” Time to contemplate 2014, paint my fingernails, read a magazine, create time and brain space. Relax. Be. Breath.

I keep thinking of a scene in the Color Purple where Oprah’s character Sophia drives her mistress’s car to visit her children. She hasn’t seen them in a heartbreakingly long time. It could be the holiday season. Only when they get there, the woman freaks out. Sophia has to drive her away unable to spend time with her loved ones. It’s heart wrenching. And familiar. To be within reaching distance of the one thing that will make you happy and have to leave it.closet shot

I desperately need creative time. I know I went and had me a baby and that is what it is. There are ways around this attention conflict. Expectation adjustments are up to me. Meeting my needs? Up to me. Letting things go that are standing right in my way? Up to me. Do your best, let go of the rest.

My present to myself will be to list out my responsibilities as if they were expenditures and overview my task budget. I may be spreading myself too thinly. And diluting my potential for greatness I feel capable of. I suspect I may just need my own permission to be great.

(And for a little Christmas Picture Prettiness, check out my final Christmas Decor Extravaganza post from last year.)

Shoveling Stuff Off My Platter




My intention was to rid myself of all the to-do’s befuddling my mind before I had this baby. I wrote this post about the baby to do list. Not the avoidance of the to-do list that I spoke of here.
But there was more going on behind the scenes than gathering baby supplies and completing house projects. I had committed to completing much more. More than I realized. The truth is mine to tell but maybe I didn’t want to tell it to myself.

I’m a multifaceted girl. Not only do I have a blog, I have a big nasty house to clean and keep, animals and extended family that need care, and two men to take care of. Plus a baby. There’s laundry and cooking and I don’t think I accurately conceive of how much I intend to accomplish on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis.

A few items I had wanted to complete before the baby was born, and may still be in the process of doing so:
Redecorate Eamon’s room
Plan Eamon’s 8th birthday party
Clean out garden beds
Take back Marks’ suitcase with wonky wheel
Design logo for the Culinary School for which I am on the board
Redesign husband’s website
Catch and spay stray cat in the backyard

And then remember, there’s still those tasks taken for granted. Like writing thank you notes, balancing the checkbook, watering the plants, changing the cat box, and changing the sheets on the bed. These tasks are a part of maintaining the life to which I’ve become accustomed. Can’t not do them.

I think that our unspoken unaccounted for to do lists can be a form of self sabotage. Our brains fill with purpose and promise of the power of accomplishment. But unlisted and unchecked and continually added to, our to do lists become monstrous brain tape worms.

And I suspect there is more of this going on than we realize. Feeding our anxieties and fueling our compulsions, we relive a low-grade post traumatic stress disorder kinda life. Never enough done and never enough food or alcohol or whatever to quell the voices that say we’ve not done enough or enough right.

My new MO is to attempt to write my thoughts and list them. And thus I can walk away for days. And not to add too many things back on the list that I can’t enjoy its clearing.

I am impressed with myself these days. Anything beyond the baby is a bonus. And I did get the new suitcase, design a kickin’ graphic, and redecorate that room. Call it will power, resolve, or stubbornness. But I’m taking names. Next.

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