It is 4:30 pm and I’ve just picked up the kids from school and daycare. I think to myself, what can I whip up for dinner in the next 30 minutes? One little darling asks me for a snack, another is whining for milk and an iPad, the third is dumping out an entire container of Legos, and the dog has peed on the floor.
Ten minutes later, I’m asked to “watch this,” refill snack bowls, and find a very specific Storm Trooper helmet in a pile of 200 Lego Mini-figure pieces. I still haven’t figured out dinner, and the dog is driving me crazy.
If I am asked for a snack one more time, the dog doesn’t stop licking the dishes in the dirty open dishwasher, or I get another work email, I AM GOING TO LOSE IT!
And I have. Many Times.
I believe that most women are similar in the regard that we want to remain calm. But how do we maintain our composure when 17 of our personal stressors seem to surface at the same time?
1. Be grateful. Yes, life can be messy and complicated, but we have to remind ourselves of our blessings. The job, house, co-workers, and children that drive us to the brink of a break-down are the very things that other people are praying for. We’re lucky.
2. Take a time out. If that work email was the last straw, walk away from the computer. If we’re irritated with a loved one’s text message, we can wait before responding. Regroup and resume.
3. Lower your voice. If I have learned anything from teaching for over a decade, it is that yelling does not get students to listen. Jacqueline Kennedy was known to speak in such a low soft tone that people were forced to lean in to hear what she was saying. Speak like Jackie, and people will listen.
4. Set a goal. Whether it is as straight-forward as responding to a full inbox of office emails or cooking dinner, set a reasonable goal for yourself. You can achieve it, you just need a plan.
5. Make a plan. Sometimes we need to clear the clutter first. Plan a short-list of tasks that will take a minimal amount of time to accomplish. Organize emails into folders, then respond. Clear the dirty dishes, then prep for dinner. Break down your chores into manageable tasks so that you feel a sense of accomplishment. I promise, your goal won’t seem as hard to achieve after all.
“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” ~John Quincy Adams
Think on These Things ~N