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Daily Connect: Finding Flexibility In Others When Stress Has Got You Down
Submitted by Lani on Thu, 9/8/2011, 4:27pm
Hello dear ones,
I'm just a bit overwhelmed these next few weeks (okay, really, this next whole year). With a wedding, a dissertation/Ph.D. completion, and academic job applications (plus a new puppy and a fairly dedicated yoga/running/spinning practice), I feel like my dance card is just too full. Yes, on paper it sounds like a lot, but I've found that the main reason I have been feeling overwhelmed is because of the unrealistic expectations I have placed upon what others are expecting of me (including, that is, of course, myself). That is, as autumn descends and winter is lurking just around the corner (yes, this is what I've been thinking about), I've been wanting to maintain my fairly luxurious and open schedule with my friends, my fiancee and my practice. Alas, wanting the same summer flexibility to do most of the laundry, cook and clean and spend languid evenings with Abby watching cooking shows is no longer a relief but is actually unrealistic and an actual stress. And I do so hate to disappoint.
However, the expectations of others are not what you think (I promised you) and asking for appropriate space to actually fulfill all your obligations to your job, your school, your family, your friends, etc. etc. etc. is essential to insure that simple seasonal transitions don't escalate into full blown life crises. So today I took a realistic look at my schedule and let my dear love know exactly what was plausible and not so plausible to expect from me for the following months and, you know what? It's so not a problem for her. Not a problem at all. Apparently life amongst others you love is an art of mindful coordination and, if they're open to artful management, they'll try to be as masterful as possible amongst the changes. But coordination requires communication and communication requires a deep deep honesty with yourself about the things you'd like to do and be and what is important to you. So as Spring cleaning really isn't appropriate, I'd encourage you to take this seasonal transition as an opportunity to do some Fall cleaning. Make of list of your obligations and goals and then realistically access your ability to embrace them. And, of course, don't forget to ask others for a bit of the flexibility that your current conception of your schedule doesn't seem to allow. Because there is some flexibility there. I swear.
Happy Thursdays loves.
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