I've been having an affair...

…with work lately. 

It’s time to come clean. Craig has been traveling for work a good bit over the last few months. While the husband’s been away, this cat hasn’t been about play at all. 

The reality has looked something like this: Eat an early dinner. (Little known fact: I love eating dinner at the geriatric, early bird hour whenever possible.) Go for a walk or a perhaps a ladies’ walk-n-talk. Get home and shower. Go into my home office to read or respond to just one thing. And then why not just one more thing? And one more after that…until…shit…it’s 10:30 PM. Craig is calling me. It’s now dark out; and hours have disappeared.  

Now, this evening routine might work really well for some of you. It might even sound like a flow state. However, you’d be totally wrong. I’m somewhat of a morning person on a 7am - 11pm schedule. Generally after 7-8 PM, “work” can be defined as “25% painfully slow sentence composition + 25% poorly comprehended reading + 25% social media trolling with the attention span of a gnat + 25% actual productive shit getting done.” Instead of being excited to catch-up with my far-flung husband, I’ve often felt a little toasted and disconnected when we talk. Instead of drifting off to sleep easily on those nights, my brain is way too stimulated. It’s working the graveyard shift editing the half-ass work I tried to produce earlier. Sometimes, I’ve even woken myself up dictating something I was thinking or writing earlier. Out. Loud. Instead of waking up feeling accomplished for my efforts, I feel groggier than other days and a good bit guilty for not going pencils (and laptops and devices) down. 

If this sounds all too familiar, here's a way to stay ahead of the just one more thing urge:

  1. Stop telling yourself that you don’t have time. Seriously, stop it right now. Because you really do have the time + space for everything you want to be, do and create. 
  2. Call it reframing. Call it mantra-making. Tell yourself you do have time…clearly, assertively and, most definitely, out loud. (For me, it’s something like: There is time + space for everything I want to do + create.
  3. Now, breathe deeply and listen to what noise your Itty Bitty Shitty Committee whirls up inside your head. There will likely be some internal resistance. Perhaps a big nuh-uh. 
  4. Breathe again.
  5. Say it again. Maybe you have to say every day for the next week or the next month. Maybe you have to doodle it on a post-it note. Maybe you have to tattoo it on your forehead. (Backwards, so you can read it in a mirror, please.) 

What do you have to lose besides 2 potentially perspective-shifting seconds? Because you and I both know that telling ourselves we don’t have time on repeat is 100% completely not helping us get shit done. It’s mostly just serving to make the process harder and to ratchet up the stress factor. Do you really need more stress in your life?

If this worked for you or you have an even better idea to share, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.  

(Sometimes, it's a lack of prioritization, not time. If that's even remotely your situation, check out this post.)

A frog on my desk, not in my throat.

A couple of weeks ago, I got to deliver my new Stress, Guts and the Frazzled Modern Woman talk to approximately 50 women. My stuffed frog, François, heard it about 75 times leading up to the event. (He’s lived on my desk since 4th grade.) Yet, it was the first time that I got to hear women supporting other women (with hugs!) and use my voice again after being quiet for many months. It was also the first time I decided that public-speaking probably wasn’t going to be the thing to kill me and didn’t lose 1-2 nights of sleep leading up to the event. 

You see using my voice again in that way was a big coming-out for me. Because right next to those vocal cords lives a very beat-up thyroid. For those of you who don’t recall, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, or chronic autoimmune thyroiditis, last October. While some days, it’s frustrating to deal with these phantasmagoric symptoms, it’s also a gift. In a way, it’s been like bumper-rails at a bowling alley keeping me focused on what I need to and allowing me to dismiss the bullshizzle. Needless to say, I’m learning a lot.

That said, I want to share this journey with you as it unfolds. Why? As I stood in front of those 50 women a few weeks ago, I talked about the mega-shame I silently carried about having IBS in my 20s. I carried that shame for close to a decade…long past the time I healed, long past the time I apprenticed and went back to school and even into the first year or so of starting my practice…because I’d rather have talked about anything besides admitting my irritable bowels got the best of me in public. Yet, all of the lessons learned also never saw the light of day. 

I won't make that mistake twice.

One glitch. You know that I’m a recovering perfectionist, right? The idea of sharing the unfinished case study that is my immune system right now nearly bumps me out of recovery. It’s scary. There no neat bow tied around it! I’m not a medical doctor! (I am seeing an integrative one, though.) My name is not Nancy Drew, Scooby Do or any other sleuth you know! I’ve never been a consistent blogger! I might get sh*t wrong in front of people like you who pop by my blog! My insatiable curiosity might lead me down a rabbit hole of missteps! Or I might get some things right; and we might all just learn something that we haven’t even considered yet.

Just remember: You're on the journey with me and my body. This isn't a prescription or a protocol, but an excuse to think critically about health and self-advocacy. So, put your health detective hat on with me. 

Stay tuned...