What To Do When You Don’t Get Your Way

February Alberta Sunrise
February Alberta Sunrise

I’m a pretty high functioning individual.

I have a huge work output and know how to get ‘er done.

I can work for hours on projects and events and materials that will bring results for the success and recognition of an organization or group of people, and balance a hot and loving marriage with 3 kids still living at home, plus their lives, the needs with a puppy and laundry and meal preparation and meetings and gym time and coffee with friends and volunteer commitments.

I can do that.

But, sometime late last year, I hit a wall in my psyche. I very clearly got the internal message that I needed a break. I didn’t want to work that hard any more. My body and mind were very clearly wanting something I wasn’t finding in the life I was living. I wanted stillness. I wanted less.

I wanted less meetings and more ‘me’ time.
I wanted less noise and more silence.
I wanted less work load, and more freedom.
I wanted less responsibility to others, and more accountability … to me.

So, I planned my escape from my career in public work for a not for profit. I even strategized for their enduring success; (it’s not me to leave someone high and dry). I just wanted to leave my good work where it was and quietly step away. And did.

After I’d said good bye to my old career, and just as I was to embark on my new journey, Life stepped in.

I got sick. Three times.
Kids got sick.
My husband went away to help care for his elderly parents.
Then we lost his dad.
I had two large volunteer projects that were on track to wrap up.
A kid had dental surgery.
We started home renovations.

My plans for a seamless transition from busy life to Zen life went out the window. In fact, all hell broke loose. I was exhausted. And out of sorts. And my old foe, Worry, returned wearing body armor.

I wanted ease. I got challenge.
I wanted freedom. I got uncertainty.
I wanted silence, meditation, yoga and exercise.
I got exhaustion, a screaming inner terrorist and all but completely lost sight of my workout routine (which is my mental health).

Worse yet, long, cold days and rabid thinking had me neck deep in rough waters. What the hell, Life?! You’re messing up my plans.

When shit falls apart, and what I want seems to run screaming away from me, what can I do?

Sue O'Kieffe 2009 Surrender http://suedoodles.wordpress.com/
Sue O’Kieffe 2009 Surrender http://suedoodles.wordpress.com/

Keep up With The Basics

Have a hot bath. Make comfort food. Sleep more. Get out of bed at a reasonable time. Brush my teeth. Shave my legs. Try again.

Reach Out To My Cheerleaders

Whine a little. Ask for help. Have coffee, or a glass of wine with a friend who lets me wallow a little and then kicks me in the ass with a “You’re the strongest woman I know” speech. Hug more: my man, my kids, my mom, the person in front of me at the bank. Whomever is closest.

Pray, Meditate, Sleep or Seek Nature

Praying for guidance or protection, breathing in the light and exhaling toxic feelings and thoughts, deep restorative sleep and time outside are all equal in value for my Spirit, and necessary for my wellness.

Loosen my Grip on What I Want (Intentions vs. Expectations)

When I set the intention to accomplish something, the boundaries are fluid. There is an aim without conditions or limitations. (These are different from goals.) When I state my expectations and shit gets in the way, or when I don’t get what I want, on my timeline, I’m cranky, upset and generally put out.

Life is going to get messy sometimes. As long as I stay focused and committed to my desires, all will work out at the perfect time. Shit happens. Stuff will come up. People will need me. I will stumble and fall. It’s all good.

Give In

The equivalent of calling Uncle.
Surrender.
Ride the wave.
Choose to trust in a powerful good.
Embrace yourself, hunker down and hang on.
Keep on, keepin’ on.

And don’t forget, all things are temporary.

This too shall pass.

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