Friday, July 17, 2009

"To Do Listing" My Way Through It

Whenever I'm coping with a difficult reality in my life I have many different tactics I use to get through it. One of my favorites is to plan some effective passage of time.

If I've experienced a major life setback, someone has hurt me, or if I've experienced a big disappointment, I first and foremost allow myself time to feel my feelings. The psychologist in me knows that repressing feelings is never the best course of action! Beyond that, however, I know that the passage of time is one of my best friends! In order to not fritter away the time feeling sorry for myself, I always come up with a project list to get me through a specific period of time. Sometimes it's a month, sometimes 3. I've even had some 6 month lists before. It all depends on what I'm 'dealing' with.

I mentioned this in an article earlier this week: the time is going to pass anyway. How do I want to feel at the end of this period of time? Do I want to feel bad about the time I've wasted? Or do I want to look back and say, "Wow... even with what I was going through - I lived my life and accomplished a lot." I vote for the second choice.

I feel good about accomplishing things, whether it's household projects or helping other people. All sorts of things go on my lists. Sometimes it's cleaning out closets or drawers. Other times its catching up on tasks that have been neglected for far too long. Often it has to do with reconnecting with people and strengthening relationships. Whatever works... that's what I say!

This current economic downturn/recession is a great example. Many people are strapped for money. Many of us are staying closer to home, forgoing vacations, and not eating out as much. Financial reality has altered the landscape. For many of us, there are financial worries and stresses that we didn't have a few years ago.

When we are doing all that we can do to address the situation in front of us, it's time to simply let time pass, enjoy what we can enjoy and let time move us through the difficulty.

It doesn't cost money to clean out your closets, drawers or garage. In fact, you might find some things to sell at a garage sale or on ebay! It doesn't take money to volunteer some time to help other people! It doesn't cost money to get into better shape by taking walks/runs, doing some exercises and stretching. Public libraries are free. It costs nothing to get a card and start learning about something of interest to you! Many things cost nothing. Some things cost a little. In the midst of the recession, however, it is totally possible to plot a course that moves us through a stressful, difficult time and gives us something amazing to show for it when we're through!

Try making a list for a specific period of time and start whittling away at it. You'll be amazed at what you can accomplish, even when things are tough.