Saturday, January 7, 2012

settling back in & making space for what matters

It's hard to believe that we are almost through the first week of 2012. 51 weeks left to go and we will be at the starting line again. I returned from my vacation renewed, refreshed, and rejuvenated. I won't lie, the first couple days back were rough in terms of the time change and the amount of stuff to do. Anytime we come back from solace/respite/vacation/retreat, it can definitely be shock to our system. We travel from one extreme to the other; easing through life, enjoying the small stuff, picking our feet up and then get thrown back into e-mail, traffic, calendar juggling, dinner to make, and feeling a bit ragged at the end of the day.

For Example: Today, I slept in, had breakfast, went and coached my girls 4-6th grade girls basketball team at their first game, came home, attacked the house, went and worked at the climbing wall, ran downtown and met up with The Man for a slice of pizza, came home attacked more of the house and reorganized my office nook (which looks awesome by the way), and now I am sitting down and settling in for the evening with a hot pot of tea (I love my new red ceramic teapot from The Man's sister), and am catching my breath.

This is what happens when we feel like we have to catch up. Lots to do. Lots to clean. Lots to process. I am really trying to be conscious of pulling back more and more and finding pockets of downtime and being careful not to push too hard. Today was my workday and tomorrow I will focus on me. Throughout my cleaning escapade and dust bunny war, I was thinking about how when we come back from taking any amount of time off, we have this tendency to jump back in and go into auto-pilot all over again, like our vacation never happened. How do we settle back in and make the space for what matters?

In my 8 pillars project, the first pillar is Jen Time. This includes self-care strategies, quiet, personal reflection, and checking in to see if I am in Alignment with what matters to me. The worst feeling to is to run ourselves absolutely ragged and then wonder what the hell did we get out of it anyway? THAT'S THE WORST! It all comes back to setting Intention and checking in to see if what we do produces a win-win for us and others involved. The win-win is key. Granted, paying back my student loans feels like a lose-win (lose for me, win for my bank), but the cool part is reworking our mentality. Take the student loan example; I actually win by paying my loans because I can work on getting out of debt faster, I am responsible for my finances, and I am reminded about the amazing education and experiences I received in college.

The questions to ask yourself: What's the win-win here? Am I making space for what matters? Am I in alignment with my values and intention?

Don't be intimidated with all there is to do after returning from vacation. There will always be a plentiful inbox, a phone call to return, a copy to make, a conversation to be had. Also, there always will be hugs to give, a laugh to be had, an "I Love You" to say, and that smile to offer.

Make the space for what really matters.

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