OK, everyone, raise your right hand (Yes, I mean it.). Now reach around and pat yourself on the back.
Because…. you are doing okay today. You deserve it. And because no one else may pat you on the back today.
I meet people every day who have self-critical internal sound tracks (a.k.a., the voices in your head). And I, too, sometimes have to pause and realize when I have lost perspective and my own soundtrack has gotten crabby, critical or harsh. I am pretty kind and forgiving with others, but very hard on myself. Sound familiar?
Some client appointments start out with us giving ourselves a pat on the back for all the good we do. We can’t all be good at everything, and I am happy to help my clients if they feel they are lacking the time, skills or motivation in the organizing department. As I mentioned last week, though, we all have skills and good things about us, so keep those positive things in mind when re-writing that critical internal soundtrack!
Pat Today’s “You” on the back. And be nice to Tomorrow’s “You”, too, with these ideas:
Nurture Positive Relationships with Your Loved Ones
As a teenager, I worked at a Hallmark Store in my hometown. I bought and sent cards for everyone for everything! I lost that habit for a while, but I have re-embraced the “personal note”, even if via email. If you are thinking of someone, tell them. If you are feeling grateful for someone, tell them that, too. I have a stash of greeting cards in my desk, and I regularly send Thank-you notes and encourage (ok, require) my sons to send them, too. A wonderful and crafty friend makes me hand-stamped note cards for the “Thinking of You” times. It is always a good time to reach out to others.
Invest in Your Health
Take care of the health you were given. I admit to having a lovely bakery Molasses cookie sitting next to me as I type this, but please don’t consider me a hypocrite. It’s Mother’s Day as I write this, so the calories don’t count, right?
I hope the Future Me thanks Today’s Me for the sunscreen I apply every morning, the vitamin supplements I take, the good nutrition choices (aside from the cookie!) I make today. I hope the 60 year-old Me smiles when she remembers the regularly scheduled doctors appointments and screenings I make time for today, and the exercise I try to fit in my busy schedule. I know tomorrow’s Me is worth the time and effort today.
Don’t Hold Grudges
Perhaps I am lazy, but I can’t seem to hold grudges. They require too much effort and score keeping, and really, I have better things to do with my time. I’m not suggesting we forgive and forget immediately, and or become a doormat. Trust me, I am also not always the kind and loving person God calls me to be. But sitting here, I can’t remember why the 20 year-old Me broke up with boyfriends long ago, nor can I muster negative feelings for friends and enemies from yesteryear. I may feel indifference, perhaps, but not animosity. I assume any wrong-doers from my past have evolved, as I think I have. And if they haven’t, well, they still aren’t worth my time.
By all means, learn from life experiences. Then move on.
Pay Attention to Our Youth
Our future lies in the hands of our young people. Cliché? Yes. But still true. Find out what kids are doing and why, and perhaps it is a really good idea you should try, too! In a recent conversation, a parent said he would never bother to learn to text, that his daughter would just have to communicate to him as he chose. This made me cringe, as I want to embrace any and all ways my kids have to communicate with me, so they will continue to do so! Music, technology, books, ideas, style, I learn all sorts of things from my kids and their friends!
Nurture independence in your children, too, so that you will have something to learn from them, just as they learn from you.
If you are a parent, recognize the importance of what you do today with your kids. We can’t control who they will become, or what they may be when they grow up. But we can control our choices today and how our relationship with them will thrive and evolve.
You knew I would have to work that in to the conversation, right? It is both Who I Am and What I Do, after all. Lend Tomorrow’s You a hand, and Organize today.
I was called out-of-town last week, to help a family member with a house crisis (things are clearing up well, thanks.). As I hopped on the expressway, I was so glad that Yesterday’s Me had:
- Maintained client and personal contact information in my smart phone for making calls from another state;
- Gassed up the car while running errands;
- Set up the coffee maker on a timer for 6 am (a lovely way to wake up!);
- Packed a nutritious, weight watchers friendly portable breakfast and travel snack bag;
- Stopped at the library and picked up a book-on-tape for the ride;
- Charged my electronics (cell phone and blue tooth piece, IPod); and
- Laid out little league uniforms and baseball bags for the games.
- Last week, she also stocked the cabinets and freezer with food and set up a menu plan to make things run more smoothly.
- Long term, yesterday’s Me also taught my boys to make breakfast, load and unload the dishwasher, and take care of things even though teaching takes more time than just doing it myself. God bless the Me of yesterday!
Spend a little time today taking care of yourself and organizing your world, and you will thank yourself tomorrow!