Wishland

I woke up this morning with a migraine. Again. I work with many clients with health issues that make it more difficult to simplify and organize. I empathize since I am down for the count about 4 times a month. And I know for many it’s a daily challenge.

I see people get caught up in wishland.

They remember when they were healthy and think, "If only I were well, than I could get things done." They concentrate on that thought so often that they lose energy before they even start on something. When you fight with reality you are the one that suffers.

It doesn’t have to be health either. I remember someone who kept saying, "If only Extreme Home Makeover would come to my home, than my problems would be over." That wish dominated her world and she did little to help herself.

Parents of young children can get caught up in how much more time they had before kids and now it’s "impossible" to get things done.

Life changes. Life can be difficult. But, living in wishland makes things worse by making you feel helpless.

Driving out of Wishland

So how do you get out of wishland?

The first thing to do is watch your thoughts. As soon as you start thinking about how much easier it was in the past or wishing it were better now, stop yourself. (It may help to have an alarm go off every 1/2 hour so you can check in with your thoughts until it becomes more habitual.)

Ask yourself:

  1. What is my body telling me right now? This morning my body told me to take Excedrin Migraine and go back to bed. I’m behind on my work now, but I can function. If I hadn’t listened I would have plowed through work, ending up with a bigger headache. And out of commission longer.
  2. What is my current situation – right now? Are my expectations realistic or based on a different time in my life? If you have fybro and it’s a bad day, don’t make your list impossible to do. Be gentle with yourself. If lots of time is taken with caring for an elderly parent, don’t cram more projects into your life.
  3. What one small step can I take to move forward? People keep emailing me saying how great the declutter calendar is because it breaks things down into such small steps they can declutter without a lot of time or energy. Most things can be broken down. Even five minutes a day can accomplish more than you think.

Make plans based on your current situation.

Work with your challenges instead of pretending they don’t exist or wishing things were different. If you know at 4pm every day you crash, plan for this as recovery time. If you know you only have 5 minutes max to do something because you have young kids, have a list of 5 min tasks on the fridge. If you have good days and bad days health wise see how many bad days you average a week and make your plans accordingly. Don’t plan your day based on an ideal day. Base it on an average day in your current life.

You may think you "need" to do more. You don’t like the limits placed on you.

What if you used those limits to narrow down what is most important to you? Recognizing those limits are opportunities to say, "Reading my child a story is more important than finishing the laundry." "This creative idea I have is more important than playing on Facebook." Wishing for a better day has you wanting to do everything even when you can’t. Then you feel badly about yourself and your life.

But consciously choosing what you have the time and energy for gives you an even more fulfilling life.

So at the end of the day, don’t look at what you could of, should of, would of done. Look at the loving moments. The fulfilling times. What you were able to do.

Where are you stuck in wishland? How can you create a more realistic and fulfilling plan for your life?

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Photo by Alice Popkorn
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