Wishland

01.17.2012

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?

***

Photo by Alice Popkorn

11 Comments

  • Beth says:

    Thanks Beth,
    I am a constant list maker, and would beat myself up for not getting things done that was on my list. I finally have come up with a way of list making that makes me happy and yet keeps me orgainized. You have to allow “life” to happen in your day… and find that balance.

    Blessings, Connie

  • Brigitte says:

    I always overwhelm myself. I never finish my list because it is always too long and it constantly carries over into another day leaving me with a defeated feeling. I am trying to turn this around. I enjoyed your post and am looking forward to the weekly newsletters as well. I will check back and try to keep reading!

  • April Jo says:

    From a newbie….I am really enjoying your site. I am currently in a Fibro flair- the worst in years and your article was in my inbox this morning. Why? Cause the Good Lord was making me read it!! I’ve had those exact thoughts. Thank you so much for writing this down and sharing it.

  • Loved this post. I don’t often find myself in wish land, but when I do, I’ll have to remember your advice to drive out of it 🙂

  • OH, how I love this post, Beth!

    I don’t often live there but I do have my moments when I think pre-kid thoughts 🙂

  • PS I get an error when I click through to the interview!

  • K-Sue says:

    Great advice, Beth!

  • Stephanie says:

    Thanks so much for this article. I often live in wishland, thinking if only I had this, then I could do this, or if only this would happen then everything would fall into place and often I stall on doing anything wishing my day away. I love the insight and simple acknowledgement that it happens to the best of us! Thanks!!!

  • Lauren says:

    Thank you for this post. I was wishing for more space in my 2 BR apt for the 4 of us. Well, I spent a few minutes deciding what the WORST thing in the apt was, and then I tackled my family’s clothes. In the end, I had 2 HUGE totes to donate, one FULL of clothes. I took them down to car so they aren’t brought out again. Our closet looks SOOO much bigger and my house feels lighter since I got rid of stuff I didn’t like, love, or need. Taking it to GoodWill TOMORROW.

  • Sue Condon says:

    My husband used to throw the newspaper away before I was finished reading it. Now I cut what I need instead of trying to remember when and where something is happening. I cleared a drawing in the kitchen- that is th room where we read the paper! The rest of the paper goes there each morning, if I need a coupon or anything later it is still there. When the drawer is full they are bagged and go to recycle. He never sees it after he is done reading it and it doesn’t end up in the landfil either.

  • Gloria says:

    I totally understand and empathize with the debillitating pain of a migraine, Beth, especially waking up with one; those were always the worst for me. Glad you know about Excedrin as the best OTC for migraines; keep in mind that the % of the ingredients is exactly the same in the “Migraine” one as in the regular one, though, so if you can’t find the “special” one, you can get the same relief from the common one. Do you know about Tiger Balm? Rub just a little bit on the pain point, like your temple or the back of your neck or wherever you feel the center of the pain is, and hold your hands under hot(warm) water for a few minutes. Think pain-free thoughts (just go as blank as possible). I gave up chocolate [cold turkey] 5 yrs ago and have diminished my migraines to a remarkable 1 per 4 months or so. LOVE YOUR SITE + BLOG + CALENDAR! Thank you so much for your dedication and clear-sightedness!

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