But there’s so much to do!

Hi friends. Well, it’s the end of another week which means another post! I was thinking about what today’s topic could be, as it could possible relate to some of the previous posts — you know, about making changes, big or small. I was going through my home office notes for ideas and came across one of my journals where I had done some big thinkin’.

Before I took the giant step regarding my job, I found in this journal the lists made of pros and cons for resigning — an initial list, another two months after list #1, and two more spaced out over a year-long period. I did some serious ‘shop and compare’ing of what my priorities were before deciding what to do.

This reminded me that we ALL should be using lists. For all sorts of life stuff.

To the readers who are already saying “Not me. I can do it all! EVERYTHING, I TELL YOU!”

What now?!

I’m impressed you are capable of having such power over life. You also might be the individuals who don’t realize this makes you more like our bone-in-da-nose friend here, than to today’s Joe/Jane. Remember him? He thought he could battle a smilodon and win? We’ll come back to that.

The fact is, we live in a world that glorifies being busy. Some people take pleasure in chaos. Others tend to get a bit flummoxed when there is a lot on our plates. We feel like we either don’t know where to begin, or just can’t do it, period.

*Sidenote: I am also enjoying that you are looking up what a smilodon is.*

How’s that state of frenzy and panic working out? Mhmm. Thought so.

Did you write it all down, prioritizing each with “someone will not get fed tonight if I don’t accomplish this now” to “those cat videos I was scrolling through and that Facebook quiz to find out what kind of cheese I am can probably wait.”

No? Lemme guess what happened.

Your friend/supervisor/spouse/WHOEVER, gets ticked off because you are trying to check off your non-existent to-do list and their thing was apparently less important than you finding out you are dill havarti. 

You ran at your targets unprepared and hoped for the best. This system is guaranteed to become a hot mess you and they didn’t want or need.

Let’s go back to my caveman example.

I shall call him…Stone. (Because it works for the time period. And I listened to a lot of Pearl Jam in my youth.)

Stone needs to feed and clothe his cave family. He has been hauling rocks all day and lost track of time. (Did telling time exist yet? Anyhow. Let’s continue.) As the sun starts to set, he looks up and sees an animal in the distance. Immediately seizing his club, he madly runs across the barren landscape to kill and claim it. However, by the time he reaches the giant beast he is exhausted, and in the flash of time it takes for him to see its teeth and claws? He? Is now the prey. 

I like spontaneity as much as the next guy. But you know what I appreciate more? PLANNING. If Stone had thought ahead on how he was going to find the next week of meals, he might be enjoying them with his family instead of becoming prehistoric lunchmeat.

Planning, which leads to effective use of time, then lends to opportunities to cycle back to actually being able to do MORE of the spontaneous, wanted activities!

That is why some wonderful person created lists.

Pen and paper have been around almost as long as our cave buddy has, so y’all have no excuse not to get writing. Just jot-jot-jot down what’s happenin’ today, tomorrow, this week…heck, even think a year ahead like I did with my pro/cons lists. If it’s stuff you complete in a shorter period, scratch each out after. Maybe even crumple up the page when all is done.

Sweet, sweet, crinkly satisfaction.

Are you still with me? I hear you mumbling “thanks for wasting my time reading something so obvious.”

But here’s the thing. If it WERE obvious and EVERYONE was doing this, I wouldn’t be writing about it.

Set priorities. Multi-task. Maybe you can delegate if someone else around you knows how to do it and is available to help.

I’m a fan of using the Reminders app on my mobile in addition to the old-fashioned way: Set each with a date and time to pop up onscreen, or allot specific start and end times for some tasks, like writing. I can lose an entire afternoon to edits if I’m not paying attention. (Hey, lists aren’t foolproof — I forget stuff. But they’re still better than nothing at all!)

I’m pretty confident you’ll dig how much easier it makes things once you get into the habit. Making changes is a good thing! And the items on your lists don’t have to be just chores; add bits like “lunch date at 1!” or “swimsuit shopping for Mexico!”

It’s been proven a habit only takes two weeks to form one (making lists, yay!) or to lose one (popcorn for dinner 3x/week is apparently not recommended. Damn.) 

We can’t say we aren’t accountable for something when it’s right in front of us, in our own handwriting. I’m aware there are only so many hours in a day and unexpected things will happen, meaning we need to amend and move items to the next day or two. That’s cool. Progress not perfection, y’all.

Just be smart about what really CAN wait, and what shouldn’t have to. 

Xx, Stace.

A lil’ weekend inspiration.

Last weekend I met up with a friend I have not spent time with for far too long. I think we said it had been over a year? And we live in the same city. How does that happen? She is someone who has been an inspiration over the years and is always a treat to get together with.

Life can get a bit nuts. Schedules don’t always jive or plans made now need to be canceled. It happens, and I’m cool with that (unless you cancel every time. Then a girl can take a hint.) Now that she and I were finally visiting we had some serious catching up to do, which led to us chatting for almost three hours. It was such a good evening!

Especially when I discovered something new about her after 10 years of friendship.

She has granted me permission to share the story as I thought it might resonate with my readers too. I hope you enjoy learning about her experience as much as I did!

She moved to Canada from Europe at age 19, looking for new adventures and experiences. She had a thick accent and while she spoke English it was not her first language, so her job options weren’t overwhelming…yet.

She found work on an assembly line where she handled saplings — itty bitty trees that she had to quickly review for the quality standards and either keep it or move on. She and her colleagues were not allowed to make small talk while working: Head down, review, keep or toss, repeat.

Quality Control would come by and instead of giving any positive feedback for her speed and ability, they would pull the occasional sapling from her discard bin, saying it met the one millimetre requirement.

One millimetre. Because that’s an easy measurement to be exact on under pressure. Ah, Management. Try doing the job and then get back to us, eh? seedling-887713_960_720.jpg It was not fulfilling. Frustrated, she didn’t want to continue hating her daily bike ride to work to do the same thankless monotony. But what were her options?

One day on her way in to her shift, she saw someone else on the property who was spraying the trees. “What!? He gets a job with fresh air? And sunshine!Cool breezes with the mist from the hose?” She wanted a piece of that gig and she wanted it now.

The next time she spoke with her coworkers she asked about the job with the hose. She was told he was an Irrigationist. “Well how did he get that?” she inquired. The rest of them only shrugged. No one knew. They had never thought to ask.

Further irritated by her cirumstances, she took a detour from her usual route the next day — off to the building where management could be found. She propped her bike against the wall and went right in:

She:“Hi. I’d like to speak to the boss, please.” Secretary:“He’s not here right now. Can I help you?” She: “I want the other job. The irrigation. I hate the assembly line and I want that one.”

Confused, the secretary didn’t know what to tell her. Another fellow piped up and asked her if he could help. To him she repeated her desire to try the new job, simply saying “I really want to water the trees . It looks like so much fun.” Unfortunately, he too didn’t have an immediate answer but graciously took her name and she left.

The next day she was visited at her current position and told to gather her things. Shit. She thought. Had she somehow overstepped?

Nope. She was taken to her new job…watering the plants and learning the irrigation duties! As it would turn out, the fellow she gave her name to  was the OWNER. He respected her tenacity and recognized she was worth a shot.

She asked and they delivered.

Some of her colleagues were not as stoked on the situation. There was animosity — “why her and not me? I’ve been here way longer!”

Strange looks and questions about how she moved up so fast happened the next while. Some of her pseudo-friends from the sorting plant held resentment. Or maybe it was jealousy? Because they were not as brave as she to take the chance that she took. And that didn’t matter — she kept on working and loved watering the trees.

She’s not in the horticulture business anymore but taking those first step years ago, and continuing to climb and pursue what she wanted, led her to now being a very successful and thriving Community Service Manager. She has aspirations of being promoted to Director.

“Moral” of the story? She persisted and showed what she was capable of. She had no experience doing the job she was asking for, but she did have the determination to TRY.

That’s all we can ask of ourselves. Know your worth. Seize the opportunity, or create your own.

We may not always succeed… But what if we do?

I don’t know about you but I think the possibility is pretty exciting. I’d love to hear about your “She believed she could so she did” story too, whether you’ve done as she did or are dreaming of trying. Time to rise and glow, friends.

Time to Rise and Glow. 

 Xx, Stace.