Ever need a brain dump? I need to get all commitments down on paper to decide what to keep, what to cut. This post is a start to finding priorities again. Although I created this space on the web with the intention of helping others, I’m indulging myself in a personal post here. It’s a wordy post. A transparent post because I’m just letting my thoughts flow. If you have any words of encouragement, please share them in the comments. If what I write helps you in your journey of getting off the spinning wheel, all the better. I’m just going to write now, off the cuff. I’m not going to edit.
Right now, I feel like I’m just spinning my wheels with so many open loops. In other words, I have so many projects that remain unfinished that I feel frustrated just about every day because although I’ve worked on many things, nothing seems to be getting done. And yet, what did I do recently? Took on another project! By the way, if you have any ideas on how to gather addresses for a class reunion, please share in the comments. I thought I had an idea for collecting addresses online, but I’m concerned about security – can’t have everyone in the class viewing all addresses.
Here comes the brain dump!
So, it’s time for a massive brain dump. I need to empty my thoughts onto a tangible medium. It’s how I organize anything: make a really big mess by getting everything out in the open, then compartmentalize, give away/throw away, organize. Find peace. I need to get every project and duty I’ve taken on down on paper and then decided how to proceed. What to cut, what to keep, what to do to close some of those loops. A career counselor once told me that I thrive on closure. That was 25 years ago, he knew me better than I knew myself at the time, so what he told me about the closure thing it was a real “a-ha! moment”. Now that I am well aware that I need some closure to avoid feeling so out of it, so unproductive, so … discombobulated, I also tend to forget that.
Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you’re the one who should do it.
Some of the things I have up in the air right now
- I love writing. I was born to write. I have tons of ideas for helpful articles for getting organized, yet ironically, I feel extremely disorganized. I have a number of spinal problems along with fibromyalgia that make it difficult to sit at the computer for long, so I don’t write much anymore. This isn’t good for me, it’s not natural. So, I set up an adjustable standing desk riser earlier this week. I think this will help me a lot and the platform raises and lowers so I can use my desk seated when I want to as well.
- I have so much in the air at home because my husband and I want to sell our home so I need to get rid of 10+ years worth of stuff we don’t need any more. I’m making some progress on this, but it’s three steps forward, two steps back because my part time retail job is taking a lot of energy out of me in the form of stress. It’s spring time and the store get very busy, yet a management made changes to leadership and this was not the greatest time to mix things up. So, my little job that once brought me joy via using what I learned as a Master Gardener to help customers has turned into me doing that along with very frequently having two to three other tasks vying for my attention. The stress wipes out my energy because of the fibromyalgia (stress isn’t so great for my inflammatory thyroid disease, either). I am struggling with whether I should continue working at this job, find another job, or take some time off? I have formed some relationships at that job and it’s hard to imagine myself working elsewhere, but I may have to for self preservation. I could try doing some freelance writing again if that standing desk works out. That work brings me a lot of personal fulfillment. Actually, any job where I am teaching people or helping them make decisions is fulfilling.
- This website. I specifically want to get content on this site. I have many ideas arranged on Trello. I use the free version of this app which provides a visual way to organize anything and manage projects. Groups can use Trello as well, and the plugin and mobile app makes saving links really easy. I’ve started a few articles but got sidelined and didn’t finish. Now I wonder if I ever will finish those articles. I wonder if I’ll ever get around to creating the articles that I am on fire to write, yet they have languished in my mind for weeks, coming to the surface here and there, slowly and sadly fading away. Damn, this bugs me.
- My yard needs attention. I don’t get outside often enough to see the weeds that need to go. I keep up on our finances and actively manage a retirement portfolio, this takes a few hours a week. I enjoy doing this and it’s essential so that activity will not be cut. My house needs to be cleaned more often (I asked local friends for cleaning service recommendations on Facebook, answered with the sound of crickets), walls need to be painted, a mirror needs replacing. Kitchen cabinets would benefit from some hardware.
- My health is suffering because I’m not getting enough intentional exercise. I get a lot of physical activity in at work, yet I am overweight. This causes more pain. There are specific exercises I need to do to avoid pain from degenerative disk disease, bulging disks and other ailments that I don’t even remember right now, but I’m usually too tired or too distracted to do those exercises. I stopped making them a priority soon after I started my job two years ago. This is so… so not good.
- I have open loops because I’m waiting on others or procrastinating. I hate making phone calls. Need to get in touch with the cable company about changing service, need to get new phones but also need to determine which phone would be best and which carrier offers the best deal. Still waiting to hear back from a dealership regarding the second time they screwed up my maintenance plan. Need to get home to see parents and friends more often, but I work a lot of weekends. I am seeing a recurring theme with my job interfering with life. Is that for real, or am I using it as an excuse? Hmmm…
Perfectionism is a problem
I’ve been told that I am a perfectionist. I don’t think of myself as a perfectionist because I frequently feel so scattered. It’s what stops me from writing. I need to un-entangle myself from 10 years of writing with SEO (that’s optimizing articles so they are easier to find when you search) being the goal vs. just writing authentically. It’s a delicate balance. Without optimizing content, no one will find it and it goes unread. But, I avoid writing here on my personal site because I feel the pressure of SEO. Let those shackles be gone! I need to experiment with just writing again. As I’ve done here. I’ll probably use less words, though.
I can’t tell you how difficult it has been to just write this without editing, which is a perfectionist thing. If I stop to edit, this may never get published, and I need to publish it, maybe as a form of holding myself accountable to doing that brain dump on paper and getting off the spinning wheel. There are people who can slap together a beautiful blog post (half as long as this monster post) in 20 minutes, complete with links, photos and attention to SEO. I have no idea how they do that. It takes me a couple of hours to do the same – because I go into perfectionist mode. I edit, re-edit, look for just the right words. I go too far with that.
A personal example of perfectionism: I was reading an excellent book by Beth Moore, When Godly People Do Ungodly Things: Arming Yourself in the Age of Seduction. I started taking notes as Moore broke down some Bible verses. Then I decided that taking notes wasn’t good enough, I really needed the study guide. I searched for the study guide, but never ordered it. Decided I’d do it later. Later hasn’t come because, well, those open loops and spinning wheels. And, in the meantime, I lost the benefit of having just read the book while taking notes. I’m going back to the simplicity of the notes. Maybe I’ll do a small group study sometime. I could even lead it. Nope, gotta close some loops!