Daily Dilemma: Know When to Say When!

Taking on too much is a common theme in my life. New project at work? Yes, I’ll do it. Clean out the closets on my day off? Sign me up! Host a play date at my house even though I don’t feel like it? Sure. This scene is all too familiar to me. Why?

Well, in 2012 I say NO MORE. My resolution this year is to take care of myself. Sounds selfish right? Well it is…a little. However, a happy and healthy me is a better me…for everyone.

So in 2012 I vow to push back on a meeting if it falls on my lunch time (I have blood sugar issues and don’t need to be skipping meals), I will take time in the morning to do my daily workout instead of complaining about my weight and I will say no to an activity now and again to hang out in my pajamas. Taking small steps can make a big difference.

Life’s too short to cram it all in so I won’t. Not this year anyway.


Yearly Dilemma: September 11 

Ten years ago, just four days after the tragic events of September 11, 2011, I married Ken Saunders.

Each year I experience the 4 days leading up to my wedding in graphic detail, unable to forget, forever entertwined with the happiest day of my life outside of giving birth to my beautiful son.

Each year I experience the sadness and guilt that comes with knowing that I married the love of my life right after others lost theirs.

Each year my anniversary is about being thankful for what I am lucky to have and for holding on to it as tight as I can for as long as I can.

Thank you, Ken for giving me 10 years filled with happiness, love and friendship. For celebrating when things are great and for picking me up when things are not so great. Thank you for the laughter and the tears. Thank you for marrying me and making me a better person than I ever thought I could be. I love you.


Daily Dilemma: Why Can’t I Stop Doing Stuff?

Weekends should be a time for relaxing, letting off steam from the work week and catching up with family and friends. So why after the weekend do we usually find ourselves more tired than before?

Because our culture is about over-scheduling. We use our weekends for activities, race around taking our kids here and there, run errands, clean and do laundry and so on. If you are like me, I work so much during the week that on the weekends I have a guilt complex. A need to make up for lost time in every area of my life. Stopping to smell the roses isn’t something we do as often as we should.
What to do?

Tips:
Slow it down. Kids don’t need constant entertainment. Between school and activities there is not enough down time. My son is content on the weekends to play with toys he doesn’t get to during the school week.

Cut yourself some slack. Repeat after me: “You are NOT perfect.” I’m sorry if that hurts your feelings but nobody is. You are allowed to decide that you don’t want to go somewhere even if you’ve already committed. You can say no to your child and you can RSVP no to children’s birthday parties.

That pile of laundry can wait, so can the dishes and the yard work. It can all wait.


Daily Dilemma: I Thought Sunday Was a Day of Rest!

It’s Sunday night and the feeling could go either way. Enjoy the rest of the evening or start distancing yourself from the weekend to prepare for the work week?

Most Sundays I find myself feeling torn between enjoying the moment, finishing off the weekend with gusto and thinking about all of the work waiting for me back at the office on Monday. In the early evening I feel the pull of my blackberry and the allure of unfinished projects pulling me away from my restful family time. What to do?

Here are some tips to help:

There are weekends where the work is unavoidable, the projects are too big and time is of the essence. Bring home only what you need to get the project done. Have a game plan so you don’t spend more time working than you have to.

If you do need to work, communicating with your family so they understand your pressures and deadlines helps soften the transition.

Life is about balance but family comes first. Check your personal calendar before committing to business plans.

Leave your office on Friday with things neat, orderly and a task list ready to go. This should help you feel more at ease when Monday comes that you are prepared.


Daily Dilemma: Working Mother’s Guilt. It’s for Real.

As a working parent, I struggle with finding time for myself. Working all day I would love to come home and both see my family and have alone time.

There is a certain amount of guilt that comes with a full time job. I give the majority of my time to the office, the next amount to my son, then husband respectively and what little time left is for me. Problem is, what exactly is left?

What to do?

It’s very important to steal some time for yourself. If you are not healthy in body and mind, what good are you to the people that depend on you?

Tips:

Make the time. It’s there but requires a certain amount of prioritizing to make it happen. Thirty minutes per day is all it should take.

Whether it be working out, gardening, scrapbooking or just sitting quietly alone if it’s important to you then it’s important.

Your family will understand because they love you. If you feel good, you can be a better contributor at home. Everyone wins.


Daily Dilemma: Get the Job Done or Get the Job Done Right?

Faced with the reality of living in a world that’s go, go, go we are bound to make mistakes. I don’t like making mistakes but I also don’t like it when I can’t move the work off my desk quick enough. What to do?

Well, I have one of two choices: I can accept that mistakes are now an inevitable part of what I do and hope that other people accept it too or I can talk it through with the people that I am working with and explain that the project will take longer because I am doing it right.

More than not, I opt to talk it through with the people I work with and more often than not I find that most people want the work done right and are willing to wait a little longer than they originally thought to get a better finished product.

Tips to make it work:

Make sure to ask up front about absolute deadlines and timing to ensure that you can fit the work properly into your schedule and prioritize.

Try to minimize surprises for the person who’s project you are working on by communicating throughout the project.

Get it in writing. When someone agrees to let the project go at your pace, be sure to have them spell it out for you. We are all busy, saves everyone the trouble of remembering what was said.