Thank you for all of your supportive comments and emails on my last post! I’m working my way through them all but, if I’m being honest, it might take me a little while to respond. I have NOT forgotten about them, though!
I’ve been focusing a lot right now on the concept of “low hanging fruit.” This is one strategy I’ve turned to over and over again as an adult when I feel overwhelmed, and I am employing it again in pretty much every area of my life. If you’ve never heard that phrase before, “low hanging fruit” are basically things that are easily accomplished or taken care of. They don’t require much effort and they’re attainable – you just have to reach out and grab them!
Me every day. About everything.
Work: I’m working on a project right now for my day job that I’m honestly a little intimidated by. I have more responsibility on it than I usually do, which is great…but also a little scary. So, I decided to start working on the sections that I’m comfortable with first. Then, I know I have accomplished something and I feel more confident about taking on sections I’m less familiar with. Some people believe in tackling the hardest part first, but I’m not that way – I need to start slowly and build. While I’m still pretty stressed out by it, I’m not frozen in a panic and not accomplishing anything, so that gives me confidence that it will be done before I know it.
Blogging: Blogging isn’t intimidating in and of itself. After all, I love to write! But the time commitment for some posts, as I touched on recently, can definitely be intimidating. I have a few posts in my queue that I’m working on writing, but the idea of devoting multiple hours to them at once is not feasible right now. So instead, I decided to write this post and my previous one, which are more stream-of-consciousness and easier for me to work on. This way, you get content that you can (hopefully) relate to and I don’t have a panic attack. Win-win, ya know?
Me every time I write a blog
Running: I’ve definitely been employing this strategy when it comes to running, and it seems to be working! Right now, I’ve been setting my goal most days at just one lap around my neighborhood – 2.4 miles – at whatever pace I feel like doing and however many walk breaks I feel like taking. Setting my expectations so low is helping to build my confidence, which in return is helping me to build my fitness, because heading out for a run doesn’t seem as impossible as it did a couple of weeks ago. Case in point? I set out on Sunday to do 3 miles and felt so good (WHAT?!) that I ended up staying out longer and did 5 miles instead. I can honestly not tell you the last time I ran longer than I planned.
The moral of the story? Lower your expectations. #wordstoliveby
School: Because I am a crazy person, I’m back in grad school pursuing another masters degree in my obviously abundant spare time. The program is for working professionals, so the classes come in short bursts rather than semesters, but the exams for the classes are very long – think along the lines of 15-20 essay questions that are about a page each per response, with references. I set my goal to answer one question a day, because again, trying to do it all at once makes me want to curl up and die. But one question? I can do one question.
Money: AJ and I are currently working on paying off his student loans. I’m lucky enough not to have any, and he was really smart about his loans – he worked nearly full time most of the way through college, went to the cheapest state school in South Carolina, and never borrowed money for living expenses. But still, college is expensive, and those loans are a pain. For those of you who don’t have student loans, they basically are a bunch of smaller loans with varying interest rates that fall under the categories of “private,” “state,” or “federal.” We’ve been focusing on one small high interest loan at a time and sending extra money to it to pay it off quickly before moving on to the next one. We’ve probably got another year or so before they’re all paid off, but we’re making progress! I have a very detailed spreadsheet that I vigilantly update every week to show our progress, because I’m insane.
Nepal: Right now, my primary concern with the trip is packing for it. How much do I bring, or how little? I don’t want to bring too much (since I’m carrying it, after all), but I also don’t want to be stranded in a Nepalese village without some essential item. While I’m normally a “pack the night before I leave” kind of person, I’ve been slowly gathering my supplies for this trip and keeping them all together in a guest room. I’m planning to completely pack this weekend – a full week before I leave – so I don’t have to worry about it next week. That has literally never happened before.
I have purchased this obviously very attractive trekking hat (and accompanying neck shield) for Nepal, so there is now no doubt as to who the best looking person on the trail will be.
While I’d like to say that I totally have a grip on everything going on right now, I definitely don’t. I’m just doing the best I can to accomplish the things I know I’m capable of and then hopefully build up enough confidence to tackle the rest of it! One day at a time, as they say.
How do you handle overwhelming situations?