Today I showed up for an appointment on the wrong day. But this time was different. This time I didn’t beat myself up for making that mistake, nor did I tell myself that I am exceptionally busy/stressed/distracted. This time, I get it. And it’s all because I read this article, which I wish I read many years ago: The Highly Haphazard Woman. If you want to know what I’m talking about, I must recommend this article. Just stop and click the link. It’s more profound than anything I’m going to write here, that’s for sure.
Did you do it? Isn’t she amazing? Or does she just annoy you, because she’s so “scattered”? I can’t stop thinking about this article. It says so much about the train that runs through my head. I don’t have illusions of being successful on the scale of this author, but I do get stuff done. Lots of stuff. And I drop lots of pieces, which often looks like showing up on the wrong day. When I do that, I used to (as in my whole life until last week when I read this article) explain it by saying I had more than usual going on. But that was rarely the real explanation. The real explanation is that I have a lot of “moving parts.” It’s not a choice I made. It’s how I’m wired. And the downside of that is that wheels fall off, from time to time.
I never want to inconvenience my friends and loved ones with my mistakes, so I do what I can to get all this right. For example, since I just don’t find the google calendar iphone app intuitive, I’ll ask Siri to post my appointments for me in the future. But when I do drop a ball, I’m going to pick up and just keep juggling!
What do you think? Post a note or drop me a line!
I learned this line today from Jason at our Helpdesk. It turns out that it’s not new, but it’s new to me. He was being optimistic about the success of the VPN patch but, really this has a much broader application. “Speak it into existence” was his line for stating out loud what you want to happen, to put it out there and watch it go.
Have you done this? What did you speak it into existence?
Here’s one I learned about travel in unfamiliar places. This one is also from Elaine, who is my teacher of the week. Don’t know where it’s best to walk and not walk? Want to know which form of transportation is safest? Follow the local mothers with strollers. They’ve figured it out!
“It’s like the opera,” Elaine taught me: You don’t need to understand the words to understand the emotion and to follow along.
She, along with so many of us, has a loved one with dementia. She has learned that when she doesn’t understand, the words don’t matter, that the conversation is like music. As long as the music is playing, you can listen along and tap into whatever you can.
Being with someone with dementia, or mental illness, can be so frustrating. I love the idea of going with the flow in a whole new way.
Are you painting any time soon? Lori and who else? Well, we are, and I have learned about some cool tools to help choosing, and seeing, color.
First, you can pick a color from anywhere! There are apps that will let you turn any photo into a paint color choices. I used the Sherwin-Willams app ColorSnap, from the app store, to match:
The carpet in my office:
A pastel drawing:
How fun is this???? Try it!
But you don’t buy Sherwin-Williams? No problem! All paint colors are just formulas, or recipes. My hardware store will convert any name brand to theirs, and/or you can use an online tool, such as color-swatches, to do it yourself:
Then every paint company has an app and/or a website to let you see the color in your room. They all seem a little buggy to me, but I’ve had fun with Prestige ColorPic:
What are your favorite tools for this? Also, what can you find to color match?
You know that picture that comes up on your phone when someone calls you? There is SO much more that you can do with that!
While I have lots of places to store things on my phone – Reminders, Notes, Photos – there is only one place I count on to search and find things quickly, and that’s my Contacts. Each Contact has one photo, and I have learned to make that work for me.
- I took a photo of my AAA card and I always have it with me, under AAA.
- I took a photo of my eyeglass prescription, and I always have it with me, under the name of my eye doctor.
- I took a photo of all of my sewing thread, stored it under the only place I go for thread, and I never again have to wonder what colors I have at home – or buy another duplicate.
Note that for all these, there is one more step: I need to start to edit the photo if I need to see ALL the edges outside of the circle – in this case, all the thread. It’s worth it.
What do you store in your Contacts? What could you store?
When I call my eye doctor for an appointment, they don’t ask for my name first. They ask for my birth date first. How brilliant is that? Now they are immediately down to 1/365 of the possible patients and we don’t have to go back and forth about how to spell my last name, which they are otherwise likely to question and/or “fix” as they go: they see it on their short list.
I don’t know what the lesson is in this. I just think it’s thinking outside the box and that it’s cool. Maybe you know where you can use this trick or maybe you’ll just question something you’ve “always done that way.” Let me know!
It was something right out of a sitcom: each guest at the weekend party asking the host, one right after another, for the wi-fi password, then heading into the office to squint at the router and bemoan the lost eyesight of our youth. But I just learned a completely different solution to this problem, and no, it’s not to make a poster of the password. It’s something more useful and more universal for the next new place you go.
It turns out that if someone else in the room already has the wi-fi password,and and iPhone or iPad, they can share it with you with one click. This is what popped up on a recent trip:
I did as suggested and the other phone presented an OK button and I’m in.
And/or you can do as my last host did, and purposely make a “Who’s on first?” password, such as “we don’t have a password.” I’ll leave it to you to imagine the conversation, or better, yet, try this at home!
What if that giant goal in front of you was just one tiny little step? One “micro-goal.” How much more likely would you be able to start?
I am learning to break anything down into one first small step, and then take that step. Just that. Then, all Newton-like, I’m a body in motion, tending to stay in motion.
So it’s not “Revive and resume my blog and keep at it continuously,” because that goal has been on my list for two years! Instead it’s “write one post” and then “identify the next one” That’s it. And here we are! Hi!
Research abounds in this area, but you don’t really need that. You can just try this at home. In my last post, Lori added this fabulous comment on how she does home decorating badly and how it is keeping her from moving forward in building her tiny dream office. I am challenging Lori, right here, to identify just one micro-goal, and then do it! Is it to pick up paint samples? Then, after that, identify one more tiny step, such as choose a color! That’s it. Not “paint the office,” which includes many overwhelming steps. Just one tiny step. And then another. Wouldn’t you all love to see Lori’s resulting tiny office? I would!
When has this worked for you? What tiny steps have you taken? What giant project looms ahead for you? What one little step could you take next? How small can you make it? Comment below or email me!
Maybe even this!
My new favorite source of things to learn is Gretchen Rubin, a researcher and writer with a focus on happiness, one of my favorite topics. Her twist on the solution to the paralysis of perfectionism, the impulse to let the perfect drive out the good, is to allow yourself to “do something badly” and she covers this in one of her delightful podcasts.
This made me think of things that I do badly and with great joy. Running is right up there: I have no problem with being the last runner in a race, and I have plenty of experience with that. I was a bad drummer until I noticed that the difference between good and bad drummers was that the bad drummers called attention to their mistakes and the good ones just kept on drumming.
Now I need to apply this important lesson to this blog. I have dozens and dozens of notes of things I’ve learned, waiting for that perfect time to write them perfectly. I would love to shift to just sharing them with you, as they are, written well or badly, revised or raw, long or short, but DONE and here for you to see!
What about you? What do you do badly? What can you do try to do badly? How can that bring you joy? Write in the comments below or send me a note and I’ll post it for you. But don’t wait until you have the perfect answer!