Getting Organized

There’s nothing that signifies the start of a new project for me like a trip to Staples to gather needed supplies. I got a cool notebook with all different kinds of pages (project planner pages, to-do list pages, etc.) that you can move around to different sections. I also got some multi-colored pens. Fun! So far, I’m keeping a short, daily diary in one section, and I have a list of possible blog post ideas in another.

I felt elated after I wrote my Just Five Minutes blog post on Day 2. For those of you who didn’t read it, my husband and son challenged me to write the post in five minutes. I tend to obsess about every word and make things harder than they need to be. It was scary to press the publish button, knowing that it wasn’t perfect, but it was freeing, too.

The rest of the week was a little more up-and-down. I felt bogged down with work and just getting my usual things done. I found I put off meditation (one of my goals for the week) until the very end of the day. It seemed I was rushing to get it in, just so I could cross it off my to-do list. Probably not the best way to approach it. I took my short walking breaks (another goal) more days than not. I do a lot of sitting at my job and have chronic neck and back pain (despite two surgeries and countless hours of PT). The walk breaks are important self-care activites. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but for me it’s an accomplishment to make myself take a break rather than keep plowing through my day despite pain.

The scientist part of me decided I should have some baseline data to work with–to know where I’m starting in terms of my level of self-compassion. I took this self-compassion test on Dr. Kristin Neff’s site (she’s the author of Self-Compassion, which I’ve been devouring.) I don’t know why I was surprised, but I didn’t score too well. I also tried one of the techniques from her book, which turned out to be pretty powerful. That will be a separate blog post, coming soon!

I realize I’m not sharing anything super inspiring in this post. But I will try to be self-compassionate and tell myself that every blog post does not have to be a literary masterpiece.

Just Five Minutes

Photo by pasukaru76 via Flickr

I woke up at 5:00 a.m. in a panic. It was exhilirating yesterday, creating the blog, writing my first post, and even getting a few comments. But today I was already worrying about what I had gotten myself into. But here’s what I’ve decided so far. I make things much too complicated. On day two of my project, I was already thinking I should be starting a self-compassion group or traveling half-way around the country to attend a workshop of self-compassion.

My perfectionism makes it difficult for me to be self-compassionate. So, for this week, I tried to make small goals:

  • I decided I would meditate for just five minutes a day.
  • At work, I would take walk breaks for just five minutes, rather than always waiting until I had time for longer workouts.
  • I thought about saying I should do something fun for five minutes each day, but I really couldn’t think of anything. Hmmm…I’ll have to get back to this one.

My husband and son challenged me to write an imperfect blog post and see if I could do it in just five minutes. Wow, the timer hasn’t even gone off yet. I might even have time to edit!