Several years ago I wrote an article about all that was blowing up in my life.
Today, my inspiration from the universal spirit says the opposite. “GO. Don’t hesitate.”
When Things Go Right at 110%
We know things are stressful when our lives are not going as planned. Things like the pandemic, the loss of a job or relationship, can tend to send us into a spiral downward. Or if we react strongly to the downward pull we make rocket off into space. As a person who’s suffered from major mood swings (what is bi-polar illness?), I have to watch my speedy movement in either direction. Over two years ago that momentum was UP but the chaos surrounding my life and attending to my basic survival needs made me pull up short and shout, “FULL STOP!” to myself.
Today, I’m shouting “Full-steam ahead.” And things are blowing up in a similar way, but there are very different circumstances surrounding my rebirth, my phase-shift from NEG to POS.
What’s in the GOOD and ON FIRE column in my life.
- Starting a new job soon
- Putting some new parameters around my relationship
- Putting some new goals in place regarding this site and my coaching business
- Putting new goals together around books to be published
What’s in the BAD and CHECK-ENGINE-LIGHT column:
- The relationship has some issues
- Job is delayed due to a major ice storm shutting down all of Texas
- I can’t move into my new place until March 3.
- I’m a digital nomad, homeless and seeking bed and wifi during a storm
How Do We Know When To Jump?
“Jump off. You are a protected individual.” Henry Miller to Laurence Durrell upon the latters’ hesitancy at taking a full-time job that would allow him to write more. When you leap for what you know, and you believe you can’t fail, your results will be much better than not trying, not believing, and waiting until some condition is perfect before making the leap. Leap now.
When some part of our lives becomes unmanageable (impacting our health, the health and love of our family, the mental health of the team around us) it is up to us, as individuals, to take responsibility for getting our shit together. Only WE can put the program around our healing and recovery from whatever addiction or codependency is damaging us and our relationships.
The first step to recovery is admitting there’s a problem.
The problem is I get excited and blow into orbit on some big ideas while dropping the ball on real-world issues like food, shelter, and harmony among men and women. If I can control the ascent, on my UP cycle, I can sustain a period of creativity and enthusiasm. I can keep from bonking out (using up all my energy and collapsing) and from bouncing (heading too high and ricocheting off the atmosphere to crash back down to earth. I don’t want to go to high 8 – 9, on a 1 – 10 scale. But I don’t really want to drop below a 5 (most people consider this normal functioning – getting everything done) either. I want to maintain my “high-range” and harvest the momentum and energy for creative projects.
Just For Today and Let Go And Let God – But Do Your Work
The Alanon and AA slogans are great if you know what they mean and how to apply them to your life. To me, “Let Go and Let God,” has always been a powerful idea. But in the end, the will to turn our lives over to the care of our higher power is often harder than it sounds. Sure, we do need to let go. We do need to let god. AND we need to do the work that is set out before us.
In my case, I was looking for a full-time job to regain some financial stability in my life. And as I work forward putting money into savings, I will continue to build The Whole Parent as a coaching and community platform for single parents.
So that’s where I am today. AND I’ve been offered my dream job for a 12-month contract to return to an old employer. I’ve re-upped my relationship-building exercises with my partner. And I’ve begun setting out on more solo adventures and solo tennis matches. We are embarking on a new adventure, and I couldn’t be happier, more excited, and a bit more reluctant to let go. But LETTING GO is almost as important as ASKING FOR WHAT YOU WANT.
Asking And Releasing the Outcome
We need to ask for what we want in our relationships. We need to define what is good, what is marginal, and what is bad. We need to eliminate the bad, reduce the marginal, and grow the good. That’s our plan for moving ahead in any relationship. If either party loses interest or motivation, it’s very hard to bring them back into alignment.
I have asked for what I need. I have made my non-negotiable needs clear. Now, we get to either co-create a solution that works for both of us, or we don’t. That’s always the choice. You set priorities. You have infinite asks and your to-do list continues to grow, the only way forward is to prioritize your relationship over most other tasks. Here’s how I put my priority list down:
- My health and wellbeing has to come first
- The health and wellbeing of my relationship is next
- The health and wellbeing of my kids is 3rd
- The health and wellbeing of my mom and sister are 4th
- The health and wellbeing of my friends and colleagues is 5th
- The health and wellbeing of my fellow citizens is 6th
- The health and wellbeing of the planet is my ultimate priority
How Do You Stack Your To-Do List?
If your list is too long to manage, you might need to look at prioritizing or breaking up your list into manageable sub-projects. For example, my “look for a job” tab was only part of what I was working on. But I was able to look at my “job” to-do tab and know what steps I could take on any given day to move that project forward.
Put yourself first on your to-do list. Block out an hour on Monday morning and Wednesday morning and Friday afternoon to assess, reprioritize if necessary, and recommit to the immediate tasks at hand. Then put your relationship in the next slot. Make sure you are giving your partner the energy and time needed to stay in alignment. Then take care of your kids’ needs. Look outside your small bubble and see who else needs and deserves your attention and energy.
In one 24-hour period, we all have the same number of minutes. It’s how we choose to allocate them, what we choose to work on, what we choose to delegate, and what we choose to let go, that determines our lifetime trajectory. Check-in on your plan, on your list, and make sure you are taking care of the important tasks and sublimating or subcontracting the small tasks.
Efficiency Is About Self-Leadership
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was a game-changer for many of us. Then came GTD (Getting Things Done) and its list-driven (do it, delegated it, drop it, or reschedule it) process helped us move projects along more effectively. Now, we’ve got phones, Slack, to-do apps, project management apps, txt, email, phonecalls… Today, we’ve got a lot more balls to keep in the air and hundreds of more details we’ve got to take care of to get any project across the “done” finish line.
By taking leadership of your own life, your own calendar and prioritization, and your long and short-term goals, you can harness the most of the 24 hours you’ve been allocated for each day of the year.
What Will You Focus On Today?
Are you moving the meta-goals along the path towards done? Are you putting non-important items on your to-do list rather than deleting or delegating them? Are you giving yourself the time you need to reset, reprioritize, and reboot yourself multiple times a week, or in some cases, multiple times a day?
Remember, you must lead your life in the direction of your goals. You are either moving towards them or away from them. Know the difference. Make the choice to put your life and your success as your number one priority.
Get the complete single dad story with John’s new book: Single Dad Seeks (available in all formats)
The Dating a Divorced Dad series continues:
- What the Single Dad Wants – 9 Months Later (an update)
- The Three Essential Elements of Love
- In Relationship with a Divorced Dad: Ground Rules
SingleDad In Love, Again
- Dating a Divorced Dad – Version 2.0 Updated