Quests, Calm and a Bowl of Cherries

Life is like . . . . (fill in the blanks). Throw in the words "around the holidays" and the analogy of choice moves a few decibels up the stress scale.

Wouldn't it be grand if we could attain a certain level of fitness and never fall below the baseline. And what if we could apply that to performance, creativity and relationships?  Someone somewhere probably said the beauty and the value is in the trying (and succeeding). 

Pshaw, I'll trade a little value and a little less learning for a little bit of inner calm.

I am so not cut out to meditate. I'm fidgety, a compulsive list-maker, and so fearful of finding myself unoccupied that I shove a book in my bag even on ATM runs.

This is me, but I didn't write it. It was written by Alexandra Postman, Editor in Chief, Whole Living in her Openings column this month. I say "this month" like this is a magazine I read every month but I picked it up for the first time when this month's cover story, "Find Instant Calm," caught my attention.

So much of my day, I face more competition for my attention than I have time to give. There are things that are going well, there are things that are not and then there are just things. There is not a lot of calm.

I am on a quest for calm.

I am not the first person to be facing too much of this and too little of that - especially around the holidays - and this isn't the first time I've been here myself. I've exited funksnipped and tucked my social media efforts and then I nipped some more. My life's been out of control and I've brought in back under control. 

I am sharing company with some of the finest. Just over the past few days, Chris Brogan shared what works for him on how to say no  and a guest writer on offered advice on how to clear your desk, clear your mind. Leanne Chase is "on a quest for flexibility in a rigid world" at Connecting Career and Life and I wouldn't have to look far to find more of the same.

We are one bunch of silly (rockin') people, aren't we?

So, what is life like? Some days it's a bowl of cherries, some days it's the pits and always, it's about the relationships between the cherries. And, I've been letting my relationships with the most important cherries in my life slide.

Some things are going to stay on my priority list moving into the holidays and the new year - and some things are not. Here's what's staying: my husband, my daughter, my family and friends, my health, my fitness, and my writing.

Everything else is up for grabs.

Will this be my answer to instant calm? I don't know (hence, the quest) but I am going to give it a try. If it is, I'll market it, sell it, make a million and retire to a villa in Southern Italy . . . ah, now there's the instant calm!

So, tell me, what are you doing to minimize the noise and find your focus?

Office Shivas

When I look in the mirror and at my staff and see Office Shivas looking back at me, it's my signal to take a close look at how we work. 

The questions begin to flow. Are we, as a department, setting priorities, focusing on what's important and all heading in the same direction? In the positive sense of shedding old habits, is it time for us to change direction, for me to give up some control (*nervous shakes*) or to toss decisions we've outlived or outgrown? Is it time to add more staff?

What should I be seeing and what should I be hearing that I am not? If you could write a message to me on the white board, what would it be?