Holidays didn’t go the way I had planned!

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Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined I would find myself in the Emergency Room late at night the day after Christmas!  I had been experiencing sharp pains in my upper abdomen, right side, for four days but I brushed it off to the effect of a busy schedule, holiday foods, lots of lifting my precious grandchildren: I was sure it would go away “real soon”.   After four days the pain was really getting my attention!

After some discussion with my husband, he felt we ought to at least get it checked out so we headed for the Emergency Room.  The night didn’t unfold the way I had planned but rather it began a 2 night hospital stay with surgery to remover my gallbladder!  Seriously, not in my holiday plans!  I still had company at my house!!

After the surgery was complete and I enjoyed sweet visits, calls and responses from caring friends and family members, it was when I sent my husband home for the night that I lay there in the stillness of the hospital room surrounded with strange lights, beeps, and an occasional nurse coming in to check my blood pressure.   In the silence of that room I had an important opportunity to assess my life, to throw a wide gaze over my life and decide whether or not I am living the way I know is best in all my Life Accounts.

It’s interesting how vulnerable one can feel in a medical institution.  Being a patient is such a stark reality of how fast life (or health) can be taken.  In the Emergency Room when we arrived there had been numerous accidents on the icy streets of Bend.  A number of folks had passed away, numerous others were badly injured.  I couldn’t help but to be faced with the preciousness of “life”.

In the quite of my room I pondered the use of my time, my finances, my talents, and my energy.  I was forced to consider that if my situation had been more serious would I have had any regrets?  What would I change in the coming year?  How would I take better care of myself?  The opportunity to ponder my answers and make fresh committments was actually a gift to me.   Though I am not grateful for my gallbladder attack, I am grateful to have been given a little “wake up call”.

As a Life Coach I do try to live by the same values that I encourage my leaders to abide by: focus on health, priorities, relationships, self-care/growth, spiritual life, and being engaged in “cup-filling” activities.  However, it’s easy to say “well, this is just a busy season! I’ll get back to my good disciplines soon!”   And then one season runs into another and our busy, over-extended life becomes a life-style.  Right? We’ve all been there!

Having surgery was not even in my wheel-house of possibilities when I looked toward the coming holiday season; a total surprise!  With the help of amazing nurses (especially those precious gals who work the night shift) and caring and supportive family; I am on the mend.

As I assessed my life there were many areas that, frankly, I would not have changed; it felt good to lay there knowing that my family, friends, and colleagues do know that I care for them; they are a priority in my life and calendar.  Physically I need to be more mindful of myself and thus, I am putting key appointments on my calendar even now.  I always want to grow more in my relationship with God; as I lay there in the quiet I pondered all I still wanted to know and understand about God; I will dig deeper this year.

My opportunity to “take some time to ponder my life” was a little bit dramatic, but you have the chance to do the same as you enter this new year that is full of promise and possibilities!  Where are you in your key life accounts?  What’s lacking? What’s working?  Where do you want to be a year from now??  Take time to ponder these things by choice and not by a surprise crisis, as I experienced!

Wishing you a fruitful, impacting, balanced, healthy year ahead!

Happy New Year!

 

 

Busy~

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I was born in 1959 ( I admit it!)   Life was lived a little differently back then.  All businesses closed at 5pm.  On Sundays everything, except restaurants and churches, were closed.  The opening of the store 7-11 was a big deal “back then” because no one opened that early or closed that late!! There were only 2 or 3 television channels and usually only one television in the house. Sports competitions only took place before or after school, never in the evenings or on Sundays.   These elements created some natural boundaries for family life.

Today life looks a lot different.  Business is always open via the internet and even locally stores remain open well into the evening.  TV shows are streaming day and night with or without a television, sports teams play late in the evening and all through the weekend, and we don’t really ever leave work because we carry the possibility of constantly working on our mobile devices.  There aren’t really any natural boundaries for family life.

I think some of the changes have been great – I can stay in touch with my family , friends, and even clients wherever I am; any time of the day.  I can easily shop at home and watch my favorite shows at my leisure! I can do my job from anywhere!  The downside is that these opportunities can also keep us too busy!

In his book “Crazy Busy” Kevin Deyoung  expresses this dilemma this way ” Our lives have no limits. In all our lifetimes we’ve seen an exponential expansion in the number of opportunities for children and adults, opportunities for leisure and for travel, opportunities for education,  there are endless opportunities for church and community involvements.  In this generation we even have opportunities to make a difference around the world. Opportunities are endless!  No wonder we are so busy!”

From young mothers to energetic entrepreneurs; busyness impacts the quality of life…even with the best of intentions.   I acknowledge that there are “seasons” where our schedules will be fuller than others; yet when these “seasons” become our lifestyle we  might need to make some fresh considerations.   In my 16 years as a Life Coach I have readily issued Permission Slips to leaders helping them to feel the freedom to re-group and re-fuel!  In order to live a healthy life full of rich relationships engaged in professions that we love, we all need to regularly assess our busy schedules making certain we are applying time and attention to areas that truly matter to us!

Is there a valuable relationship that needs your attention?  A hobby that needs to be dusted off? A book you’d like to read?  A gym membership unused? A bible that needs to be cracked open again? Pots and pans that could be used to create healthy meals? If you had a free day would you use it to catch up on work or would you grab an opportunity to engage in a cup-filling activity?  What guard rails might you need in your schedule?

After you assess these questions I give you a Permission Slip, today, to catch your breath! 🙂