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One Thing Learned: Use my Filter!


This past week I experienced my own whirlwind.  I left the house at 10:00 a.m. on Friday to meet my friend from kindergarten at the Cincinatti IKEA. After spending three hours exploring we rested for an hour and then enjoyed dinner at a cozy lodge. Saturday morning she ventured home and I entered an eight-hour long conference. As if three hours weren’t enough, I went back to IKEA after the conference to “pick up a couple needed things.” At dusk I drove to my in-laws 2 1/2 hours back up north,   enjoyed dinner together and then promptly hit the hay. After a breakfast with them I drove across town to the mecca of Easton Shopping Center in Columbus to meet two fellow organizers. We spent three hours grazing each aisle of our beloved Container Store- making videos, sharing stories, talking products, and really enjoying each other’s company. After a 30 minute “rest” we met up with five additional organizers for a wine tasting and dinner.  Trudging through the snow we settled in around 10 pm.

We rose on Monday at 7 ish and enjoyed a meal together before meeting up with 33 people to volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House all day. On our feet moving supplies, trouble-shooting, and getting the job done made for a full day’s work. I got a jump on the traffic and journeyed two hours home, but took a detour to the grocery to pick up breakfast goodies for the meeting I was sponsoring the next morning. After the meeting on Tuesday I met with an older adult for three hours to organize and continued the momentum and drove to Cleveland so I could record three interviews with Jim Brickman about organizing for his radio show. I collapsed in bed on Tuesday night at 8PM.

What on earth? Just because I can do everything in a day, doesn’t mean that I should. My enthusiasm about doing everything can lead me to burn out. I love what I do, want to help, and want to connect. On Thursday and Friday I had three cancellations.  Cancellations = no business and this is usually not helpful.  But this time, my clients unknowingly gave me a reprieve that I needed. It is Friday now.  I am rested, more relaxed, have re-grouped and am ready to go.

I need to follow my own advice and use a filter.  When I am faced with multiple demands and opportunities- my filtering questions are: “Do I have time for this? Is participating going to lead me to my goals?  Am I taking care of myself? Will I pay a price if I do or don’t do this?

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