Friday, February 5, 2010

Take two.

I've been a little disappointed with this month, as you might have suspected from my less-than-compelling blog posts.  The de-cluttering was so SATISFYING!  I enjoyed the constant challenge, and I could see progress. I was inspired to invest more time into my project for the month.  I felt accomplished. It fed my energy. I came to enjoy being at home more. It was win-win in every way.

I expected connection month to be WAY more satisfying and inspiring. Shouldn't it be? I mean, these are people I actually really like and often feel disappointed that I don't have more time with.  And every time I do enjoy a really genuine connection, I do feel energized and excited and satisfied in my heart area.  So I thought focusing on that for a whole month would be pure joy. And that it would feel like a luxury--and not even challenging--after the monumental de-cluttering efforts.

But the truth is that I just feel like a failure.  It took me three days to connect with my husband in any significant way--and I live with him.  I've been trying to connect with Tina since before this month started.  I still haven't actually talked to Kate.  Or my parents.  The list is endless--literally.  And I don't jump on every moment of free time to take the opportunity to connect with someone.  I look at my phone, consider whether I really have time to make the phone call, recognize how exhausted I am, and put down the phone and crawl under the covers on the couch. To waste more of my life away.

What is wrong with me? Shouldn't this be easier? All this is doing is reinforcing the idea that I can't juggle being a thoughtful wife/daughter/friend/colleague/dorm parent to all of the important people in my life.  So where does that leave me? Doing everything half-assed?  Paring down the important people?!

I'll tell you where it leaves me...feeling like I can't manage it all and craving the respite of my bathtub, book, and comforter.

Michael suggested I set some less vague goals, rather than the generic "connect with people."  I'm not sure if it will help, but I'm willing to try anything. He also suggested that I make a list of people to connect with rather than using four generic groups. But--that makes it seem like each person is something to be crossed off a list, which kind of defeats the intention, I think.

Here are my more specific, slightly-revised goals:
  • Focus on connecting in a meaningful way with Michael, friends and family, colleagues, and dorm students.
  • Aim for a quality connection (20-30 minutes minimum) with at least one person each day.  
  • Add myself into the equation. Maybe reserving 20-30 minutes to connect with myself will leave me more readily able to connect with others
  • No multitasking while "connecting."  Connecting requires presence, focus...and PAYING ATTENTION.
  • Don't use technology to replace actual connecting...this means answering my phone as often as possible without being rude. Not using the "8" cell phone trick. Trying not to text instead of calling without a good reason. Limit outside of work facebook/email time to 30 minutes per night (in order to create more room for connecting and replenishing time).
  • Do something towards this goal EVERY day.
  • Record and reflect along the way, publicly, on this blog.
You might have noticed that I added in a reduction in my evening facebook/email time.  I'm hoping this creates more time for replenishing and connecting because I think I have a habit of laying on the couch in front of my computer and telling myself I'm being productive while aimlessly reloading my facebook home page and email inbox.  It's kind of pathetic.

This doesn't count as my low tech month, though...because I might limit facebook to once a week and turn off the tv for that month. (I suspect I will be alarmed at how much more time there is in the day).  This tech reduction is expressly for creating more "free" time.  Which means that I can still facebook during the day.  Because that doesn't impact my ability to connect. Or get my work done. goes. Take two.


runningwiththejig said...

Good tips from Michael. Remember, the reason why you chose this as one of the 12 themes is precisely because it is hard.

Also, quality not quantity may help you from becoming overwhelmed.

I may or may not post tonight, but hopefully I'll have big news for tomorrow's post!

Melisa K. said...

thanks for the reminder and encouragement!

A Little Irish Girl said...

So I think you need to take a quick look back at your recap of last month...specifically trying to not get overwhelmed by the process. Something I've learned is that by this point in our lives, we know a LOT of people. And as much as we want all of them to know that we care about them, you can't stay that close with all of them. it's just not feasible.

I think you're getting overwhelmed b/c you're looking at the whole picture again.

You need to stop focusing on the people you HAVEN'T reconnected with and focus on those you HAVE through whatever manner...whether intentionally, forced, or serendipitously...That part doesn't matter. What does is that you did connect...

Oh yeah and we need to schedule dinner for this month :)