Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Back to Basics

The KISS method – Keep It Simple, Stupid. I’ve heard more socially acceptable versions, but that is the first one that I came in contact with, and it stuck. It’s a good concept, given that when all else fails, you remove all of the variables and start at the beginning. I’ve been giving it a whirl the past few weeks, as I am working to restore my faith in my own abilities.

Stop for just a moment and think of a great trial in your life. Can you see the progression through your life to that point? The times that you were tried in little ways, that prepared you for the “big one”? The skills that you learned along the way that kept you from going over the edge when it really mattered? I know that our Heavenly Father uses these small things to prepare us for the things that lie ahead, that would certainly crush us without our past experiences to steel us and help us to see that we CAN survive. We know what to do, because we have had little successes along the way that built our confidence.

I had forgotten those successes. The big one had taken so much out of me that I was off track and could no longer see the paths that I had walked before it hit me. When I looked behind me, I couldn’t see my tracks, and I assumed that I had accomplished nothing. That everything up to this point had been erased.

I am seeing a counselor that is nothing short of amazing. She’s given me such perspective in such a short period of time. I wish that I had started this blog sooner, to record the epiphanies that I have had when she said something wise, so that I would always remember that truth.

She said the other day that while I have a great deal of stress with any change, I can use that to my advantage. I can look back and find the times that change was a good thing, when I was successful. I can remind myself of these things when I experience change that overwhelms me…and I will be able to see myself succeeding in this future scenario, too.

We have to create these small successes for ourselves on a daily basis, to build our confidence. We can change the furniture and see that it is a good thing. We can change our haircolor and realize that it’s not permanent. We can take a different route to a common destination and find that it is far more beautiful.

For me, it means proving to myself that I am doing something. That the things that I do matter. I’ve been spinning my wheels for months now, feeling like I’m getting nowhere.

I decided that I’d go back to the basics…making a list of things to do each day. At first, I wasn’t terribly good at it. It had been awhile since I’d done something so basic. I’d forget to look at the list, and even though I did other things all day, I had ‘nothing to show for it’ at the end of the day. I’d still have a list that needed to be done.

This week, I’m dedicated. I’ve got my list prominently next to the computer where I will refer to it often. I try as hard as possible to do each item on the day that it was assigned. Most importantly, I check them off when they are completed.

Get the oil changed in the car – check
Order graduation announcements for Tuxedo Boy – check
Call my Gram – check
Balance the checkbook – check
Pay the bills – check

If there is something that I find that I need to do that is not on the list, I do it anyway. (Then I add it to the list just so that I can check it off!)

Now, at the end of the day, I can see what I’ve done…and the few things that I did not are moved to the following day, so that I can pick up the slack there. I was successful today. I accomplished something, and I can prove it, if only to myself. I’m back on the grid.

Post blog item – check.

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