I'm going with a challenge most of you can identify with, the art of staying mellow. It is an art form, and for some of us requires an incredible amount of time, thought, and practice.
I'm not even close to where I want to be. Here's the challenge - I'm Type A through and through and want to be more Type B. I'm getting better, but so often if I feel something is wrong I have to fix it. The problem comes in when I get frustrated over not being able to resolve problems outside my control.
Examples would be dealing with Frontier Communications, Amazon's Customer Service or just about any county government office. I'm typically on hold an incredibly long time; it always takes more than one person to solve the problem, and whoever you talk to typically doesn't have the authority to fix the problem. So many calls have to escalate to a supervisor/manager level. That in itself wouldn't be a problem, but as I sit on hold my blood starts to boil!
With Sheila's help, I'm working on trying to slide the bar more to the Type B side of the scale. Here's what seems to be working:
- We have music playing in the house all the time. After months of battling with Amazon, Alexa now plays on two dots and an Echo throughout the house. It's ironic I'd make this my first point, because the stress of dealing with Customer Service has been the biggest, most recent contributor to being anything but mellow!
- I've stopped taking phone calls from numbers I don't recognize. It used to be fun to abuse the scam artists, but just like the song, the thrill is gone. Plus, every time I've answered I've been confirming it's a working number and feeding these idiots with the information to create more calls.
- We've walked every day since June 30, only missing 3-5 days when traveling or dealing with the weather. There's no question exercise, and adequate sleep helps me relax more.
- I'm trying to eat differently, with less salt, sugar and in general smaller portions. If you know me, then you know I'm a major foodie! I do see a difference in my ability to cope with things when I'm eating right and drinking plenty of water.
- Water - it deserves its own bullet point! I never used to drink that much water. I now stay hydrated all day long. It makes a huge difference - and I get everyone knows this, but I just never put it into practice.
- Now and then I take a long break. For example, yesterday we did absolutely nothing to change the world, or at least our piece of it. We watched three movies, finishing with popcorn night and the newest movie in the Pirates of the Caribbean series. While the old me would have seen it as an entirely wasted day, the attempting-to-be-more-type-B me loved it.
- "Date night" and time off: When was the last time you thoroughly cleared your head about anything to do with work and life's challenges? Sheila and I both get caught up in day-in-day-out stress-creating issues. We take turns recognizing that it's been too long since we did something together having nothing to do with anything except our relationship! You've got to grab time to recharge your battery and entirely step away from work!
Last on the list - I'm working hard to keep things in perspective and find balance in my priorities. This is the toughest change of all because I'm always multi-tasking and often take on more projects than I should. My good buddy Julianne Kost at Adobe has a great line when she's on overload and once said to me, "Sorry, I'm just out of bandwidth!"
We all wear multiple hats. Most of you are business owners, community members, parents, spouses, siblings, friends, and lovers. "Balance" is such an over-used word, but it's the one that fits the best, and we all have moments where our priorities are knocked out of whack. But here's my point - you can't fix the challenge of balance in your life if you're out of alignment yourself - and that's where working to be more mellow plays its role.
courage to maintain self-control
and the wisdom to know if I act on it I will go to jail.