Focus on what is important

This week promises to be a stressful week for my household. An emergency tooth extraction for my least cooperative child today, a full day of chemo on Wednesday for my father in law, a major surgery for me on Thursday with recovery for at least a couple weeks after. Add in all the other, “normal” stuff with kids and family and household and it is easy to get overwhelmed.

Yesterday we drove home (15 hours!) from a magical 10 day vacation. I had lots of thinking time during the drive, and the worry and anxiety would start to creep in …

-What if Tyler throws a fit and does’t let the dentist pull his tooth? When will I find time to get him to the other (further away) dentist who can do the nitrous?
-When will I get groceries?
-Ben needs to get an outfit for the Homecoming dance.
-Tuesday night is probably the last baseball game for Ben and Ryan of the fall season that I will be able to go to and it is late and far away … who will I get to sit with Tyler?
-I need to make sure that I have x, y and z (and a, b and c) ready for my surgery on Thursday.
-The kids have a combined 5+ doctor/dental/orthodonist appointments scheduled for while I am down (including getting braces for one of them). Need to make sure none of them get forgotten.

I would even let far off worries start moving in … what about that big presentation at the end of November? Will I be ready? Have I prepped enough for our team retreat? I haven’t found a physical therapist yet. What about my follow up procedure early next year? How will recovery be from that?

Each time the chatter would start, I would stop and consciously make a decision that I am only going to deal with one day at a time. My only goal/focus/thoughts for yesterday became just getting home. Today I will spend a little time making sure I am prepared for what I need for tomorrow, and then will focus only on the kid’s appointments today, unpacking and going to the grocery story.

One day at a time is hard for me. When I put things off, procrastinate, I feel stressed, but looking too far ahead when there are so many unknowns or things that haven’t happened yet I think is worse.

This affects all of us in our day to day lives. The further out you focus, the less control you have. Focus on what is most important for today. Do a “brain dump” on paper (I’ll be doing this later today) to get all the “stuff” out of your head, and identify what is truly most important for today or that needs to be prepared for something later this week. Identify what you should do, delegate or delete. If it is something you should do, just do it today or figure out which day it should be done. If someone else can help you with something or do it for you, let them! Delegate without hesitation (still hard for me, especially at home). What on your list really isn’t important at all? Delete it. Let it go.

Here we go Monday!

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