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Posts Tagged ‘Happier in Hollywood’

FlowersThe first week back to work after a week-long vacation went by rather slowly. I think I am suffering from the onset of spring fever. Thankfully, today begins Daylight Saving Time. For me, the next eight months should feel glorious with the extended daylight in the evenings. I’m hoping this is also the end of my personal “canary in the coal mine.”

In Episode 144 of the Happier in Hollywood podcast, Sarah and Liz reveal their personal “canaries in a coal mine.” Back in the day, coal miners brought caged canaries in the coal mines with them. If the canaries became ill or died, the coal miners knew they should not venture into the coal mine since it was not safe for them. Mercifully, this practice was stopped in the late 20th century. However, today, it is being used as a metaphor for comparing canaries to the warning signs of something stressful or alarming that is amiss. The canary is there to tell you that you need to practice self-care. In Episode 147, Sarah and Liz revisited the subject and shared some of their favorites from listeners. After listening to both episodes and pondering the revelations from Sarah, Liz, and several listeners, it dawned on me that I have my personal “canary in the coal mine.” Drum roll, please! I actually have two canaries, sugar and procrastination. And, they go hand in hand.

Basically, when I am anxious or feeling overwhelmed, instead of taking a walk or productively completing a task or project, I consume a sleeve of cookies while playing Words with Friends or scrolling through Facebook for two hours. And, lately, I find myself doing that more and more, and it only adds to my anxiety. I LIKE being in control, and right now I feel out of control. Instead of being proactive, I self-sabotage myself. I feel like I am in a state of paralysis. So, what am I anxious about these days? What is overwhelming me? I actually have a list.

  •  Taking my acting career to the next level
  •  Sonic and his health issues (perianal fistulas and new thyroid issue)
  •  Finances (cost of Sonic’s impending medical care)
  •  Disarray of the house from remodeling
  •  Barry, Jr. working in Singapore and his time over there being extended
  •  Feeling like I don’t have the time to work on my goals
  •  Feeling like I’m running out of time to reach my goals

Surprisingly, after writing this list down, I’m feeling a little better. Lots better, in fact! Looking over my list, the situations that are overwhelming me right now are temporary, and they are not life-or-death issues. What action steps can I take today to alleviate the anxiety that I’m feeling about each of these items on my list? I can start with taking a deep breath, praying the Serenity Prayer, thinking of five aspects of my life to be grateful for, and releasing my canaries. It is time for me to practice some self-care and take action.

Dear reader, I am grateful for you and the joy you bring to me. Thanks for reading! Do you have a “canary in the coal mine?” What behavior reveals you are more stressed than you realize? Take heart because you can always release your canary once you have identified it and taken the necessary steps to extinguish the stress. Happiness!

“Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action.” ~ Walter Anderson

 

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Work LIfeHappy Labor Day, dear readers! Today, across the United States, many of us are celebrating Labor Day which is a celebration of American workers and their contributions and achievements. For many folks, this means BBQs, boat rides, and one last visit to the beach.

This year, I chose to celebrate Labor Day all weekend long by relaxing and doing little to no work. And, I do not plan on working too hard today. My behavior this weekend is highly unusual. When I was a classroom teacher, not so long ago, I used this weekend to catch up on school work. In fact, it was the norm for me to spend Labor Day Monday at school. The beginning of the school year is always hectic with tons of paperwork, organizing the classroom, creating emergency sub plans, writing lesson plans, getting into the school routine, etc. I always felt frazzled those first few weeks of school, and Labor Day weekend was a nice way to catch my breath.

According to Gretchen Rubin, the author of The Happiness Project, Labor Day is a great day to reflect upon one’s work life. Back in January of 2017, Rubin launched The Onward Project, a group of podcasts, that go along with Rubin’s message of creating “a happier, heathier, more productive, and more creative” life. Notably, for this Labor Day, Gretchen Rubin created #HappierLaborDay.  With the exception of Radical Candor, the other three podcasts of The Onward Project, Happier with Gretchen Rubin (Episode 184), Happier in Hollywood (Episode 68), and Side Hustle School (Episode 611), are asking questions and sharing their thoughts and insights pertaining to work life. Considering many of us spend a substantial amount of our time at work, you may want to spend a few minutes listening to what these interesting individuals have to share and then take some time to ruminate on your own work life.

One question that I personally reflected upon was “Does your job define you, and should it?” This was a question posed by Liz and Sarah from Happier in Hollywood. For me, my immediate response to the first part of the question is NO. Should it?  For me, the answer again is no. I am not especially passionate about my job. I feel that I am good at my job, and I am grateful for my job and the opportunities and blessings associated with it; however, I am not my job. There is so much more to me (that defines me) than my job and that allows me to do my job. With that being said, I am now pondering “What defines me, and should it?” HA!

For those of you that are not familiar with podcasts, they are auditory gems. I absolutely LOVE them. Podcasts are easily accessible, and you can listen to them through your phone, iPad, or laptop. I listen to several podcasts on my phone while walking, driving, and completing chores. Not a day goes by that I am not listening to one of my favorite podcasts. If you haven’t listened to a podcast before, may I recommend that you try the ones mentioned in this post. I will share others with you in the coming months.

What are you doing for Labor Day, dear reader? And, what defines you? I will be curious to learn how many of you are defined by your job. Happiness!

“The chances you take, the people you meet, the people you love, the faith that you have. That’s what’s going to define you.” ~ Denzel Washington

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