I've been struggling this week with a very bad case of the if-then's... You know, when you get yourself down by allowing yourself to believe that if you had then following, then you would be the resulting.
If I had more free time everyday, then I could get more writing done.
If I had better access to a fitness center, then I could get more exercise.
If I didn't have so much to do, then I could get more sleep every night.
If we lived in a bigger space, then the kids wouldn't have such a bad case of cabin fever.
If it was warmer weather, then we could go outside more.
The list could really go on and on. I'm sure many of you readers can relate. Maybe you're thinking right now if only I stopped complaining, then I would realize how blessed I am. And you know what? You'd be right.
Life's not perfect. It probably won't ever be easy. As much as I like to imagine a lifestyle that gave me an unlimited amount of time to write and blog and pursue leisure and hobby activities, it's about as likely as winning the lottery jackpot for which I never buy a ticket.
Do you remember that Sheryl Crow song Soak up the Sun? The lyrics contain a phrase that I've heard reworded in similar ways several times, that has always stuck with me.
"It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you have."
Though I'm not currently working in the field, I'm an experienced certified teacher, and one of the assessment tools I was taught, and often used, in measuring student learning was called the "I can" statement.
The I can statement is essentially a form of student self-assessment that allows the learner to process the objectives of a lesson and turn it into a sentence (or two) that shows their understanding of a concept.
I'm finding that the real problem with the if-then doldrums is that it's interfering with my creative productivity (aka I'm not writing as much as I should be). So I'm going to try to overcome my own if-then doldrums by replacing them with some I-can's.
I can use the brief free moments in my day to make some progress in my writing, even if it's a small amount.
I can add more movement to my life style, by walking more, dancing with the kids, and using soup cans for some light weight lifting (hey, whatever works, right?).
I can remember that the house doesn't have to be perfectly clean, the dishes stacked back in the cupboards and every toy removed from the floor before I go to bed. Sometimes sleep and family trump an model housekeeping award.
I can survive our tiny apartment. I can, I can, I can... (trying to be the little engine that could here folks).... I can, I can, I can....
I can remember the spring is right around the corner, and with it, the warm weather.
Whew, feel better already!
I don't need life to be perfect. I'd love it to be easy, but when I step back and really think about it, even in it's most difficult moments, its still a good thing. There is still plenty for which I am grateful, and that brings me joy and fulfillment. I love my family, I have amazing supportive friends, and a hobby that brings me rewards and furthers my mind, knowledge and abilities.
So how do you get over a case of the if-then doldrums? What are your if-thens?