Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Lighten Up!

The news of late is not where I want to spend my time. Yes, I'm aware that there's a war on that has most of us conflicted, that for many of us it's tax season, and I know what the stock market is doing, or, rather, not doing. But today I noticed the pillie-willies (that's pussy willows for those of you who did not grow up in the Martin household) in my woods are budding. That's where my reality lies. In nature, there's so much to lighten us.

I just got back from another fishing trip in Canada. This was an ice fishing trip as we were far enough north that there were still a couple of feet of snow in the bush and 15 to 20 inches of ice on the lakes. The best part of the trip, as always, is the group of avid fishermen and outrageous wise guys I travel with. We always have fun, mostly laughing at each other's antics. Even though I was kept awake well into the morning of our last night at camp with silly pranks, I was appreciative. It's been awhile since I've had one day string into the next and the next and the next with such nonsense. Time and energy got spent as though there were an endless supply. And keeping me awake well into Sunday morning offered the opportunity to see the northern lights, Aurora Borealis, something I would have otherwise slept through.

Everyone came to camp with their own stresses. Most of us are self-employed professionals and small business owners. So there was a lot involved for each of us to get away. From an outsider's view, watching this group's effort to get ourselves north may make you want to counsel us to give it up. But, we all know the value. We're old hands at expending the effort in order to reap the silliness reward.

So we went. And once at camp, we fell into our familiar routine of banter, laughter and childlike antics. Nothing mattered but a good time and we pursued that with gusto.

I'm back home now and the same pressures to get things done (it's spring you know) are here. One look around the house and the yard and the “shoulds” start to pile up in my brain. But they just don't have the same hold on me. “It will happen, It's not too much, All in good time” I'm delighted to hear myself say.

Some Suggestions:

Lighten Your Mind: Unplug the TV and get outside. One of my clients found that unplugging the TV was not enough. It was just too easy to plug it back in. So he duct taped the plug! That did it. A much better use of that duct tape you may have stocked up on, eh?

Lighten Your Load: What do you have around the house that can go? Just one box will work wonders.

Lighten Your Schedule: Put some time each day on your schedule just for you. And if you're really brave, drop the schedule and trust that it will all get done.

Coach's Challenge:
Right now, this minute, don't wait; call the lightest person in your life. You know who they are. The one person you know who can go from gloom and doom to silliness in less than 10 seconds; the person who literally illuminates your space. Schedule a play date.

“There is always a treat in your future. A walk, a snack, a bone, a nap, a doggie treat from the trash man, a doggie treat from the meter reader, some left-over potato chips from the UPS driver's lunch... Expect abundance.” ~My dog Styx

“If something you rolled in bothers you, shake it off. Then shake it off some more.” ~My dog Jersey

“Fishing is worth any amount of effort and any amount of expense to people who love it, because in the end you get such a large number of dreams per fish.” ~Ian Frazier, “The Fish's Eye”