The Energizer

Resilient Insights for Work & Life

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Seasonal Stress Stretches Resiliency

By Eileen McDargh - Tuesday, January 28, 2014

But the holy family wasn’t expecting families from Boston, Oregon, and Los Angeles who would seek a bed as well as food. Maybe it was compounded by my laser printer dying and discovering, after I bought a replacement, that not all printers will work well with a MAC.

The anxiety level ratcheted upward when my I-phone then died and I discovered someone had hacked my user ID and password.  An hour’s worth of AppleCare finally fixed the problem but not before I found myself crying to the technician. Of course, I had already screamed at the switchboard for Hospice of the West because I needed help with my Mom. (Little did I know a nurse had come in the back door while I was waiting at the front door. I had to call back and apologize.) Few presents have been bought, ornaments remain in the garage eves, and I am definitely not a “jolly old soul”. Bet you have been there too! Time for me to take a dose of my own medicine.

Here’s the prescription I am taking: Give up the illusion of control. My “illusion” is that I can make it all better. I cannot. So the question becomes: of what of this can I control? I can move household items into boxes. I can clean other rooms of my house. I can learn how to eat with chopsticks. I can slow down before I pounce. I can relish whatever time I have with Mom and focus on the moment.

Ask for help. My neighbor has volunteered her home that will be empty over Christmas. My MAC buddies can give me advice about printers. (Duh-I should have asked them first. No, I “pounced”.) I will ask my relatives to wash their own dishes. Reframe the situation. As my husband says, “this will be an adventure.” He’s right. Who knows what lurks around the bend?  Why not ask what wonderful surprises there might be? Maybe we can make a game of “who can find the can of soup?”

Help someone else. When Mom is in a state that I can’t get her in a wheelchair to hear the music she loves, I will join the other residents and lead them in song. I did this and felt a wonderful peace in the process. It is about “doing what you can do”. I loved it. And from the looks on faces, they loved it to.

Be grateful. How can I forget this!  I have a roof over my head. I have an insurance policy. I have neighbors. I have a good place for Mom. I have loving caregivers. I have glorious family and friends. And yes, I can still sing. My hope for this season—amid the chaos—is that I might find it WONDER-FILLED and resilient in the end.

© The Resiliency Group.  Publication rights granted to all venues so long as article and by-line are reprinted intact and all links are made live.

Keynote speaker and leadership expert Eileen McDargh, CSP, CPAE, is an award-winning business author and a consultant to national and international organizations.  Eileen offers a free quarterly e-zine and a frequently updated blog.  Visit http://www.eileenmcdargh.com/to learn more about books by Eileen including My Get Up and Go… Got Up and Went, Gifts from the Mountain – Simple Truths for Life’s Complexities, Talk Ain’t Cheap... It’s Priceless – Connecting in a Disconnected World, The Resilient Spirit – Staying Right Side Up in an Upside Down World and Work for a Living & Still Be Free to Live.  

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Life Work - Try Ironing pillow cases

By Eileen McDargh - Saturday, October 29, 2011

At 5am this morning, I listen to a colleague’s recording while I spray water on pillowcases. The hot steam presses out wrinkles. The cases crisp up and soften. I grab for the top sheet and iron three-quarters of it. Who cares where it tucks into the bottom of the bed. I then start on the dishtowels. At last comes my white shirt. The seams lay flat now. The collar perks up with sizing.  

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