Get a little life support…. Really!


in Creativity,Happiness,Personal Growth

The body on the couch could barely move. It felt fatigued. Tired of the seemingly endless round of things to do – not only to maintain the status quo but to get the DREAM off the ground. Overwhelmed. Under-supported. Done in.

The patient was in need of life support.

Have you ever felt like that?

I have. It happened just the other day when the smell of overripe bananas reminded me that I had failed to eat them because I didn’t have the time. Which made me think about the dishes on the counter that I still hadn’t washed. Which, in turn, brought to mind the kitchen floor that resembled a crumb-strewn wasteland.

A nasty little train of thought that continued to spiral out of control until I landed on the couch in an undignified heap.

Thankfully, a gift was hidden in those overripe bananas. I started to think about how we support ourselves. I don’t mean by earning a living; rather, I mean the support structures that we have in place to make our paths a bit smoother. More manageable.

Because, you can’t do it all by yourself and, I don’t think you really should.

Before you can get the support you need, you have to understand what it is you need and why. Take some time to reflect on these questions.

How do you spend your day? Are there things you must do every day, once a week, once a month? Jot down what you do every day and how much time you are spending on it. Are there patterns? Huge time-wasters? Things you would be better off not doing or that someone else could do?

What personal values are you fulfilling by doing these things? We all do exactly what we want to do – usually because we get some kind of personal payoff or because we are fulfilling one of our personal values. For example, you might wash something by hand because it is the way you express your love for someone. But could you do that another way? Or could you get the same impact by letting someone else do the handwashing?

Are you avoiding something by doing these things? We feel virtuous when we are busy. Sometimes, we use our busyness as a protective shield by saying, “I don’t have time to write my book because I’m busy with the laundry or I don’t have time to meet with potential clients because I have to get the bookkeeping done.”

What should you be spending your time on? In your heart of hearts, is there something you know you should be doing? That could change your life? Like brushing up on your financial education instead of sorting the recycling?

What would you like to be spending your time on? Maybe there is something that you really would like to do but it doesn’t seem feasible because you would feel guilty or selfish for making the time to do it. What is that thing?

What excuses do you have around getting the support you secretly need and want? I can hear the excuses now. It would be too expensive. It would be too complicated. No one could do it as well as I do it. Blah, blah, blah. Just excuses, my friends.

Who could you benefit by sharing some of your load? Too often we think that we should be able to do everything ourselves. Have you ever thought that if you paid someone to help you – whether for doing the laundry once a week or writing that query letter that just can’t seem to get written – that you might actually be doing someone else some good? The same principle applies if you use your creativity to come up with service trades. Everyone needs help with something and you just might be the help they need.

Getting the support you need is within your reach. All it takes is an honest evaluation of what is and what could be combined with a little effort and creativity to put it all together.

That body on the couch is starting to move. The patient is returning to life. It’s amazing what a little support can do.

Get a little life support.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Vanessa Vinos February 7, 2011 at

Brilliant post. I can so relate to the “busyness” I involve myself in to avoid doing something that “needs” to be done, and trying to do everything because we don’t think anyone will do it as well (the unmistakable characteristics of a control freak!).
Learning to “time-manage”, and my endless lists help me; I program my break times, my time on social networking sites, time for lunch etc. And I “try” and get up 1 hour earlier than I need to, or go to bed 1 hour earlier to catch up on all my reading. It works for me.


Andrea February 7, 2011 at

I love the idea of deciding how much time to dedicate to a particular activity rather than have the activity drive us (and make us way too busy!). Thanks, Vanessa!


Ronna February 7, 2011 at

I would be in a deep coma were it not for your ongoing life support. I’m grateful for you, my friend. (And this post is absolutely fabulous!!)
Ronna recently posted..An Abundance of Fear


Andrea February 7, 2011 at

I’m laughing … which is the best kind of support! :)


Shingyo Shelley February 7, 2011 at

Thanks so much for this article, Andrea! And especially the links to related articles. Your thoughts and tips provide me with a grounded, convergent perspective. Keep writing!


Andrea February 7, 2011 at

Thank you, Shelley! I so appreciate your support.


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