miss amygdala

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Mr. Comfort & Love - Oliver hang in' with me at the TTD* - strategic planning, discipline & respite my secret ingredients

All freedom comes from discipline
Anne Lamott

This new big, thrilling, terrifying project will take up most of my time for the next 3.5 weeks. Due date/deadline is mid May. I've wasted needed nearly 2 weeks just to wrap my head around the enormity of the project, especially the technical issues, a coffee stained botanical collage piece that when in it's final state will be 12 feet x 5 feet - ya huh ! I did say feet. That and the fact that it's not only for a dream customer, a company on my top 10 in the world wish-to-work for list (maybe even my top 5) but the final piece will hang in a brand new prestigious & absolutely dreamy location has me freaking out on the hour ;-)

No pressure there here. I'm not sure what's up with Madam Universe lately but she been sending me opportunities for growth non-stop – those big kind of personal growth opportunities. The ones you immediately think (inner eye roll) Nooooooooooooo ! I can't take any more of this personal and/or spiritual growth shit - aaarrrgggghhhh ! stop ! please ! I can't take it Madam U. But of course that's not really how I feel, if I can get Miss Amygdala to shut up for 5 mins I have moments of pure, bliss, joy and excitement at the prospects on my plate. And about the lessons I will learn. I am thrilled by so much of this project yet I am wrestling the fear of it daily, hourly – the fear of failing and possibly failing miserably. Each time that fear bell rings I'm faced with a choice. I can choose to let Fear come at me like a charging bull, knock me over and paralyze me (which is like blowin' on a feather if you get my drift) or I can stop, have a deep breath or 2 or 5, give Fear my best talk to the hand look and practice using some of my new tools and coping skills to shrink and minimize the fear so that it's still there but it feels instead like mojo fuel, excitement & challenge.

The bad news is - you just have to do it. You sit down and you commit to having your butt in the chair for a certain amount of time
Anne Lamott

Though this project is a lot about creativity it's real lesson(s) is how I choose to deal with the pressures of the job. And there so many lessons embedded in this opportunity I've yet to really wrap my head around them. But I have come up with a few strategies & coping skills that have been helping me approach this project differently:

• writing out a strategic plan/schedule, working backward from the deadline -  work back schedule.
• scheduling in plus de breaks, R & R, changes of sceneries, rewards, even a shift in projects - that old adage a change is as good as a rest is true. Plus my goal each day is to never work more than 3 hours straight without getting up and leaving my desk and for a minimum of 15 mins.
• breaking a big project down into smaller bites. Only thinking about the bite in front of you, the current step - the small picture. Try not to think about the large & scary monster - the big picture, the end product.
• allowing a generous/padded amount of time for each task or smaller bite. In the recent past my expectations were often dashed (adding lots more stress) because I would estimate poorly and not give myself enough time - always feeling like you're falling behind is the kiss of death.
• scheduling in a few free days in a 21+ day project - use them to recharge & rejuvenate. Do something fun.
• stop working at 8/8:30 pm at the absolute latest. Read fiction or watch NetFlix to unwind - ahhhhhh !
• when Miss Amygdala comes a callin' - leave my desk immediately and do something pleasurable. Go make a pot of tea, go outside with the dogs, write in my journal in the chocolate brown nest bedroom.

Miss Amygdala's here right now, nattering away at me as I write this. So I'm leaving, I'm going outside (it's one of my scheduled FREE days - woo hoo !) to rake & clean my flower beds, organize my planters and pots, I've already been cooking' up a storm and I'm going to have a fabulous free day Sunday - wishing you the same ;-)

*teak topped desk


  1. Beautiful images of the rose, Oliver and the lovely quote from Maya Angelou...I guess the words are discipline, commitment and organisation.
    You can do it dear Susan, I have every faith in your talent, imagination and enthusiasm.
    Love and hugs, Dianne
    xoxoxo ♡

  2. xoxoxo Dianne - thank you so much for your every post comments of love & support. Just came in from outside in sunshine (garden prep) to get my water bottle. Itty Bitty Betty, your god cat, is enthusiastically helping me, keeping me company and showing off with tremendous, blindingly fast zooms up trees - she loves to climb trees ;-)

    xoxoxox Susan & the whole darn gang

  3. Your list of ways to turn the big task into tiny bits is perfect and one I must remember to use. I am pretty good at breaking a big project into little pieces, but lousy at scheduling enough time. I like your idea of "padding" one's estimate for each task as well as scheduling time off!

    I'm betting on you to hit this out of the park!

    Best wishes from your cheerleaders here on Florida Road!
    Kathie and her furry friends

  4. Hoppy Easter! Looking forward to following along "behind" the scenes of this big project. Hope you have enough computer memory!!! Tail wags ~moose


Hey ! We LOVE comments here at 29 Black Street.
Thanks for stopping by.