Life Coach in Washington, DC

Bonnie B Matheson is a life coach in Washington, DC. She is the author of: Ahead of the Curve. Contact her now!

Procrastination

22 Mar

I have let the whole week slip by without getting up a blog post. How did that happen? People say “Thank God it is Friday”, but I dread it because Friday comes and there is still so much to do.

Perhaps that is because I am an entrepreneur at heart. I like being my own boss, but sometimes I disappoint myself when I don’t complete tasks that I certainly COULD have finished. Are you that way? I complete one task to avoid the next (possibly more important) one. It just makes so much sense to finish other things, and NOT work on the thing that is a constant event every week. I KNOW I must put up a blog post, and I want to put up a blog post. So why DON’T I do it?

That is a mystery that plagues a lot more people than just me. Is it fear of failure? Or is it fear of success? Naturally there is fear of condemnation, especially from my children. Their disapproval counts double or triple that of anyone else. The urge to write is so strong that I cannot fight it, and don’t want to. But the feeling that it is not important enough to bother putting out there, is real. Yet, I know this is almost universal. So perhaps by writing this, I will show someone that it is OK to feel that way.

Just write anyway.

I am designing a workshop for the “Self Care” of caregivers, and it may need a section on Procrastination. Since I am a caregiver for my mother who is 101 years old, I know why that self care is needed. It is something that I have been learning day by day, myself. And now that I am working on planning to design the workshop about it, I am finding ways to procrastinate about that.

In order to avoid writing ‘the plan’, I am supposed to write, I will get going on this blog post. It helps to get one thing done, while avoiding the other. What a silly and very “human” way to go about completing tasks. It is sort of like a clogged drain, or maybe a traffic jam. It takes something bigger and stronger to push the drain open or to force the cars forward, to open the space and keep things moving.

Spring is procrastinating, too.

Well, this may not have a happy ending. However the blog post is just about complete. What I need is more depth or something of interest. So reading this won’t be like watching the daffodils which just seem to be so slow this year. They have been poking through for months it seems. Now we are on the way to April. They are late. Perhaps procrastinating like me. Every day I go outside to look for even one bloom. I have cut Forsythia and some Camellias, but only two daffodils and that was last week. There are hundreds more to bloom But it has not happened yet. Would you call that procrastination on the part of Mother Nature?

Copyright©.  2019 Bonnie B. Matheson

Life Coach in Washington, DC

Bonnie B Matheson is a life coach in Washington, DC. She is the author of: Ahead of the Curve. Contact her now!

Respect

14 Mar

Charlton Heston was right.

There are so few celebrities left whom I respect. Years ago, there were so many. Perhaps that is part of getting older. Those heroes we once held in awe have grown old and died, or developed “feet of clay.” 

Today, many of the movie heroes of my youth are considered misogynistic bores. Clark Gable, John Wayne, and worst of all, Charlton Heston, all are from a different era. Their beliefs would not fly today.  I think today’s men are often rather soft, something no one would ever say about the three I’ve just mentioned. These men feared nothing physical. And the idea that words could hurt them would have sent them into fits of laughter. Words?

Now, everyone is scared to death to say anything for fear it might offend. This is madness. And worse, it is dangerous to our future. I love the quote attributed to Warren Buffet: “You will continue to suffer if you have an emotional reaction to everything that is said to you. True power is sitting back and observing things with logic. True power is restraint. If words control you, that means everyone else can control you. Breathe and allow things to pass.”   Whether he actually said this or not, it is great advice.

We simply must begin to have a sense of humor.  It’s important to have a sense of what constitutes a joke or a random opinion, versus what is a threat. If something said is in poor taste or simply goes too far, ignore the author. But don’t have a meltdown. And don’t call the “thought police.” They may come for you, next.

It all reminds me of George Orwell’s famous book, 1984. I read that book when I was twelve years old (because my mother told me that I was too young to read it). https://www.amazon.com/s?k=1984+by+george+orwell&i=stripbooks&crid=2JY1TVE9680VX&sprefix=1984%2Caps%2C120&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_6_4

How much will you give up to be “safe”. And what exactly is meant by “safe”? Would you, indeed, want the government to control every aspect of your life? And if it did, do you suppose you would really be protected from bad things happening to you or your family? Ask a Native American how well that worked out.

EVERYONE should read 1984 and internalize the lessons in it. How much freedom do you want to give up?

Copyright©.  2019 Bonnie B. Matheson

                                                                                                      **

Life Coach in Washington, DC

Bonnie B Matheson is a life coach in Washington, DC. She is the author of: Ahead of the Curve. Contact her now!

Danger, this subject may make you feel uncomfortable.

5 Mar


Because I live with my 101- year- old mother, and sometimes fear that she will outlive me, I think more and more about what I want my own children to know. What do they need to know about my wishes for death and dying?

It is so important to talk about things like death and dying, beforehand. People put it off. I believe, for some people, this is such a difficult subject that they avoid it over and over again. These may be the same people who won’t talk to their children about what we used to call “the birds and the bees.” They wait so long that their children are already sexually active before the parents bring it up. The poor kids laugh at their parents. But the parents might actually know a thing or two that would be helpful… or would have been helpful, if they had spoken up in time.

Don’t be afraid to go through the gate.

So, the subject of death and illness or accident is much like that. People wait until it is too late to talk about it. Don’t be one of those people. Stir up your courage and tackle the problem of talking about something that is sad and distressing so that it won’t be AS sad and distressing if it happens suddenly.

For one thing, you need a “living will.” Do you have one? Do you know what that is? If you were suddenly incapacitated, would your family know what to do?  If there are decisions to be made about you, would they know your wishes? Have you made your wishes clear? Do you want to be kept alive, no matter what? Or do you want someone brave to “pull the plug”? Do you want your children to have a medical power of attorney? And if so, which children?

Do you know what your children or family feel about the issue of assisted suicide? Have you talked to each of them about how YOU feel? And if you have no children, is there another family member, or a spouse, or even a lawyer or friend of the family who would serve in this capacity for you? You may be surprised to find that your family has differing views on this very delicate subject. It is so sad to see families fighting about this issue. But they do. And sometimes, not knowing your wishes, it does irreparable damage to the family.

When something happens to you…or your spouse, and your children disagree about whether to use “heroic measures,” the disagreements can become vitriolic and destructive to the family unit.

There are things that can happen even to young and healthy people: accidents, or health events that are entirely unexpected, but nearly fatal. Have you had family discussions about this and decided what to do?

A will is a good thing.  Many people have a will in place but have never thought about a “living will” or a medical power of attorney. But it is imperative that you do think about it.  With no plan in place, your wishes are not only not followed, it could be that no one even knows what they are.

Don’t let this happen to you. Be brave. Write down what you want and what you want your children or your family to know. Make sure they are all in on your wishes. And ask questions. Do they agree with your wishes? Or are they going to try to superimpose their own on you?

You need a checklist; there are sites online that have great ones. I won’t try to duplicate such a list here. But you will need one and putting it off is not helping. When I went to look at the various things I found under “checklist on death and dying,” even though it was only for this blog post, it made me feel sort of sick. Well, sick is not the correct word, but uncomfortable in a way that translated into a sort of heaviness in my tummy and tension throughout my body. It is a difficult subject. I get it. https://www.oktodie.com/preparation-checklists/3-resources/4-planning-your-death

But it will be a lot more difficult if you ignore it. It will not go away. And in the case of sudden illness or death, it is the last thing you want to be thinking about doing. In fact, you will be doing yourself and your loved ones a huge service to get this under control now, while you can think about it dispassionately and calmly. You have time for research and discovery. You can really explore the possibilities with a reasonable sense of taking care of something normal that needs taking care of.

A couple of years ago, my mother and I sat down to write an obituary for her. She said she wanted to do this after reading the obit of one of her friends. Probably, the friend’s sons wrote that and thought it was fine because it listed the woman’s family and clubs she belonged to. But my mother was shocked at how little of her friend’s personality showed in the written words. She wanted people to know more about what she was like. Mother said, “I want it to say I loved dancing, and dogs, and pretty colors, and jewels and traveling, and family.” So, we wrote something that she liked. When the time comes, we won’t have to guess at what Mother would have wanted to see printed in the paper.

That is normal enough because she is definitely old enough now to be thinking of things like that. She is over 100 years old.

But what about me? Or you? The fact is, we all need to think about this, if for no other reason than to help our families out. Just like having a will or insurance, additional planning for eventualities makes good sense. Write an outline for an obituary if you don’t feel like writing a complete one.

Now that I have written   this, I myself have an idea of what I need to do to complete my own checklist. I will try to complete it in the next week or so, or at least by the end of the month. You, too, can begin if you have not started.  I wish you long life and great health. And peace of mind, knowing that, whatever happens, you have arranged for everything.

Spring is coming, buds are beginning to be visible on our forsythia and the daffodils are almost up. It is a great time to complete and put away these wintry tasks and prepare for the new life coming with spring.   

                                                                        **

Copyright©.  2019 Bonnie B. Matheson

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