On Strike, Part 2 – what does “off duty” look like?

Did you read last week’s email about me going “on strike” with my husband and daughter yet? If you missed it, you can catch up here: On Strike, Part 1.

For “Part 2,” I sat down earlier and started trying to write out all the stuff I DIDN’T have to do while being on strike, and just the thought of typing it all out exhausted me. So I stopped.

I’m sure you can understand. For example, a mom/daughter we’re not very close with asked about an outdoor playdate. This is just ONE thing I was able to offload to my husband. And you already know (only too well!) that this is not a do-it-and-check-it-off kind of task: I gave him the mom’s cell number to text, and it was up to him to respond to her, agree on a time, make sure Emma was ready to go, had what they needed, showed up, supervised, and unpacked/put stuff away when they got home.

He also had the experience of having to mediate playmate disagreements and make small talk with the other mom for over an hour, which — even if other adults are perfectly nice people — can really eat into your bandwidth.

So considering that that was only ONE of at least 8 to 10 experiences a week we try to arrange so that our distance-learning/only child gets some opportunities to get along with her peers in real life, you can see how much free time my “strike” opened up for me in the space of a week — not to mention the amount of mental focus it freed up!

[In case you’re wondering, the other experiences weren’t as involved, but similar — a mix of being outdoors for “recess” in our court with neighbor kids every weekday morning, some impromptu afternoon requests to go outside or to a playground, and one or two online hangouts with a friend or her aunt and cousins. All require arranging times with another adult, reminders to show up with what she needs, and, if outdoors, many times we need to be physically present.]

WHAT’S POSSIBLE WHEN YOU’RE “UNAVAILABLE”?

The reason I had such a GLORIOUS week “on strike” was because I’d SO clearly reached a boiling point that my husband and daughter weren’t about to push back. They got it. That was my “permission,” if you will, to not feel guilty and really relish in absolving myself of most of my usual duties.

And guess what? With less duties, less interruptions, and more time to focus:

  • I got more of my important work done.
  • I was able to make some connections that will help my business run more efficiently.
  • I sat in on a work-related webinar that I might otherwise have been too fried to attend — and I won a 1-on-1 virtual session with an author I’d been following for 2 years!
  • I went to bed earlier every night.
  • I ate better and got some exercise.
  • I spent way less time zoning out on screens when I had “time off.” Instead …
  • I had more quality time choosing enjoyable activities I WANTED to do by myself, with my daughter, with my husband, or as a family.

WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN IF *YOU* TRIED THIS?

As mentioned last week, the last year+ of the pandemic has really highlighted just how unsustainable our roles have become. I’m betting many of you reading this are just trying to push through until most kids are back in school full-time in the fall (fingers crossed!).

But is that all there is to it … to “hang in there” at least another 5 months, only to simply get back to how your workloads and households were run pre-pandemic?

Don’t you deserve better?

I’m betting this COVID situation magnified what was already an unbalanced situation. For that reason, I’m encouraging everyone I know to work on lightening up your expectations of yourself NOW — before life starts seeming more “back to normal.”

Do you know what’s worth changing?

Are you motivated enough to see it through?

Change for the better has to begin with YOU knowing you need it, and how it will improve your quality of life NOW — not months down the road. And the best part? Not only will YOU feel better and enjoy your everyday life more, but the effects will ripple out to your children, partner, colleagues, friends, and anyone else who interacts with you.

I can help you get started.

LET’S FIGURE IT OUT!

LET’S FIGURE IT OUT! Free “Solutions in 60 Minutes” Call: Stop overthinking your overwhelm. Talk it out, find a path forward, and get some relief NOW. Book it here: https://dianaforbes.com/free-consult/

VOXER VERSION: too hard to commit to a scheduled time to chat? Try Voxer! Here’s what you do: Check out the free “walkie talkie” app, Voxer, and connect with me there — I’m Diana Forbes – dforbe906 (https://web.voxer.com/u/dforbe906). Once we get connected, share your “they’re driving me CRAZY” situation with me and I can give you some coaching and feedback to get started.

P.S. – Speaking of “off-duty,” this week is our school’s spring break. I’ll be skipping my weekly email next Sunday to free up this week’s time and brainpower for family activities. (yet another example of what’s possible when you declare some “time off” boundaries!)

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