I used to say that September was the most stressful month of the year. Way worse than December. At least in December I had some control over my lists. September though was filled with lists of things for me to do, created by other people – teachers, coaches, instructors, bosses. Get this, Give me that. It was the time of year – as a working Mom with two kids in school – when I never knew what was coming at me next. And everything was urgent. “There’s a mandatory meeting tonight for parents blah, blah, blah.” And every September this surprised me.
But I (and pretty much whenever I say “I” I really mean my husband and me) got through it. We all do, it seems. There can be power in knowing you are not going through it alone. Lunchtime at work was filled with group whining about yesterday’s lists and last night’s meetings. And as if just getting through the whole day wasn’t enough, we were also caught up in business plans for the next year’s budget and desperately seek inspiration for operational improvements in the coming year. So lunchtime was commiseration time in September. And in your colleagues you also find validation – you are not alone. And that helps. It’s a shared rite of passage. Assuming you pass!
But in the non-lunch hours of the day, the other 23 hours, when little is left of you but a sense of lost control, here’s an idea that might help. Make your bed. I recently listened to Gretchen Rubin’s (of Happiness Project fame) talk about the impact of making your bed. It allows you to start your day with a sense of control and completeness that can get you headed in the right direction Happiness Project – Make Your Bed
And if you’re not convinced that it will work – there is confirmation from Dr. Amy Cuddy. If you haven’t already seen her Ted Talk – it’s a must see. Amy Cuddy Ted Talks- Power Poses. The point is, we take our emotional cues from our physical cues and you can fake it till you become it. Fake control until it comes back to you. And so I’m thinking that if I’d made my bed every morning back in the day – I might have just felt a little better walking out the door.
Now though, as empty nesters, September has an entirely different meaning to us. At the lake we slow down a bit. We miss the kids and the family and friends that gathered here all summer and we start planning the next get together. I’m making up guest beds with enthusiasm and wondering who will sleep in them next! Our bed, however – is rarely made. Because I am back in control over my own lists of things to do!