Sometimes it’s our Inner Critic that makes us feel overwhelmed. I noticed this when a skiing trip went sideways a couple of weeks ago.
The kids were at their dad’s and we’d just had a dump of snow and it was sunny and gorgeous and I was stoked to hit the slopes for the first time this season.
I left early so I’d have tons of time to get runs in and then get back in time to hack through my to-do list before picking the kids up.
Halfway up my first hill, the thing I’m dreading every minute of every time I’m ever on a chairlift happened:
I dropped something.
I watched helplessly as my mitt tumbled down several stories below. Onto the mother-flippin’ TERRAIN PARK. How the heck was I going to get that back? In -15°F weather?? With poor ski skills and one mitt???
At the top of the hill, some guys tell me I’ll handle the slope if I just avoid all the jumps. It still being early, and me not being caffeinated enough to make sound decisions, I head on down the TERRAIN PARK.
Like something straight out of a Mr. Bean episode, I hurtle and flail down the hill, between the jumps, cut through a forest at one point, all with snowboarders catchin’ air around me, and end up ….. exactly at my mitt!!
Ha!! Almost as funny as that incident with the psychic.
Emboldened by my newfound badassery, I went ahead and did a bunch of tricker hills. Looking just as daft but giving #nofux all the while.
I laughed so hard and had a blast. I skied until my legs were jello.
Then I go to get in my car and lo, my keys ARE LOCKED in the frickin’ car!
I had to call a tow truck, which, due to the Arctic temperature and influx of booster calls, couldn’t come to assist for THREE HOURS.
My Inner Critic / Mafia Mind / Inner Mean Girl – whatever you want to call that nasty voice in your head that has a criticism about everything – had a LOT to say on this matter:
- A few hills and 3 hours of waiting? What a waste!
- Is that ALL you’re gonna get done today?
- Now you’ll never get that phone call returned, kitchen cleaned, research completed, photo book of kids earliest years done. FAIL!
You shoulda stayed home and powered through stuff while you had the chance!
That kind of critical voice is a major contributor to our overwhelmed feelings. The voice thinks that if we don’t tick enough boxes on our to-do list then the day is a write-off. So we keep ourselves stacked full lest we face that judgy voice’s wrath.
The invitation here is to try measuring our days with a different yardstick. Try measuring what values were honored in a day instead of measuring the quantity achieved.
Did you feed your need for adventure? Family? Coziness? Good friendships? Health?
The richness of your life is not measured by how much you do, but how much you lived.
The richness of your life is not measured by how much you do, but how much you lived. Click To Tweet
In my case, once I calmed that critic, I was able to enjoy a blissful, spontaneous, 3-hour après-ski. One that I would never have allowed myself otherwise since it seemed too indulgent. But in the end, honored the way that I want to live my life.
Which values could you measure your day by instead of how much you got done? Let us know if the comments!
Do Less. Live More.