It seems like the busier I get, the more I pile on my “to do list”. An old saying that I heard over and over again growing up was…”If you want something done, give it to a busy person”.
I can’t wait to serve this bridge menu for August 10th – 5pm.
Smoked chicken legs (The best chicken in the history of chicken!)
Often, at the beginning of the month, when I’m trying to wrestle my
“to do list” into submission…I can feel a little stressed.
The day I have scheduled for shopping and purchasing food for the bridge — is the day I get stuck in traffic [in Portland] for hours. Putting me behind…
The blog post I’ve been laboring over for the past week…after reading it for the 20th time – it reads…well honestly…a bit generic, and I decide to re-write the “whole thing”. Putting me still further behind.
The laundry calls my name from the dryer as I rush through the dinner dishes in the evening. “Jennifer…you’ve run the “fluff cycle” three times already…FOLD ME!”
I have to tell you, when the laundry starts talking to you…it’s time to get a grip.
Time to re-prioritize!
You see, it’s these days when my schedule (you know that fantasy, that fictitious dream in my head that tells me I should be able to cook dinner for 150 homeless people, fold the laundry, and write a killer blog post all in the same day.) That schedule becomes a living breathing entity that runs my days and calls the shots in my life.
I get to looking at the minutes slip by on the clock – knowing full well, I am more behind than a “gofer on a golf course”. I put the throttle down on my multi-tasking skills and push forward.
Running at wide open from the frying pan to the flame.
Sometimes…I think we get so used to carrying “the load”
(whatever that is for you), we don’t even realize how it affects our overall attitude.
I found myself, rushed and run ragged the other day — launching myself “at” each task like a “dog on a bone”. The end result…I was ineffective and getting farther and farther behind – and NONE OF IT FELT GOOD.
Exhausted and overwhelmed – I forced myself out of my element.
I changed my location. Yep – sounds simple right? Not when you’re trying to knock off things on your “to do list”. I wanted to hunker down and push myself to go faster. Instead…
I said “to heck with it, I’m changing this up!” Yes, I actually said this out loud. (Because I’m one of those “talking to myself out loud” kinda people.)
I took myself out of my chaotic office, with copiers humming, and computer screening glaring at me, judging me — for running impossibly behind.
I grabbed my grocery list and with a new found determination – I marched myself down to the grocery store.
With each item I took off the shelf and put into my cart – I forced myself to see one of the familiar faces I would be feeding under the bridge. In less than 24 hours, there would be over 150 people standing in line waiting for smoked chicken and coleslaw, pasta and homemade desserts.
While perusing in the vegetables, I conjured up the smiling face of one of my favorite older gentlemen. A man I have been feeding off and on for years now. I see his eyes soften as he looks at my peach cobbler. He never fails to stop and tell me at the end of the evening how much he enjoyed it.
I worked my way up and down the isles of the grocery store. Each time, seeing the impact I was having on these people. Feeling the gratitude they have for what we do.
By the time I had paid for all my ingredients and headed to my car – my attitude had done a complete turn around.
BRING ON THE “To Do” LIST! I’M GONNA SLAY THAT PUPPY!
Is my schedule demanding and crazy? Yes.
Will it ever change? 100% – No.
Can I take control in those moments when I feel like I’m reacting to everything? Undoubtedly…I am the only person who can take control.
The secret I’m learning, is to recognize the chaos, and re-prioritize “on the fly”.
The faster you become aware that your day/schedule/whatever is getting the best of you – draining you of energy – and giving your thoughts a negative spin….Acknowledge it and TAKE ACTION.
*Change your location.
*Change the music.
*Change the people you are surrounding yourself with.
*Change your mind.
Change whatever you need to change — in order to get yourself back to a positive vibe – an inner energy that opens the door for you to wrestle that schedule of yours to the groun… and make it cry uncle.
–This week my volunteers and I will be writing, doing paperwork, selling, cooking, folding laundry, commuting to and from work, carpooling kids to endless events, writing blog posts that will be agonized over, and ultimately – the group of us will be coming together to serve “awesome down home cooking” to some folks who really need a meal.
Thank you to all my volunteers and to everyone who donated to our efforts last week.
I received a surprise donation (thank you Nattaya!) and surprise chicken and cases of water that arrived under the bridge (thank you Jolie!).
My dearest friend Julie, was working with the efficiency of a
“nascar pit-woman” last week. A spoon in each hand…Julie constructed plates of food that looked like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It was straight up fantastic. There’s just no other way to say it. We were a team out there – serving the needy with gusto.
Thank you to everyone who contributed – especially my mom. She cooks her tail off every week. Deserts and hot dogs are her specialty. At 71-years old, she’s in her kitchen making a difference.
If you’d like to donate – we have tried to make it super easer. Click the link.https://www.paypal.me/wipgirl
Remember, it’s not what you do next week that matters so much. It’s what you do in the next hour that can change a life.
For those who can’t make it this week – remember – there is never any stress about the bridge…it will always be there for you next time.
Peace and love to all!