Friday, March 28, 2014

One Day (at a Time, Again)

I took a day off work today. I wasn't sure what to do but I managed to find a lot of things to fill my day. Sleeping until 10 am was a good start. I'm working on a timer system today. Washed dishes with the timer for 30 minutes. Did some computer stuff with the timer for 15 minutes. Blogging with the timer for 15 minutes (okay, I don't really think that I can put a timer on for a blog entry but I'm going with the plan for now).

I've been spending a lot of my free time alone in the past few weeks. It's been interesting "dating myself". I've peeled back few layers and found some interesting things. One of my more enlightening discoveries is that I am a chronic under estimator. Here's a list of the things I underestimate about myself:

  • time (to get ready, to get somewhere, to do something, etc)
  • energy/effort (to accomplish day-to-day tasks as well as larger projects)
  • skills and talents
You can see a pattern here. In general I under estimate myself. I have tried positive affirmations and exercise and setting small goals and "going inside". And today I have tried the timer technique. At the end of the day I have to accept that one thing won't work every time and everything won't work at one time. (And my timer has just beeped at me. At this moment in time I have a decision to make: do I set the timer again, or stop right here and do the next thing on my list? Add another 15 minutes on the clock.) 

In talking with my psychiatrist I brought up the various tools that I have found to be helpful. She explained to me the importance of understanding, realizing and accepting that what works for many other people (positive affirmations) might not work as well or as often for me as it does for others. Positive affirmations do serve a purpose for me and that purpose is to bring me into the moment. When my collection of quotes is flipping by on my iPhone or Apple TV one always catches my eye in that moment. So I reflect on what it means to me in that moment. Where am I? Where am I going? How is this quote relative to my journey at this moment? AT THIS MOMENT. Not in the big picture, but right now. Right this very breath, heart beat, pulse, brainwave, etc.

When discussing my chronic underestimating with my counsellor we devised a plan — overestimate. Overestimating will hopefully land me right where I need to be. It seems simple in theory, as do most of my plans. And really it makes sense when budgeting, because for "time" at least, that is what I'm doing. In my first draft of my semi-annual financial budgets I tend to underestimate my income and over estimate my expenses. Not by a huge amount, but just enough to be "safe".  I've been doing my best to put overestimating into practice with my habit of being punctually late — you can always rely on me to be 15 minutes late so tell me you want me there 15 minutes earlier than you REALLY want me there! It seems to be starting off well. Not exceptionally well but not a complete and utter failure.  I do believe that focussing on overestimating time will help to relax my expectations of myself and others and to improve my self-confidence. Small successes should be celebrated.  :)

Here's to the timer technique and succeeding at overestimation!

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