Deadline or adventure? Depends how you think.


For the longest time, I never understood why I tired out so easily after a day of work.

I tend to be really focused on work to the point of running myself ragged without realizing it until the job is done, resulting in a crash (nap) once I got home.

So when I came across the advice of someone noticing how tense I was, he mentioned, “I know what it is! You leave a piece of you with every job, don’t you?”

I had to think for a moment exactly what that meant. Then it hit me.

… continued …

pallet pathway fixing up

I tend to be a perfectionist with my work. So if something isn’t just so, I make it so. And don’t stop until it’s done right by my standards.

Nothing really wrong with that, except for the fact of me not realizing just how hard I really do push myself over the brink due to that perfectionism. Especially when you’re working against a deadline.

So I decided to try something different the next time I went to work. I took deep breaths, (apparently I hold my breath too?! why do we need others to tell us what we do?), relaxed, and got to work. But with a different attitude this round.

I decided rather than push myself against the clock, I’d just work along side it. If I ran late, then I’d return another day to finish the job. But under no circumstances would I push myself over that painful brink again.

pallet pathway in garden via Funky Junk Interiors

Well, something changed. I realized I was getting just as much done working relaxed as I did when I worked in a panic against the clock. And the difference was, once I got home, I didn’t feel a need to crash. I was happier, more relaxed, and didn’t feel a need to crawl up the stairs, feeling for the edge of my bed.

Why am I telling you this? Because I’ve been putting this into practice a lot lately, and it’s been working. I care very much about the work I do, however walking away being able to feel this differently astounded me. And the fix all along was how I felt about things.

lavender against a blue sky

The mind is a tricky, complex thing and I do believe it needs training. So next time you look at the time and race out the door, here’s to you not seeing it as a deadline, but an ‘adventure.’

Adventures are fun! Why not make your entire day become one?

Here’s a great read on setting limits by Miss Mustard Seed. Sage advice!

pallet walkway tutorial


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Categories: Blogging, Inspiration

34 thoughts on “Deadline or adventure? Depends how you think.

  1. I am in the process of exactly the same change of attitude, except I am doing it a lot more drastically. We are leaving the city and moving to a really small town. Hopefully life will be slower and time will take on a different meaning

  2. I discovered what you discovered when I turned 53…almost,too late.I was a perfectionist who had to do everything I could to make every other person’s life run smoothly.And many times I did this with them working against me.{I had a cleaning business for 27 years,4 grown children,who I thought needed me to fix all THEIR mistakes and 7 grands I thought no one could care for like I could.}I found myself totally drained and in physical pain trying to keep ahead of the game…then I crashed and burned.I am now 55 and learning how to say no…learning who I am…and doing MY best rather than what I THOUGHT every one else thought was best.If we,as women,do not learn to take care of ourselves we have nothing left to give and then we feel useless.I am glad you realized that your best work is done when you walk away tired but not exhausted and that you are getting the same amount of work done.I applaud you and I am one of your faithful likers and have been for quite some time.

    • Hi Carla, Your story is my life at present. I am turning 50 Sat, which I am kind of having a tough time with. 5 children, 5 grandchildren….I thought my life would be more settled than it is. But, I have realized I have to make those changes myself. ME, it has to be about me now !! If I want anything more out of my life. Does that sound selfish ?? My family sure thinks so.!!!!!

  3. I am sooo guilty of this! I do it all the time. At work, home, the grocery store, you name it. It’s almost as if my mind & body think that if I am not in a panic mode, stressed and rushing from chore to chore that I am not doing anything. Then when I do have “free” time, I crash and burn. Thank you for the reminder that life IS an adventure to be enjoyed and admired, not blown by in a tizzy. 🙂

  4. So true! We’ve done so much work around the house in our holidays (and still working right now), but it’s not so stressful because we’re not on a schedule – we tackle what we can, and when we can’t, then that’s okay too. If we HAD to do the same amount of stuff that we do voluntarily, we’d be bitchin’ and complainin’ all day long. We’re doing it for us, no matter if others like it. I guess that’s the flow that psychologists are talking about =) Love that walkway in your garden, by the way! xo Anja

  5. All of life is attitude and ours as we approach what we’re allowed to handle. People are always watching how we handle life. Forgetting to breath is common; I found this out when Dave died. It’s been nine months of remembering to breath and, when forgetting and realizing I’ve been holding my breath, I take in huge, gulping draughts of oxygen in an attempt to catch up.
    Someone, wise I think, once told me, “lower your expectations and not your standards.” Sometimes we, all of us, tend to confuse the two.

  6. Great advice.. I think I will try this today. As I go back to school and work hard to get my classroom set up I will think of it as a journey and that might just relieve some of the stress. Thanks for that.

  7. Great advice. I have also learned that if you open your mouth you will breathe. It may just take care of some of those aches and pains you have in your neck & upper back. Wouldn’t that be a blessing! Thanks for sharing. Have a great day.

  8. I agree Donna! I am learning to enjoy the process much more instead of racing to get to the end result. I have to ask my self… Where’s the rush? And not stress out so much!

  9. I know exactly what you mean, and I am glad you are learning this early on. As someone used to say about me, I had two gears–full-speed ahead, and dead stop. I went as hard and fast as I could, until I finished whatever it was, and then crashed. Over and over, day after day, until I totally wrecked my health. Please don’t do what I did! Your new method of working alongside the clock instead of racing it is a great plan. How I wish I had done that, instead of ending up with chronic pain, bad knees, etc. Relax, enjoy the journey, take time to breathe! Hugs…Sandra

  10. I totally needed to hear this Donna! I’m trying to get back to that place too…of less pressure and more enjoyment along the way. I’ve realized recently that I put these crazy expectations on myself and that no one else is doing it to me! Glad to know I’m not the only one! 🙂

  11. Such thoughtful words…and ever so true. I just recently decided that no one but myself would say, “step aside-say no”…what could be better then a perfectionist beating herself up to do it all (unless you are married to that type A gal). So I stepped aside, re-examined what I was doing to myself and decided I controlled my blog, a 40 hour work week really was that-even if I am salaried, sitting in my farmyard at the end of the day was not a luxury, but a right. Do I still push myself, sure——but I now accept that I am the one who decides where & when. It feels much better.

  12. Remember the ever ready Bunny, that is what I was, I worked no less then 60 a week and at times 75,weeks where if was 10 days straight…store remodel 3 weeks no day off….yea you can not do this to yur body and I hit the wall. You know what live goes on,and if you wake up after you crash,u realize their is a better way to live…so just Breath….have you ever tried the take a deep breath and then let it out my pursing you lips(kinda a wistle look) my Dad had COPD abd they taught breathing…

  13. That is wonderful and perfect advice. It’s amazing how slowing down makes things work better, feel better and allows us to get more accomplished. Thank you for sharing this practical experience with us. Blessed be!

  14. Have I told you that I adore you? I don’t comment much and wish I commented more because I know how much they mean to me. I am 65 and I StILL have to remind myself of all you just posted. Sometimes I am successful and others not…but it is a good reminder… Hugs, CeCe

  15. Perfectionism…the bane of all women. Good for you starting to slow down & take it easy. People will still love you if you aren’t perfect. It took me a long time to realize that, and still have to remind myself all the time. I don’t know if I’d call it an adventure when I head to work…then again, dealing with people can be very adventurous, I suppose. lol
    Debbie 🙂

  16. Living in the moment is habit that needs to be mastered…and it takes time…but my oh my…how life changes when that happens. Good for you for slowing down and living in the moment…isn’t it an awesome discovery!!!

  17. Great post, Donna. When you’re self employed, like I am, pushing yourself to the extreme becomes a way of life. I vowed at the beginning of the year to breath more (I guess we share that issue), and give myself some down time here and there. Taking a step back helps you see things more clearly, and, as you said, it doesn’t wear you out as much.

  18. Donna, I think a lot of us needed to hear this today. Thank you for taking the “time” to discover you pace and adventure and to share with us. I am so glad you are getting just as much done and feeling a major difference.
    Blessings, Ginger

  19. I did something like that myself. I find myself pushing and overdoing it. With my fibromialgia it’s not a good thing. So last night after working all day and struggling with putting a hutch back together I just stopped made myself walk away and went in the house and said it will be there tomorrow! That took a lot for me to do. I’m trying to not let my work consume every ounce of my being mentally and physically! Nice to hear I’m not the only one that does this. Traci

  20. I just finished reading yet another book on happiness and you did exactly what the chapter on stress says to do: reframe your thinking! Looking at what you do in a different light makes all the difference. I was thinking about this when I drove my teenage daughter to high school this morning. We were cutting it close (again) and she looked a little stressed, but I was calm! The reason? She loves to cut it close and I refuse to be the watch dog over when its time to go. She gets to choose when we leave the house.The only one who stands to suffer from her tardiness is her. I can’t imagine starting everyday nagging her to death. This way I can wish her a happy day and mean it when I drop her off. The title of the book on happiness is “You Can Be Happy No Matter What” by Dr. Richard Carlson. Just in case anyone is interested. =)

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