Taking Care of Business

I am sure you have a lot going on in your life these days, but allow me a minute to gently remind you to make sure you’re taking care of business — the business of doing what brings you joy, happiness or simply what gives you a place or sense of rest, relaxation and good times for today and tomorrow.

It is so easy to get caught up in the hustle of doing what everyone expects or demands, that sometimes we forget why we are doing what we’re doing, as life becomes routine and rote, and for many, boring. I don’t mean you forget why you’re going to work, or social events or even family events, but dig a little deeper and then figure out if you have to be the one to do it all.

I am sure it is easier for you jump in and get it done right the first time without having to hassle with cajoling others to step up and help, but once you’ve done the expected, then step away and don’t do any more or don’t create more work for you to do later. Let it be, even if it is not perfect. Sometimes, for the good of your soul, heart, mind and body, understand that you can live with almost great instead of wasting another hour to make it perfect when it is going to be wrecked in a few hours anyway after they eat, play or stay overnight.

No, I am not encouraging sloppiness, but I am okay with (and you can be also) a basic sense of completion.

As I re-read my last few blog posts, it seems I am on a theme of encouraging you to walk away from the front lines of doing something all the time. And I guess my reason is that I see the frustration and hear the comments and watch the actions of so many of my friends and clients who live a harried existence and who are not really liking what they do or at least not enjoying it due to the stress of the journey or of the position they love (or once loved).

Listen, we all get tired, but those who are wise understand that it is okay to step back and let it be, whether for a while or a week, to be picked up or completed to precision another day when you’re ready, willing and able.

I recently had a ladies’ tea at my house, so I put in hours of extra cleaning and dusting and generally looking around (with my dear friend Lisa who has an eye for these things) to make sure I had put things away or hauled off to the rescue mission for donation. Amazing what I collected on that one day (which in my case had not come in three years) instead of putting it in the trash or giving it away. My taking care of business was tossing out what I didn’t need any more.

Yes, my place sparkled and shined, and, yes, I probably overdid some of the cleaning, but now that it is done, I can see where I could have done more. But guess what? Earth to Deb: no one seemed to care how clean my place was (not even the back yard); they were happy to eat and socialize and catch up with friends and, honestly, I didn’t see anyone looking behind my doors checking for dust or cobwebs.

I took care of the business at hand and was done. Could I have done more? Of course! Did it matter? Not really. Did I save myself some stress? Absolutely, and I still took care of business.

I preach all the time that life is short, so you need to do what you’ve put on your dream list and get going. I can pretty much guarantee you will be happy with the memories that you create, but that is not going to happen sitting at home on the La-Z-Boy. In this case, really consider taking care of business — the business of doing what you want to do and where you’d like to visit so can look back with joy. Trust me, the cost is well worth the investment. From what I have seen, you won’t have much more money later than you have today, so go ahead and book that vacation or build that deck or take those accrued vacation days and visit family. Spend your money and time wisely as you take care of the business of doing what you want…now.

Taking care of business is not only about doing for others to make sure it all runs well, but also I am asking that you stop and look at yourself in the mirror and figure out what it will take to take care of you.

Do you need to make that dental appointment? Go to the eye doctor? Maybe get that dreaded mammogram, or cancer screening? Taking care of business means taking care of you for you and those you love.

I used a quote in last week’s blog post, “An empty lantern provides no light.” Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly for the long-term. You know this to be true, so consider taking that time to make it happen.

I know that many people say they’d rather not know of an impending health issue, so they don’t go to the doctor, or chiropractor or dentist or you name the profession of personal care, but taking care of business means taking care of the intimate things that you need to take care of for your health.

I’ll close with the idea of taking care of business for your future. Recently, I updated my will. I have no plans for passing from this life anytime soon, but if anything happens in my travels, I am secure in knowing my wishes are written down and sealed. Same with my healthcare power of attorney, because I want to be in control of my ending and not leave that to an insurance policy or doctor or a machine. I read an interesting book called, “Being Mortal.” I believe I’ve mentioned it in a past post, but the book focuses on the story of a doctor whose father is ill and how they, as a family, had to have the discussion of how he wanted to live his life until the final end. Not a happy topic, but needed so the family can have a sense of finalization of the issues. No matter what happens in the midst of the painful emotions, all wishes are agreed upon by the living so the business of dying is taken care of.

I am not trying to ruin your Tuesday or make you sad in thinking about the end, but according to many healthcare professionals, the stress of coming to the end of life, not only for the loved one but those left behind, is one of the heaviest burdens a child can carry for the rest of their life if a plan for the end is not in place.

It will not be easy to say goodbye, but it will be structured, and for me (and my family) that is taking care of business for the living and the dying.

So what is on your list to take care of? And tell me, when will you make it happen? You are wise enough to plan out your options, so come on and take care of business on your terms, so you can take care of your life and those you love. The timeline to do this is now. Seriously, you need to make the tough decisions now — while you can — so you don’t have to worry about them later.

Taking care of business is more than being a good, wise and thoughtful person; it is about taking care of the things you can control today for your tomorrows. That is the wisdom that you are endowed with, so use it up — all of it — for your best life ever.

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