You expire on…

Sedruola Maruska | Leisure Life Coach

Every time we go food shopping we look at the “you expire on” date for our own safety, right? We find those dates helpful because they let us know the potential harm date of the food item.

About a year before my Dad retired his colleague retired. This man had plans to travel and spend time with family. But, about a month (I believe) after retiring, he had a heart attack and died.

I don’t know much more about him, but I do wonder: Did he take time to enjoy the journey?; If he knew he’d expire so soon after retirement, would he have enjoyed the journey more?

What if you knew the exact date you would, well, “you expire on….” What would you do differently? Why?

We all have expiration dates

We take this journey called life lightly. We live every day as if we’ll be here forever. Putting things off until “tomorrow”. Failing to do things we want to do now. Hoping tomorrow will be better. . . etc.

But we all have a “you expire on….” date. So, if you knew that date, what would you do differently? Why? Not why would you do it differently, but why aren’t you doing it now?

Why aren’t you:

  • planning that trip to your dream locale?
  • getting that degree?
  • opening up that practice?

I’m not immune. At 50 I’m finally waking up to the fact that I haven’t done many of the things I want to do. I could blame it on life itself. You know, bills, kids, jobs, taxes etc. But at the end of the day, I only have myself to blame.

A Personal Eulogy to Live By

We know we’re going to expire, so why not maximize the days we have now? Find or create our dream careers. Travel. Rest. Be happy. Make a difference.

If we knew the “you expire on…” dates we had I think we’d all live differently. We’d value our time more. We’d spend our time more wisely. We might even have a greater impact in the world.

Maybe there’s something to living as if today were your last day. If you did, what would you let go? What would you focus on? What would you fight to have, give or do?

Just because you don’t know your expiration date doesn’t mean you don’t have one. You do. You expire on. . . what will you do before that date?

No watch?

Sedruola Maruska | Leisure Life Coach

In 1999 I stopped wearing a watch.

There was no pomp and circumstance, I just decided, one day, to stop.

Before that, I loved watches. I had a ring watch, and several wristwatches that I wore faithfully. Growing up, it was the one piece of acceptable “jewelry” I could wear to church.

But by 1999 I’d rebelled and was wearing earrings, bracelets, necklaces along with my watch. But in 1999 the watch had to go.

Why? Because one day in 1999 I was leaving my New York apartment to get to the train station to go to work. I left at the same time everyday. There was a window of opportunity that I never missed.

Sleep: The Secret to Increased Productivity

On this particular day, as I left my apartment and started walking to the train station, I noticed something.

I wasn’t late, I was hardly ever late, but in the two minute walk to the train station I’d looked at my watch 5 times!

That’s when I started to take notice of the thing that caused me to get rid of my watch in 1999.

I noticed my anxiety as it related to time.

Growing up I wasn’t late. Id’ grown up knowing that being on time was respectful and when it was my responsibility to be somewhere, I was there early or right on time, hardly ever late.

But every time I looked at my watch (every 30 seconds or so) I was telling myself, I was late. Knowing I wasn’t, but buying into the idea that maybe I was late.

Deprogramming the Marriage Expectation

It’s a bit odd when you think about it.

We wear watches for time, for decoration or to stay on task. Yet, for some of us, it’s a point of anxiety.

So, one day, in 1999 I decided to stop wearing watches to see what would happen. Would my day get thrown off? Would I start being late? What if I wasn’t able to look at my watch every 30 seconds, what would happen?

You know what happened? Less stress.

Maybe, that timepiece is causing more stress than necessary because it’s an accessible reminder of our perceived slackness.

The imagined ticking clock we have in our heads when it comes to having babies, professional success, getting married or whatever we feel behind on could be tied to our timepieces.

Great time to join me on LinkedIn!

There’s a time to watch the clock, and there’s a time to forget there’s a clock.

It’s 2019. It’s been 20 years since I’ve owned a watch. In that time I got married (late), I had two babies (late) and my career has changed again (late). But life is grand! And if being late feels right. . . .

Maybe, being late isn’t always a bad thing. Maybe, removing the anxiety of the elusive ticking clock could be good for you too.

Mind Our Busyness, Starting Today

Mind Our Busyness Starting Today | Sedruola Maruska

“Hey, how are you?”

“Ugh, I’m so busy, I need a vacation!”

I know that exchange sounds familiar because I’ve heard it drop from my lips many times! (for the record, I need a lifelong vacation, but that’s another post)

“I’m so busy!” The idea, the uttering, the feeling is always there ready to be delivered at a moments notice. Why?

My morning read this month (I’m so excited to be reading again that I’ve got a morning book and an evening book. . . I digress) is Overwhelmed: How to Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte.

Have you seen my review on “You Are A Badass” Yet?

I’m not done yet, but in the first few chapters of the book I’ve not only had “ah-ha” moments, I’m examining my life and realizing that my busyness is often for the benefit of others, not mine. Can you relate?

Thing is, being busy is the new “status” symbol. If you’re not crazy busy, you must not be that important, or worst, you must not be that successful. We’ve gotten to where we equate being busy with being successful. But most of the time our “busy” is simply movement not progress, and certainly not success.

Movement vs. Progress

In our new technology driven world, that was supposed to give us more free time, we’re overwhelmed with busy. We carry multiple phones and can’t stop looking at our screens because, FOMO (fear of missing out).

Mind Our Busyness Starting Today | Sedruola Maruska

We run ourselves crazy never stopping for a moment to think about whether our busy is just movement or if it’s progress.

[wp_ad_camp_4]As women we have tons of stuff in our lives that keep us moving. That’s not so say men don’t, but I’m not talking to men 😉 I’m talking to you, lady boss! We drive our kids around to activities and events. We cook, we clean, we respond to invitations and buy gifts. Then let’s not forget trips to the vet for the pet(s), the grocery shopping that needs to happen, and oh, wait, there’s also the vacation we need to plan and the bills we need to pay. Oh, but we also need to answer emails, create our next promotion, create a strategy for our marketing, gather information for taxes, and make sure we workout, eat healthy and spend time with the people we love. . . .

Just reading that makes me tired.

Now consider how many things we do that can go away without being missed. Or, how much time we could take to just do things we want to do if we sidelined our need for “busyness”.

Moving is not progress. Merriam Webster’s definitions are:

  • Movement: change of place or position or posture
  • Progress: a forward or onward movement

So, just because you’re moving or “busy” doesn’t mean you’re moving forward. You may be, but there’s no guarantee!

Mind Your Busyness

[wp_ad_camp_5]If you can’t see or feel where or how you’re spending your time, you can’t change it. So, let’s slow down so we can mind our busyness and progress. Let’s “see” what’s happening.

Below are two (actually one and a sub action) action steps we’re going to take for the next week (yes, I’ll be joining you). We’re going to find the “Busy” so we can reduce it.

Action Step(s)

  • Keep a time journal of your daily activities
  • Color code your time: Red = work, Blue = busy, Yellow = downtime

This only works if we’re brutally honest with ourselves, so let’s be honest as we go through our days. Right now we just want to be aware of our busy. Soon we’ll talk about ways to reduce the noise, clutter and busy so we can get to progress.