By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.
Do you work all day and then come home to a load of chores?
How many of the things you tell yourself you need to do are really things you chose to do? Clients who complain about stress in their lives customarily tell me they have so much to do and so little time to get it done.
They also often complain that they get no help from family or co-workers and that they end up having to do everything themselves.
One justification for this “I need to do everything and no one helps me” syndrome is that old saw if you want something done right, you need to do it yourself.
How many of these things you tell yourself each day you absolutely have to do are things you are really choosing to do?
The same task can be a burden or a joy depending on the way you view it.
The continuing water shortage here in the West has pointed out this conflict. There have been T. V. ads encouraging people to put in gardens of natural plants, plants that need less water. The goal is to reduce the use of water but in the process, the plants grow more slowly, need less pruning and a yard of native plants never needs mowing.
Any casual drive through the neighborhoods on weekend mornings or after work reveals lots of people out watering and mowing laws. Many of those folks complain about how much yard work they have to do all the while making maintenance of their yards a priority.
Personally, I have never been a big fan of green lawns, but when you live in the city you have to go along to get along. Those of you from the country, you just plow that stuff under a few times a year and let it go at that.
Priorities change in retirement.
These same folks in the counseling room sometimes tell me they are planning their retirement. What do you want to do when you retire? I ask. They tell me they think they will take up gardening or a cooking class.
Those same tasks that were a chore in the past now become a choice.
When the yard work gets really overwhelming, some people turn to paying others to do their lawn. There is some merit in creating employment for others in our community. But having turned their household chores over to others those folks find they need to get more exercise so they take up walking and join a gym.
You see this same phenomenon at the gym. People drive all around the parking lot looking for a close parking spot. Sometimes they get really upset and irritated if someone cut them off from that spot right by the door.
Then once in the gym, they scrabble for a treadmill so they can do some vigorous walking.
Do you feel stressed out over cooking the evening meal despite your thoughts that you would like to spend more time becoming a great cook? Preparing a meal can be an unpleasant task or an adventure.
The difference is not in the activity but in the attitude.
So when you say you are stressed, consider how many of the things you feel stressed about which are in fact choices you make to continue to do things. Your stress may well be coming from your attitude that you have to do these things rather than that you choose to do them.
Staying connected with David Joel Miller
Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!
My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.
Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.
Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.
As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.
Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.
Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.
Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.
Planned Accidents The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.
Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.
What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?
Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.
For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller
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