Bowron Lakes, BC © lynette sheppard

There is nothing like a long vacation followed by a little jet lag to put your life in perspective. I know that I apologized for my dearth of blog posts in my last entry – and I was all set to do it again. But then I started to think………… (Thanks to the jet lag, I couldn’t do much else except suck wind on the couch and eat breakfast cereal at 3:00 am when I was prowling around wondering why I was awake.)

I noticed my stress level was rising, while energy and motivation were still in the toilet. I was quietly flipping out about bailing on my obligations, duties, and jobs. And then it hit me. Almost all of my deadlines and have-to-get-dones are self imposed.

In other words, I am stressing myself out. No one else is beating on me. Just me. What is it about women? How we can take on so much stuff and make it into have-tos or must-dos. There are enough of those with work and paying bills and so on that we shouldn’t be piling on to ourselves. And still we (and I) do.

So I started musing about what I actually need and want to do. Here’s a partial list of my must-do-or-know-that-I’ve-failed-miserably chores:

Post on Menopause Goddess blog once a week or more.

Answer everyone who contacts me via Facebook, email, etc for help and advice. (Really. I expected this of myself.)

Post to all the places I write guest blogs or health advice at least once a week –, ,,,

Post every week to two weeks to my other blogs: Everyday Enneagram Blog, iPhone Diva, and Digital Diva Digital Dude.

Tweet daily or more.

Monitor Facebook, retweet good tweets, comment on my favorite bloggers and writers articles.

Then there’s the personal stuff:

Keep my house clean and company ready,

Practice hula daily – walk daily. Weights 3 x a week

Attend all social events when invited by friends, family, acquaintances.

Finish my new (already behind) projects: my new book, the Menopause Marketplace, podcasts, you tube page/videos.  Plan the kitchen remodel. Move ahead on photo projects.

Oh, and spend quality time with spouse daily.

Confronted with such a list, I feel guilty AND tired. So I’m scaling back my self imposed expectations. And this is my new list of jobs and obligations.

Post blogs as often as there is something to say – shoot for once a week, but no stress. No one is pushing me but ME.

Create lots of me time. That goes hand in hand with spending quality time with best friend/spouse.

Everything else may not exactly be optional, but the rest of the to-do’s are certainly not urgent or life threatening.

Eat well and exercise. Period.

Post when I can to accessory sites –  ideally but not absolutely once every 1-2 weeks

Pre schedule some useful tweets. Or not.

Attend social functions when rested and I want to, not as obligation or in gratitude that I was asked. As my dear friend and Time Management author Karen Leland says, We can always celebrate another time together if the actual party doesn’t work.”

Scan Facebook and Twitter twice weekly ( If it works).

Answer questions, leave comments, and offer help when I have the energy and time.  Let them know if I’m overextended and that they are welcome to try me again in the future. Nobody understands this more than Menopause Goddesses.

Spend quality time with friends and family.

Work on some new project(s) daily – set up a schedule. And cast it in jello instead of concrete.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. At least until I start overloading myself with self-imposed expectations again. I would greatly appreciate any and all ideas my sister goddesses might have to keep these loads light and manageable.

For now? I’m off to the beach with my beloved for some sunshine and serenity.