Expectations and Stress: Menopause Goddesses and Coping

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 – Examiner.com, VibrantNation.com , Wellsphere.com, Wegohealth.com, JaneNation.com.

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.

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12 Responses to Expectations and Stress: Menopause Goddesses and Coping

  1. Tammy July 10, 2010 at 4:54 pm #

    I was reading your blog and it seemed like I was reading about myself! I am learning to let go, but I am my own worst enemy. I have figured out that it’s more important to spend time with my grandson than to dust. And…100 years from now, is anyone going to care that I didn’t do it? Thanks for a great post – now go and relax! LOL

  2. Dee July 11, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    You’ve got it figured out now!! Great job! 🙂 Here’s an equation that I found that really simplifies everything:
    High expectations = Low Serenity
    Low expectations = High Serenity

    Since my overall goal is SERENITY, I try to apply this formula every day! Welcome home…..hope the trip was everything you wanted it to be!

  3. Ms. "V" Jacksonville Examiner July 12, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    I’ve found that making a list is imperative (may be mental sometimes), yet make it a little flexable as you have done. If I miss something one day – it can be done the next day, but don’t do that with everything on the list 😉

    Being able to check things off as being completed, gives you a feeling of accomplishment and purpose for your day.

    And as you’ve said before, don’t forget to take a little time for “you” each day (exercise, manicure, shopping etc.)

    Thanks for the reminder Lynette


  4. rae July 12, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

    okay, love you list, it’s too long for me to read right now, I’m too busy! ha, ha, rae

  5. dale July 12, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    Well done (I was going to comment on lists and unreasonable timeframes, but ’nuff said.)!

  6. moonseazen July 12, 2010 at 5:27 pm #

    Lists are best made for sleeping well; write it down, and forget it.
    Burn them the first thing in the morning, when you meditate in prayer with your God.
    Begin anew every day.
    Don’t let lists wear you down. Don’t save them. Don’t don your abode with them.
    Burn them, as you’ve already done to your brain, which is their total value. You will always remember what is important.
    You don’t need a pound of post-it notes pounding your brain.
    Let go.

  7. Betty Zahler July 12, 2010 at 5:43 pm #

    As i ponder the way my life has gone, realize my stress level has disappeared. I continue to count my blessings, and cherish the family. Have no time for anything but patience and love.

  8. Poetikat July 13, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

    Hey Lynnette!
    (Don’t feel you need to respond to this because quite honestly, I probably won’t be back to read it. ha ha)

    I totally get you on this. I used to follow close to 200 blogs through Blogger and one day I thought to myself, What in heaven’s name am I doing this for? I informed everyone I would no longer be using the Blogger following gadget, but if they’d like to be in my sidebar to let me know and talk about taking the “albatross” from around one’s neck!
    After that immense relief, I really started cutting back on posts, and responding to comments and I finally started to devote myself to what I wanted to do all along – put a book together.

    Isn’t it funny how you either have to be jet-lagged, inebriated, or over-tired to have these epiphanies that make you clear the cobwebs and reassess what’s underneath?

    This post should be heeded by all.



  9. Cathie Haynes July 14, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

    “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.” Oh my gosh, I’m not surprised that you’re “tired”!!!!! I know I’ve said this before, & I’ll say it again (mostly for me!) . . . SIMPLIFY is an excellent mantra. I do enjoy hearing of your wonderful travels & seeing your awesome pictures. Thanx!

  10. larry July 14, 2010 at 7:03 pm #

    I love the list. I think you would love the list more once you have been able to cross or check things off even more more!
    Keep up the good work

  11. Poetikat July 19, 2010 at 7:10 am #

    I lied. I came back.

  12. Theresa July 19, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

    Ah yes – but what about those lists upon which you have no choice but to do AND then, unplanned interruptions eat away at the limited time one has. First thing to go – personal time. That being said – if I want to workout today (of course I don’t want to but definitely need to) I had best quit typing here and get back to the list.
    Keep up the good work.

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