Just pick up the broom

I think it fitting to post the first blog on the new website and title it “Just Pick Up The Broom”. Life is overwhelming at times. Not always, and hopefully not often. But certainly every single person will, at some moment or another, lasting short or long periods, feel anxious, stressed and overwhelmed. The persistence of these feelings and sensations can be pathological and may warrant intervention (which I am here for), but also sometimes they are what they are, and just a part of life.

How do we cope when faced with situations that cause us to feel scared or stressed or overwhelmed?  Do we retreat and hide under the covers? Do we put off tomorrow what we could do today because we just don’t know whereto start? Or do we, as my mom says, “just pick up the broom”?

My mom wore many hats. She was a teacher, a small business owner, a state legislator, and a mom. And boy did she set the bar high in the mom department. I always had the cleanest clothes, nicest hair, hand-written note in the homemade lunch packed neatly. I got all A’s in school, not becauseI was the smartest, but because my mom helped me with my homework each and every night until I finished high school. I rarely ever did anything without consulting her (this holds true today) and I know without a doubt, she is one of the strongest women in history. How is it possible for this woman, let alone any person, get everything done, always perfect and always on time? So I asked her. And she gave me great advice which I’ll share with you using my own experience over these last few months. Spoiler alert, it all comes down to you got to start somewhere.

Recently I was challenged with starting a new business from scratch-opening a medical practice. Like any new task, I felt overwhelmed and anxious. I don’t know where to start.

-      “Make a list”, my mom said. I did. I made a list. Then I realized there were so so so many things on that list. How do I go about getting everything done?

-      “Just cross one thing off at a time”. I did. I started doing at least one thing every day for the business. Everything started coming together but still the list kept getting longer.

-      “Set a deadline and prioritize”, she said. She was right!

-      “I had to start somewhere.”I could have kept adding the minute details and not planning to open until everything was in place. Once I set a reasonable deadline, it allowed me to prioritize what absolutely needed to be done initially and what could wait. And most important,

-      “Take a deep breath”.

Mom used the analogy “just pick up the broom” but it could have been any old saying. I’m sure we have all had a party or two where, when it was all said and done, there was so much to clean up. Do you do the dishes first, take out the trash, sweep the floors, gather the left-over items? Or do we get back in bed with a large glass of ice water, blanket over our head, and pray that it will magically do itself? Carpe diem! Seize the day!

Pick up that broom so you can clean up and get ready for the next party in life!