The TaDone List
One of my interesting challenges these days is feeling competent. It seems that I have ideas about competency being all connected up with energy. Now that I have noticed it, I get to do something about it.
Lately, my energy is mostly working on inside stuff. I have far fewer units to use each day than I am used to, and have to use one of them remembering that I need to pick and choose my commitments.
That is part of being competent; recognizing and respecting our limits. Sometimes they may be self-imposed, and we need to notice that. Sometimes they are imposed by our circumstances, physical, social, work related things. We can notice that, too.
Feel competent is important for us to be powerful in our lives. When we feel incompetent, we often feel like we have no impact, that we don’t make a difference. Thing is, we are always making impressions with others no matter how we feel. We have our perceptions of how we are, other people do, too.
Why am I competent? How am I strong? What makes me capable?
By recognizing and respecting my real limits, I am being competent and self-respectful. It means that I have to learn to say “no” when my inclination is to say “yes” to everything.
When I respect my competence, others will be more likely to respect it, too. They know that I don’t use excuses, that I do my best. When I impose limits that fall short of what I can do, I feel it and often feel guilty or ashamed. That sucks.
As I am going through this interlude in my life with chemo, I am finding a TaDone list to be very helpful. I count things that I don’t count when I have lots of energy, like washing dishes and laundry, cooking meals and then eating them, getting up and getting dressed. I took them for granted before, and will again, but for now, on to the TaDone list they go. I am often surprised at the end of the day when I am reviewing my accomplishments how many little things I did that I never would have counted before.
Hitting a lick at a snake is a saying I like. It means doing a little something on a project. I find that something, like vacuuming, say, is a bunch of little things all strung together. I get the vac out, and take it to the place where I want to clean. Sometimes that’s enough for now. Then I rub it on the floor for a while, and then clean out the dust cup and filter. Sometimes that one swipe is what is finished, sometimes, I can do more. The point is to acknowledge to me that I did it.
Sometimes, what I need to do is sleep for a few hours. That one has been a big adjustment for me. I love a good nap, but am used to napping for ten to fifteen minutes and waking up refreshed. This big sleep puts a dent in the day, especially when I am working.
The first few days after chemo are also another story. They require acknowledging a whole different set of activities as accomplishments. Staying warm, protecting my hands from cold, you should see me with the fridge and my gloves! Keeping my muscles moving when they want to cramp up, drinking a lot of mineral water, and so on. These things seem annoying to me at the time, but I am getting better at regarding them as competent self-care.
How have I changed from discounting what I do to acknowledging my competency?
(c) Pam Guthrie 2014 all rights reserved 08312014