Breast cancer survivor and clutter clearing author learns to walk her talk

Clutter clearing cancer coping author and motivational speaker We can learn to live our priorities fully (and not just surviving or getting by on a day to day basis) by clearing out the distractions and focusing on what is important to each of us, our families, and our lives. Cancer Survivorship Coping Tools: We'll get you through this by Barbara Tako, two-time cancer survivor and published author and motivational speaker on the topic of clutter clearing. For updates on this new book, click here.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Does a vacation help you to declutter?

I am back in cold snow-covered Minnesota after a warm weather vacation and I am pondering the question: Does a vacation help you to declutter? Does it clear the mental clutter or add to it? What do you think? Right now, for someone who is supposed to be, well, organized, I am feeling pretty overwhelmed. I have a backlog of e-mails, mail, laundry, and paperwork, for starters. I need to unclutter. My fortune cookie at lunch today said: "You have a yearning for perfection." Oh, yeah. Humm. Maybe I should heed my own suggestions.

Vacations, for me, don't always make work go away (I could get e-mails but not send out responses, and I worked on my laptop on the airplane). Vacations don't always reduce stress as much as I would like (My head kept on working during several days in the sun). What vacations often offer me is a change of view or a fresh perspective. Sometimes that helps me approach old problems from new angles. If you are up for a local splurge, a facial, pedicure, or massage might provide the same help. Sometimes I need to lean back into a vacation and just trust and enjoy the process.

It is hard to trust in the process. The benefits probably don't show up all at once. In an era of instant gratification and instant access to everything, I am often too impatient. I simply can't have perfection in everything. Perfectionism is a path to unhappiness for myself and for those around me.

What can I do? I can whittle away at the vacation and enjoy the moments as they happen.  Upon coming back, I can work in baby steps. Everything won't get done instantly, but I can trust in the process. Sometimes that yields better results than stomping my feet or crying.

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