5 Ways To Avoid Joining The Circus

Earlier this summer, I heard about a sport called Orienteering.

Googling came next.

Allow me  to summarize Wikipedia’s explanation:

You start somewhere random with only a compass and a funny looking map to guide you to where you’re supposed to go. Clarity is not necessarily present, in fact finding clarity seems to be the goal. Then you start running like a mad woman hoping to find checkpoints while having to overcome obstacles, sprint around in unfamiliar terrain, avoid head on collisions with other people, and have no idea what craziness is going to come your way. Finally, in the midst of getting lost, somehow you finish.
~DL’s interpretation 

Sounds exactly like every day life to me.


Nothing quite like the near face plant!

Photo Credit

This week my biggest obstacles and near head on collisions were feeling.

Being a human is hilarious.

This past week, the ‘Donloree Emotional Pendulum’ swung like crazy….

  • Anticipation to frustration
  • Excitement to disappointment
  • ‘Anything is possible’ to ‘backed into a corner with nowhere to go’
  • Fulfilment to bereft
  • ‘Take over the world’ to ‘hide under the desk’

…just to name a few.

Sometime the best thing you can do is just sit there and bob around.

Photo Credit

Orienteering life in the midst of the this chaos can be challenging, especially if your compass is your emotional state.

Feelings are important, but they shouldn’t lead the expedition called life. Feel free to bring them along, but don’t let them run the show.

  • You are in charge.

If I had let my feelings run the show this week, I would have ran away and joined the circus.

How avoid having to learn the Flying Trapeze:

  1. Create daily goals.
    I’m not talking about the HUGE life goals, but the teeny tiny ones that no one likes to pay attention to because they are boring. Yes, this includes things like responding to the email you’ve been avoiding and chores around the house. Every morning when I am 1/3 the way through my first cup of coffee I can be found with my hair standing on end and looking like death warmed over while writing down what will be done that day.
    I call this my look of greatness in the making.
  2. Kick them in the teeth.
    Once you have your list of things you are going to do, do it. One thing at a time gets you really far. Be assertive with yourself and don’t let yourself get slippery. Tomorrow you’ll want to have done it.
    Get to work.
  3. Leverage your energy.
    Most days I take a 20 minute nap in the early afternoon. In order to have momentum, I have to rest. I live a full, crazy life and if I want to live past the age of 35 I have to recharge on a daily basis. There are moments of being ‘in the zone’ when I don’t stop working even to eat, and if you know me that is saying a lot.
    Naps are for grown ups too!
  4. Create boundaries for freedom.
    The more relaxed you are about your goals, working hours, disciplines, and how you spend your time, the less likely you are to get the things done you want. Structures can help you flourish by creating positive stress to help you finish. Set times for work, play, rest, family, and friends. When you are in those moments, you can be fully in the moment because everything in your life is moving forward.
    Restrictions can lead to freedom…odd, I know.
  5. Be human.
    As much as I want to be as efficient as a machine, I want to be a real woman more. In the midst of everything I have to laugh, cry, feel, and adapt. We need to feel and experience the highs and the lows, it creates more reach and compassion than you can imagine. Life happens and you need to shift with it. Know what things are negotiable in your life and what things aren’t. Don’t cheat yourself; complete the non-negotiables and then give yourself flex on the rest as you need it.
    Shift happens.

I am happy to report that I did not have to enrol in a beginner’s course for the flying trapeze this week. And, in all honesty, I don’t think a woman who is afraid of most animals is a good fit for the circus anyways.

  • Phew.

That was a close one!

How do you keep from joining the circus?

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  1. Thanks for this! It was just what I needed to read 🙂

  2. Hmm… reading this immediately after watching Water for Elephants! Definitely weird timing! Good message though, Donloree.

  3. Sometimes moving a tiny step at a time is what you need to do – the point is you are always moving forward. Sometimes I have to break my day down into “Get up, Get Dressed, Smile”, etc. It just happens sometimes.
    I love the mantra, “You can’t control the waves but you can learn to surf” – one of my absolute favourites and helps me realise we can control how we react to things, if nothing else. Great post!

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