Life might deal us a bad hand at times, but at the end of the day, we have the power to choose the cards that empower us to be both successful and single.
Doing life single can be a challenge. You’re responsible for everything – from cleaning out the cat box to managing your investment portfolio. There are times when I look at my never-ending to-do list, at the dust bunnies collecting in the corner, the laundry piling up, the car that needs to be washed, the printer cartridge that just ran out of ink and I just want to say, “I quit! — I can’t do this all on my own.”
Yes, even me, your singular rah-rah girl, can sometimes get overwhelmed at the thought of being single. The yakking in my head starts with thoughts like, “If I only had someone to help me…,” and I picture the perfect domestic partner who would cut my workload in half. What I forget in these moments is that, in reality, a husband would come with his own never-ending to-do list and the desire for me, his wife, to cut his workload in half, leaving me right where I am now: feeling overwhelmed with tasks and responsibilities.
It’s times like this when I have to HALT, an acronym for Hungry-Angry-Lonely-Tired, a concept that a friend in a 12-Step program told me about. Those are the feelings that lead directly to “poor me” mode, and that’s precisely when it’s crucial to re-shuffle my thought deck, toss out the “cards” that keep me in the problem and look at those that provide solutions.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Solution Card #1: Do the next indicated thing. See that two-inch pile of paper on your desk? Take the one on top and focus on that one single paper. Don’t even think about the next item in the pile until the first one is completed.
Solution Card # 2: Make a gratitude list. Stop thinking about what you don’t have and start being grateful for what you do have. Gratitude lists are powerful tools and can flip a bad attitude into a good attitude in a matter of minutes.
Solution Card # 3: Trim the list. Select four items on the never-ending to-do list and just do those four items that day. When those four items are complete, stop, and go do something fun (yes, fun is not only allowed, it’s needed).
Solution Card # 4: As taught by singular entrepreneur coach Ali Brown, determine what action you can take, right now, that will lead you closer to your vision of the great plan and purpose for your life. What action can you take now that will move you toward-, not away, from your highest purpose? The exact quote from the interview I did with Ali was: “Look at the best decisions you can make for yourself. What is your highest good — right now, at this moment?”
Solution Card # 5: Make a choice to enjoy the day, to be positive, to reject a bad attitude.
Solution Card # 6: Help someone else with their problem. It’s a great way to stop obsessing on your own issues, will leave you feeling purposeful, generous, and energized when you turn back to your own.
Focusing on the solution instead of the problem has an almost magical power to change our reality. Just writing this little editor’s note created a positive shift for me with the reminder that I can’t allow temporary moments when I am feeling overwhelmed to paint the picture that will be my life.
Yes, being single can be hard, but so can being partnered. It’s not our relationship status that determines our happiness; it’s our attitude and our willingness to have a “solution card” close at hand to help us get back on a positive track.
What solution cards do you have in your deck?