Collars and Cuffs

The Deck is DoneWhen I was in high school, way back when everything had to be ironed, I would only press the collar and cuffs of my blouse if I was going to wear it under a sweater. I think that may be a low Workability life energy solution to a problem. I haven’t thought about that in years and it popped into my head yesterday as I was staining the deck.

My son is getting married in a few weeks and we have friends and family coming from all over the country. We have a list of things we have wanted to get done around the house and now have a sense of urgency about them. It’s amazing how many of those things are getting done in a very short period of time because they now are at the top of the list. And, that brings me to collars and cuffs. I’ll bet you were wondering how I was going to tie that together!

We have a deck that wraps around the back and side of the house, so lots of spindles and we rarely use the deck on the side of the house. As I started the process of power washing and staining I made the executive decision that I was going to only do the parts that really looked weathered, that are visible, and that were in the main area that we use most – just like collars and cuffs. As our time winds down and the list is still long, we are making those kinds of decisions. What will make the biggest difference that we can actually accomplish?

The point of this post is several-fold. When I made the decision to do the visible parts of the deck vs the entire deck I had to manage my mind. “You know you should do the entire thing.” “It’s not good enough to only do the visible parts because someone will surely end up walking out on the lawn and see the part you didn’t do.” And on and on. Luckily I had a nice chat with my mind and got to the place of being ok with staining the visible parts of the deck and realizing that the people who were coming for the wedding really won’t care anyway. Oh, the stories we create in our minds and the drama we can set up.

The next point is that I could have spent time berating myself for not starting these projects sooner. That is not productive and only slows things down. Like in life, we make decisions and then make more decisions. It is not helpful to waste time judging ourselves for having done or not having done something. It is wasted energy. It’s amazing how productive I am when I have a clear plan and then take action. For those of you with high Workability energy you are probably doing a head slap, thinking, “of course” because you always have a plan and then take action. For those of us with low Workability energy it’s something we have to consciously think about.

The last point is that there are no rules about the right way or the wrong way to approach a project. Do what works for you and set aside the “shoulds.”  Telling yourself that you should do something is always a judgment and often leads to resistance. What if you let yourself  make a choice? For instance, shift your thought pattern from – “I should stain the entire deck.” to “I could stain the entire deck and I’m choosing not to.” When you change should to could you give yourself the opportunity to make a choice freely without judgment.

Oh, by the way, the deck looks great!

2 Responses to Collars and Cuffs

  1. Teri June 28, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    Thank you for this, Cindy. You were right, this was a good one for me to read. I think I could actually read this over and over so that it finally sinks in!

  2. Janet Herzog June 28, 2013 at 9:53 pm #


    Exciting News! Which son is getting married?

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