I’m going to start the week on an honest and confessional note. One of my biggest personal weaknesses is avoidance. When I don’t want to deal with something, I ignore it…for days, weeks, months or even years. It’s not something that I’m proud of but it is something that I am ready to change. This is an issue that I have wanted to confront for months and I figure that it’s probably not something that I alone struggle with and I might find a lot of support by sharing it on my blog. So, I’m owning it. I avoid.
I generally consider myself to be a pretty ambitious, go-getter and communicative type of person but when something feels outside of my area of expertise, too technical or involved or just plain boring I ignore, ignore, ignore. And I’m not picky about the things that I avoid. Financial, personal, home, work…there are things I avoid on all fronts.
The thing about avoidance is that you can only ignore so much. There is always that little voice in the back of your head that reminds you that you eventually have to deal with whatever it is you are avoiding. It seems completely stupid that I allow things that I am perfectly capable of dealing with to make me feel so stressed and out of control. I find that when I do stop ignoring things and deal with them that I am always shocked by the sense of accomplishment and freedom it provides. And I must admit that it’s usually not as bad as what I was anticipating.
I know that change won’t happen overnight but beginning to take steps and address the issue feels like a good first step. My strategy is to write out the things that I have been avoiding and determine what steps I need to take to take care of it and assign myself a completion deadline or at least milestones.
Here are some things that I have been avoiding that I feel comfortable sharing publicly:
- Retirement planning. I have several miscellaneous 401K accounts from past jobs that need to be rolled into an IRA that I actively contribute to. My plan is to meet with a financial planner in the next 30 days to sort this all out.
- Financial/budget planning. I would like to become more in control of my budget and cash flow in and out. I want to create a set budget in which I put money aside for things like house projects and vacations as well as general savings and spending money. I also want to better understand my taxes and how I should structure my finances to maximize everything. I am hoping my financial planner can also help with this.
- House upkeep. I have some issues going on with my roof and in my bathroom that stress me out every time I think of them. With the impending arrival of fall leaves and my complete terror that my gutters will all but fall off of my house if I don’t do something about it all, I am finally in action mode. I met with my roofer and we have a plan of action to take care of everything. It is not going to be fun but it will be worth it.
- Teaching yoga. I quit teaching yoga back in June because I had so much going on with work and opening the new location. I also just needed to take a step back from teaching and focus more of my energy on taking care of me. Well, I miss it terribly and although I still do some privates at Metro and have been subbing at various studios around town, I am ready to have my own classes again. I hope to have a plan around that this week!
- Car upkeep. My tags are due for renewal and I need to have my car inspected. Why is this the least fun task ever? I always avoid doing it. I will have my inspection done and my registration renewed by the end of the month.
This is far from an exhaustive list but it feels good to get some of it out there. I will keep you updated on my progress as I work through giving up avoidance as a coping mechanism and become more engaged and in control of my life.
Do you avoid? What strategies have you found work for dealing with it? And dare anyone else be willing to share something they’re avoiding and what you’re going to do about it?
And this has nothing to do with avoidance but I’ll lighten the mood a bit with this…
Guess who went to the Greek Festival this weekend!? It’s pretty much the culinary highlight of my year.
Greek salad, baked fish with tomatoes and feta, dolmade, pastitio, spanakopita.
And baklava. Quite possibly one of my favorite sweet treats in the world. Buttery, gooey, perfection.