Dr. Ducharme’s Blog May 29, 2019 Priorities

May 29, 2019

I know that many people feel there is so much happening in the world and they have little control over the results. It is easy to feel overwhelmed. On top of this, everyone seems to be so busy. Work, kids, sports teams, housekeeping, grocery shopping, cooking, laundry, fill our days leaving us exhausted. I didn’t even mention the constant barrage of emails and text’s that we feel compelled to answer right away.

I don’t want to end up saying ” if only I had made time for…”  I have never heard of someone dying and saying they wished they had spent more time at work. So,  this year I made a decision to feel more in control of my own life and get my priorities straight. I had already put an end to answering every email I received after office hours. But, I had found myself going weeks or even months without seeing my dearest friends and even family. Of course we talked on the phone or through text or even facebook. But that is very different than sitting down together and just talking or going to a museum together.

I have begun to make sure I fit in time with my friends. Even if it is for a quick cup of coffee, I am seeing them more. I am meeting them for concerts, going to museums and regularly attending my French book club twice a month.  I am less resistant to taking time off. My patients do just fine. I always have coverage and I really feel I am setting a better example when I model good self care. It feels better. I feel better.

I am also getting better at asking for help.  It is more than OK not to feel you have to do everything yourself. Instead of getting aggravated that my husband has sat down in front of the tv after dinner I ask him to help with the dishes or throw in a load of laundry. He always says “of course”!  It was never about him not wanting to help. It was about me thinking he should just get it and know what I wanted. As a therapist, I knew this. But in every day life, even therapists are just people who sometimes do dumb things in relationships.

This summer, I will be taking a “girls trip to Paris with my daughters and granddaughter. This is something I dreamed of doing for years. But things like this generally don’t happen unless we actually make them happen. So, I made it a priority and set it up.

In spite of the news, arguing politicians, tornadoes, floods and even terrorist attacks etc. there actually are many things I can control. And when I do, life feels so much better.  I have a ways to go. But, I am making progress. I am asking all of you to think about where you might be able to make a change so that you feel more in charge of your own life. Even small things can make a difference. Feel free to share.