Trying to Learn How to Live in Moderation… Can We All Say Together: “Lifelong Learner?”

by | Nov 29, 2021 | Stress Management

Happy Monday, my fellow women and womxn – I hope you had a good holiday weekend and feel back on track post-celebrations and gatherings, if you had them.

I was listening to some stories on public radio about others’ festivities this morning and don’t mind sharing mine with you. I was on my feet all day and in the final moments of dinner making, a smoking oven was involved. Later it hit me: was that really worth it, for two people’s holiday experience?

Confession time: I can struggle with moderation. I didn’t realize this was the “problem,” in the middle of cooking for an army, and reading my astrology chart for the 100th time today made something click. Perhaps you’ll find some of this helpful, so let’s unpack this a bit more together in case it does.

Isn’t Moderation in Life Boring?

I told myself this over the years and it’s still a struggle for me to “do less.” I used to think that it’d be boring AF (sometimes still do) and that moderation kills creativity, dampens my spirit, and stifles joy in doing all things.

What baloney.

Lightbulb Moment: Doing things with moderation in mind – personally, professionally, etc. – can create space for regaining equilibrium and tapping into our very essence. It doesn’t mean you don’t jump when you need to jump or progress forward as desired. In practicing this more often you simply have the reserves stocked up for the future jump.

There’s wisdom in moderation and to help frame this more, let’s get nerdy and define it from an intellectual perspective. Simplified, moderation is where we don’t move towards one extreme or another. In a way, it’s not putting in the minimum effort or the absolute maximum effort. So, why do we find it hard to not go to the extremes? Why do we overdo an activity or task when “just enough” might honestly be good enough?

This isn’t just around the house or at holidays; it can be this way in our jobs or with the work we do, too. Do you give 130% at your job because you feel it’s what you should do? How about putting in a 60-80 hour week for something you don’t deeply enjoy? In other areas, do you give again and again without validation or acknowledgment? Now, I understand the answers here may be more complex than a “yes” or a “no;” but the point is: where do you (and I) overdo it and why?

Overdoing Things Can Distract Us from What’s Really Important

As I look back on the last few days in reflection, naturally, I noticed less-than-ideal thoughts and behaviors:

  • It’s a holiday dammit and there are things one must do.
  • Nostalgia kicked in and, as admitted above, there was enough food for an entire group. Can’t blame my “Swingin’ Thanksgiving” station on Pandora for overdoing it.
  • Perfectionism and anger reared their ugly heads. To my dismay, the owl cutout on the top of my veggie pot pie looked more like a cat, and that was before the smoking oven took over and ruined the pie anyway.
  • As I wasn’t hosting or traveling this time, I didn’t even pause to wonder, “Why does this feel so stressful?”

From a professional non-moderation type, I fully support you stopping for a moment and asking yourself:

  • Where, and how, am I really spending my time?
  • Is this really worth it?
  • Is it aligned with who I am, deep down?
  • Am I doing this for my wants and needs, others, or just to fill the time up and distract myself?
  • Does this lead to my expansion or my highest well-being?

And before you ask, all of these are lessons that I keep learning, too. Recent holiday events aside, as someone with a bunch of mental energy and a brain full of constant ideas and hopes, learning moderation will be a useful practice. Maybe you can resonate with this, too?

Yes, Moderation Can Lead You to Its Antonym: Expansion

Going back to the dictionary, moderation’s antonym, expansion, involves unfolding and opening. As this is critical to what we do in our lives, let’s marinate on this for a bit.

If we moderate and be our best facilitator, our best advocate, and lessen our extremes or burnout…we can expand further. Truly. And if we burn up all our energy reserves because of egoic stuff, fear of missing out/FOMO, or other pressures, what do we have left?

I already wrote about reining myself in so I can increase my focus; here’s that post if you’d like to read more. Yet, when my mind was all cluttered up a few nights ago and I couldn’t sleep for the life of me, I realized I need to take a step further and declutter more. We’re talking about organizing my physical environment (hard to do with unpacking still, but it’s important), redirecting my energy and ideas with discipline, and decluttering long-felt fears. Intimidating? A wee bit. Necessary to be the best businesswoman and human I can be? Definitely. It’s in these deeper values, and with inspiration and commitment to change, our work and outcomes will grow.

Alright, that’s the memo for this week and I hope you found some of it helpful! How do you feel about this moderation idea? Are you a “go big or go home” type or are you intrigued by this? Does it feel like you need to give yourself permission to dial back a wee bit, or would this be pretty easy for you to do? As always, feel free to leave a comment below or you can contact me 1:1 if you have questions about this or any other topic on the Blog. Have a great week ahead, Friends!

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