Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Maryl writes: Have a Ball!

I’m just back from a trip to a few eastern European capitals – Berlin, Prague and Vienna.  Each has its own unique history and are all thriving beautifully.  I like a winter vacation.  It helps get you through the big letdown after the holidays and braces you for the cold months ahead.  It struck me that that might be some of the reasoning behind the Ball Season (January to March) in Vienna.   Viennese balls date back to the 1700’s and were a way of celebrating the Carnival season.  Starting with the Kaiserball on New Year’s Eve and running into March before Lent, a number of balls are scheduled every weekend. 

So I allowed myself to get into the festive and celebratory mood of the city and forget about all the to-do’s on my list back home that weren’t being crossed off.  I’ve found working for oneself has brought a whole new meaning to the feelings of anxiety and stress.  There’s more because the milestones and deadlines are our own.  I tend to always keep checking myself and never seem satisfied that I’m doing enough. 

But I’m learning to be more realistic and less demanding with my expectations.  I pick two – maybe three – tasks that will push me towards my goal each day but I also pick two or three rewards that I can enjoy inbetween.  They could be a crossword puzzle or potting a new plant or lumping all my rewards for the day together to go catch a movie.  And of course every couple of months or so, I’m allowed a bigger reward….like a trip to Vienna.  This is new so I’ll let you know how this works for me but I can tell you that I’m not going to be eliminating the rewards during Lent.  Life’s already too challenging.  We need more Balls.

What do you think?  You may want to know more about…..
   1)      History of the Viennese Balls.  Look here.
   2)      There’s still time to attend a ball this year.  Check out the 
   3)      Find some other ways to reward yourself.

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