About Susan Sanders

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Susan Sanders has created 225 blog entries.

It’s My Birthday!!!

I am posting this a day early because today is my birthday!! I am 48 years old!!

Genay and I talked all things celebratory this week on the podcast, and I hope you will take a listen.

Lordy Lordy, Susan’s Forty (eight).

But I also want to build on that discussion with you here.

Stop relying on other people to celebrate you. See if any of these scenarios resonate with you:

  1. You are mad no one got you the gift you wanted. The gift you hinted at for weeks!
  2. You feel alone because you get balloons for your kids every year on their birthday, but those assholes don’t even wish you happy birthday as you drive them around to activities all day.
  3. Your friend offered to buy lunch for you and did not insist after you turned her down.

Stop being a martyr and celebrate your damn self.

If that feels like a bridge too far, consider this – let others celebrate you. Using our above examples, let’s explore what this could look like.

  1. Buy the gift for yourself or send the link to your Special Someone and ask them to buy this for you.
  2. Tell your kids it is your birthday on the day it is your birthday. I use something like this, “Today is my birthday, I am accepting all well wishes. Wanna tell me happy birthday now or in 10 minutes?” In 10 minutes return to them expectantly.
  3. Let her buy you lunch!!!

Does this all seem desperate and needy? Let me offer a flip of a script for you – if you want to be celebrated, let people celebrate. Don’t make them read your mind. Especially your kids – can you imagine if they REALLY knew what you thought?

I can understand if you still want them to do all of this without the prompting. How is that working for you? This does not seem like the reality that you are living. You cannot get blood from a turnip. This does not mean they don’t love you. This does not mean you are unworthy of celebrating. This means they are not you. You can help them with expectations.

Or you can let go of those expectations. I do a little of both.

Celebrate your damn self. 

For my birthday, I bought myself a new sewing machine, took myself on a birthday bike ride (you can see more about that on Facebook or Instagram), and asked for a specific meal to be made for me. I pretended the meal the kids came over for was for me, not for Bixby’s Father’s Day celebration. I appreciate those who do reach out to celebrate with me, not focus on those that don’t. I acknowledge I’m sad about those missing from the celebration, but that is not a reflection on me. This is a Sustainably Productive birthday strategy that works for me.

What would make it oh so extra special is if you would share this episode of the podcast or this newsletter with a friend who you think might be interested.

Until next time, friends… Find the connection that helps create a life that you don’t need to escape.

By |2022-06-20T10:20:32-04:00June 20th, 2022|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Podcast: Planning that does not suck your soul

A couple weeks ago I was planning for the June – July – August quarter. As usual I identified one thing in each dimension of Sustainable Productivity to focus on. That means one thing for Health and Fitness, one thing for Mental Well-being, and  one thing for Environmental Surroundings.

I broke it down into an action that I could do daily and wrote the goal to be able to say yes or no that it was done (all the better to check that box in the habit tracker. This was fine for the Mental Well-being and Environmental Surroundings dimensions.

Then I got to the Health and Fitness dimension.

I literally had 5 hours per day. FIVE.

Sure, it sounded fun today, but after a couple weeks it would certainly suck my soul.

I had to coach myself up a bit and return to the two Sustainable Productivity questions:

  1. Is this productive – am I getting the result I want?
  2. Is this sustainable – can I continue lifelong if I want?

The clear answer to both of these questions was no – a laughable no. Not a shaming laugh, but a, “Wow, do I slide back into old, bad habits quick?!” laugh.

In the podcast this week Genay and I talk about getting realistic about planning, which is of course the root of Sustainable Productivity. You can listen here or anywhere you get your podcasts.

As I wrap up this post, I want to ask if you would share the podcast or these posts with someone you think would relate. I often get people telling me to let them know how they can help me grow as a writer, speaker, and podcaster. Share, share, share. The most common way podcasts of our size grow is word of mouth. Recommending Sustainable Sue or Conscious Contact to someone would mean the world to me. Thank you!!

By |2022-06-07T09:48:48-04:00June 14th, 2022|Sustainable Productivity|0 Comments

Podcast: Is it Time for Recovery?

Hot take alert!

We all have the opportunity to be in recovery from something.

Recovery does not only mean abstinence from substances. You could be recovering from shopping addiction, perfectionism, need to be busy, social media, sex / porn or more. In our society we tend to pigeon hole recovery as something for people who cannot handle their liquor (or heroine or whatever substance).

Another hot take coming… It is not about the substance (or shopping, or feeling of importance at being so busy, or the porn). I think it is about feeling disconnected. The opposite of addition is not sobriety, it is connection.

On the podcast we talk about how recovery applies to each of our lives – both the woo woo and the practical, including resources that you might find practical.

One of my favorite “tools” as I am deciding whether something is part of recovery of part of disconnection is to ask myself this:

Will this move me towards or away from health?

Take a quiet moment to connect with yourself or have an honest conversation with an authentic trusted friend. Float the idea that something is not working for you. Peel off the layer to ask yourself / wonder out loud why you continue to do that or what it might be helping you disconnect from.

You may be surprised at what you find.

You can find the episode here. I would love to hear your thoughts on this theory of recovery. If you had a visceral aversion to these ideas, I would be interested to know that too. You can comment below or at susan@sustainablesue.com.

If these messages or the podcast is connecting with you, please share it with someone you think may be ready to hear it as well.

By |2022-05-31T15:52:47-04:00June 6th, 2022|Mental Well-being|0 Comments

Boredom

This week Genay and I go toe to toe on whether boredom is good or bad. Debate between us is always interesting because both of us suck at the grey area. We have a tendency to see things as black and white, bimodal, with me or against me, etc.

We talked about being “bored” as kids and how that looks today. We also spend a bit of time breaking down the different components of the definition of boredom.

Boredom: state of being weary and restless through lack of interest.

Weary

Sometimes what I call boredom is actually a signal that it is time to move on. This might be weary in a relationship – trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. I have had friendly and romantic relationships where I felt more lonely with that person than by myself. I grew weary of trying to make it be different.  I did not identify this as boredom at the time, but looking at it from a distance I can see how it can be stale boredom to do the same thing over and over when all you want is something else.

Photo by Sinitta Leunen on Unsplash

Lack of interest

The book I can only read a few pages of at a time. The craft project that I rush through just to be done. Skipping the last set of nerve glide exercises because I am sick to death of them.

All examples of how boredom shows up as lack of interest.

Restless

This is where I start to turn the corner on boredom – this restlessness can actually be considered a positive if it creates space to allow creativity in. Here are a couple ways this presents in my life these days:

  • Puttering through chores.

Some days I am just bored with the daily mundane work of being an adult. One trick Bixby and I use is to set a timer for 15 – 60 minutes, put on our favorite playlist to play throughout speakers all over the house, and divide and conquer on tasks. At the end of the timer, sometimes we quit on the spot, sometimes we wrap up the task, sometimes we continue to clean, etc.

But the opposite is also true – instead of jamming through a finite time slot, puttering around can be successful. I fill out a form and take it to the mailbox. While I am out there I see flowers to deadhead and get the scissors from inside. Dropping the deadheads in the compost bin, I decide to turn the compost. Then throw the ball for Lucille.

I go inside and take a stack of books upstairs and see a load of laundry needs to be put in. Sweeping the stairs leads to folding napkins. Turning over the laundry leads to matching odd socks.

It all leaves space to naturally lead to whatever the universe brings to my attention.

  • Sitting and not meditating. Not every second needs to be accounted for. Truly. Louder for the people in the back

NOT EVERY SECOND NEEDS TO BE ACCOUNTED FOR. 

Ok, if you need to account for it, call this “restless mind syndrome” and assign it a 5-minute time block. Literally sitting down with no agenda, no book, no TV or phone, and NOT trying to clear the mind. I keep a notebook and pencil for anything that flows in. I find that it takes a few minutes to start to trickle in. Then WHOOSH – floodgates.

Genay and I talk ourselves in circles and as usual the answer to if something good or bad, we came to the conclusion: yes.

You can listen to the whole episode here or wherever you get your podcasts. But I just need to summarize that this topic has lead back to something that I have been working a lot on – Making space.

Space to learn something new.

Meet new people.

Do something new.

React differently – or not at all.

Maybe listening to our thoughts on boredom will shake something loose for you. I would love to hear about it in the comments or email me at Susan@sustainablesue.com.

By |2022-05-22T15:37:39-04:00May 31st, 2022|Sustainable Productivity|0 Comments

Conscious Contact at Work

I have spent quite a few years pretending I knew what I was doing. Approximately 40-some years.

It is exhausting.

In this week’s podcast, Genay and I talk about Conscious Contact in the workplace and for me, this is where imposter syndrome really showed itself.

And man, I sure took it out on a lot of my direct reports. I required perfection at all times and was scared shitless that someone would find out I was clueless on how to get there. I ruined a lot of relationships and drove off a lot of good people – just because they were different from me or needed something I was not able to give them.

Although I stopped managing people in 2010, it took about 7 more years for me to start to loosen the death grip on perfection. Here are a couple tent poles that I keep returning to:

  1. Wearing life like a loose garment.
  2. Learning about the Buddhist concepts of beginner mind.
  3. Having a sense of humor.
  4. Trying new things.

“In the beginners mind, there are many possibilities, but in the experts there are few.” Shunryu Surjuki

Listen to the whole episode at this link or wherever you get your podcasts.

By |2022-05-22T15:06:09-04:00May 24th, 2022|Mental Well-being|0 Comments

Meanwhile, back at the ranch

I want to catch you up on the fun stuff that has been happening while on hiatus.

Remember how I said I wanted to get my Tupperware drawer in order? I did approximately zero minutes of that.

Live footage of the jumble of plastic containers.

But what I did do was become a co-host of a podcast.

A friend of mine started the Conscious Contact podcast earlier this year. Here is the description:

Do you hate small talk? Do you often think about how to live a meaningful life, and where we get our reference for what is important in life? Join your host, Genay Peavey, and special guests as they dive into how they reconnect with the present, pursue their bigger purpose (and how they found it), and put the phones down so they can actively participate in their lives.

Sounds like Sustainable Productivity, right?! I thought so too and was delighted when she asked me to be one of her first guests. You can listen to that episode here.

Things just naturally progressed and now I am onboard as cohost!

I am excited about the podcast medium. I did not think the speaking thing was going to be my jam, but Genay makes it super easy, and we both have the same intention with our creative efforts.

If you want to learn along with us, subscribe so you don’t miss an episode. We are on most podcast platforms. You can also follow us on Instagram at @consciouscontactpodcast

By |2022-05-11T08:03:54-04:00May 11th, 2022|Sustainable Productivity|0 Comments

Hi, Remember Me?

I know, I know. My “2-week break” turned into a 6 months (ish) sabbatical.

I have written this post in my head a bazillion times but it never made it to the page computer screen.

Lots of life went down last fall leading to my hiatus. I can’t go into it all because a lot of it is not my story to tell, but honestly – it doesn’t matter what it was.

We all have our shit, ya know? It isn’t a shit show contest.

If it isn’t sustainable, stop it. And that is where I have been, trying to tighten the circle to make it sustainable. But at the same time, trying to hold on loosely.

It’s a balancing act, yo.

I can’t promise I am going to spin glorious prose and words of anything near wisdom. But I am going to start forming public sentences again as part of One Day May social media challenge. I hope to see you over there.

And of course here next week!

By |2022-05-02T20:07:15-04:00May 3rd, 2022|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Out of Office

I am taking 2 weeks away to take a step back and recharge. Circle the wagons, if you will. I am taking time off from my day job during Thanksgiving week and plan to hit all the dimensions of a Sustainably Productive life.

  • Health and Fitness: hikes in the woods with Lucille, followed by naps.
  • Mental Well-being: lots of time on hobbies, including crafting with friends.
  • Environmental Surroundings: clearing mismatched Tupperware and putting up Christmas decorations.

I wish you a relaxing start to your holiday season. I hope you take time to recharge, even if you have to say no to a few fun things to create more space in the long run.

By |2021-11-15T19:52:16-05:00November 16th, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Time to Slow Down

And every day, the world will drag you by the hand yelling,

‘This is important!

And this is important!

You need to worry about this!

And this!

And that!’

And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say,

‘No, THIS is what’s important!’

Lain Thomasa

By |2021-11-08T19:43:37-05:00November 9th, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Pockets of Joy

Finding joy in a day does not have cost a penny. I was trying to think of something to do that would be fulfilling, free, and somewhat low key.

Solution: The public library.

If you don’t have a library card, stop reading right now and go get one.

I went in thinking I might just wander around and soak in the library vibes – it’s been awhile since I have actually been IN a library. Pros and cons of Kindles I guess.

I accidentally left with 6 books all due in 14 days with no option to renew. And I am not sorry about it.

By |2021-11-01T17:02:40-04:00November 2nd, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Title

Go to Top