Setting the Scene A:  Your only remaining parent has just passed away. You’d like to grieve in whatever manner seems fitting for you. Truth be told, grief is not in the forefront of your mind. Instead, you’re consumed by anger, hurt, and disbelief—your sibling has attempted to steal your part of the inheritance.

photo for Betrayed

Setting the Scene B:  Your only remaining parent is in ill health. You’d like to continue to be present as a loving caregiver.  This is a role you’ve held as the youngest child for some time. Sadly, it is difficult to be present when you’re consumed by outrage, betrayal, and numbness—your sibling has convinced your parent that the totality of the inheritance must be handed down to the eldest child.

Cast of Characters:  These two scenes are not fiction. The sequence of events recently happened to two of my friends within a one-week period. This betrayal occurring with two good friends at the same time seems uncanny.  The fact that two betrayals happened at the same time suggests that this is not randomness, bad luck, or karma. You’ve likely experienced this scenario in your own family.

Put Your Responsibilities on Hold

How can I put my responsibilities on hold?

One of my favorite childhood memories is when I asked my mom if I could stay home from school when I wasn’t sick—and she said, “Yes”!

These days, there’s something very enticing about letting go of the to-do list for a day. For me, I like not answering the phone, letting go of emails, and basically taking a technology day off. Your idea of putting responsibilities on hold may include watching football all day, spending a day playing golf, or going to the spa.

Let’s face it, there’s a reason the Sabbath was invented. Regardless of how you choose to replenish yourself, do take the time. The chores will still be there when you’re ready. Before you know it, you’ll be asking:

How can I face my responsibilities today?

state marching band championshipsI took this photo after spending all day and all night at the Colorado state high school marching band festival. Talk about putting responsibilities on hold!


  1. List 5 things you can do to replenish yourself.
  2. If it has been longer than 7 days since you’ve put your responsibilities on hold, schedule a day to do so and let us know how it goes!

Stress Management Tips for Joyful Efficiency

Busy is one thing—living in triage-mode is another. Since launching CalmUp®, my to-do list has spawned a new batch of subheadings. My personal organization system started to look like the backside of a cross-stitch. By good fortune, I learned about the technology of creating more than one reminder list.

Does having five reminder lists (the grocery list makes six) seem unreasonable? One person I know has separate reminder lists for each of his college courses, his employment, his hobbies, etc. He even has a written reminder to brush his teeth!

How can I become more efficient?

Reminder lists allow me to determine what I want to work on instead of feeling anxious or stressed out.

On the CalmUp® Journey (see, I pictured living my life like a war zone or an emergency room whereby I was triaging the most crucial tasks of the day. Talk about a dark image! If my self-care suffered, then oh well. And if the dishes were all over the counter, who cares?