I read Balance or Bust by Marjorie Ingall in this month’s issue of Real Simple magazine. In hopes of achieving a balanced life the author reads 2,330 pages of self-help books and documents her journey to “enlightenment”. The process is fraught with eye rolling and the occasional harrumph but in spite of her self there is some self-discovery.
On Day 15 the author is introduced to discretionary burdens, a term coined by motivational speaker and author Pat Katz. In brief a discretionary burden is something that sucks energy and increases stress levels but here’s the catch: it’s self-imposed.
Examples of discretionary burdens include: staying up late to bake birthday cupcakes for your child’s class or hand-sewing Halloween costumes or volunteering for a cause that isn’t near and dear to your heart.
It’s one thing if you feel re-charged by baking, it’s another thing when you’re snapping at the family, (“I am so busy! I HAVE to bake these cupcakes and I just can’t get the exact shade of blue for Grover’s fur. WHO ate the candy eyes that I just spent an hour crafting?!? WHO!?”) instead of handing out store-bought candies, or passing entirely on the in-class celebration.
When it comes to martyrdom- and that’s really what discretionary burdens are – I am Queen.
But like I said in my post from yesterday (Cell Phone Detox: A Cure For My Bad Habit?), there are things that I want less of in my life and discretionary burdens top the list. To avoid the trappings that all good martyrs fall victim to, I am keeping this phrase on the tip of my tongue:
“I will have to think about it and get back you.”
Tell me: What’s your best anti-martyr one-liner?