My name is Tienne McKenzie; I have four kids and work as a paralegal at my husband’s law firm. We provide estate planning, estate administration, and small business services. I also volunteer with my kids’ scouting troops and in my community.
My schedule has always been a mess; full of events and commitments with little to no time for myself. I was running myself ragged, feeling pulled in all directions, forgetting to do things until the last minute, missing appointments, but also wasting hours at a time on things that weren’t important, like scrolling the internet or watching TV. Afterwards, I’d feel like a complete failure, comparing myself to my friends who were able to take care of their homes and families and have successful careers, too. Yet I didn’t know how to say no or clear my schedule so I had more time. No matter what I did, at the end of the day I felt like I hadn’t accomplished what I should have.
I didn’t understand how the things that kept me busy achieved my goals. I kept fixating on what I wasn’t accomplishing rather than seeing how my priorities fit together. I would take on responsibility because I felt like I had to do something, and although it was fulfilling in some respects, it was stressing me out because I couldn’t be everywhere and do everything. If I turned down a commitment, I felt that I was letting people down. Yet with so much to do, I always felt behind and overwhelmed.
The immediate change I had was in my perspective on what was important in my life. I had never mind-mapped my life before to concretely lay out what mattered to me and determine how it fit together. The biggest realization was that I wanted to volunteer with my kids’ activities because I wanted to be involved in their achievements. It seems like such an obvious thing, but I truly hadn’t thought about it as a part of the overall goal of my life (to be a positive influence in my children’s growth.) Once I discovered that I actually WANTED to volunteer, making time for it in my schedule became a joy rather than a burden. In addition, mind-mapping all my activities increased my motivation for things that I previously dreaded. I would look at my weekend and think, UGH, prepping meals and cleaning are so boring, why don’t I ever have time to read and watch TV? Mind-mapping showed me that the weekend prep enabled me to accomplish more on my weekdays, so I could read or relax in a way that felt satisfying and not a “guilty pleasure” rife with regret and negative emotions.
I am so glad I took this course. The change in my attitude and outlook is a gift that Stephanie and Cosimo gave not just to me, but my family as well. Thank you for this life-changing work!