Wednesday, April 25, 2012

8 Questions to Ask Yourself When You Feel like Pulling an Ostrich

There are days when it’s so tempting to hide—to cut myself off from the world and hibernate.
Life keeps coming at me full force with decisions to be made, my girls to guide, and relationships to cultivate. Not to mention a laundry list of other daily tasks (like say, laundry). I’m occasionally sideswiped by an overwhelming desire to shove my head in the sand. Negative circumstances aren’t always to blame for this reaction. It can slam me at any time from any direction. But I’ve found through years of reflection and life experience (like that?) there’s usually something instigating my sudden desire to mimic an ostrich.

Here are 8 questions I ask myself when I’m feeling all too ready to go the way of the ostrich:

Is there someone I need to forgive (or ask forgiveness of)?
Is there something I need to let go of?
Am I getting enough rest? Do I need to take a break or slow down in any one area of my life?
Am I getting enough exercise and am I eating healthy?
Am I being too hard on myself or another?
Is fear holding me back?
Am I avoiding a difficult, but necessary confrontation?
Have I invested enough time in things/people that encourage me and build me up (including time in prayer)?
Do you have a specific set of questions you ask yourself when you’re feeling tempted to tunnel underground?

*photo by stockXCHNG
**After doing a little reading up on ostriches I discovered that, in fact, they do not bury their heads in the sand. If they’re unable to make a run for it, they flop to the ground and remain still. What remains showing blends in with the soil. Hmm, which of course gives me pause. Perhaps I do want to pull an ostrich when I encounter times like those I’ve mentioned above.


  1. I usually ask, "What time of the month is it?" Because that is a factor! LOL

    Great points, Wendy. As if I expected anything less. ;)

  2. I ask myself those along with a few of these:

    What would happen if I do such and such, what would happen if I didn't do it?

    Have I spent too much time thinking about or being around negative things?

    Have I neglected time with God?

    1. Oooh, usually the clincher for me when I get in one of those negative moods. I've neglected time with God! Although time of the month can be a factor, as Jessica said! At least chocolate generally assuages the hormones...hee.

  3. "Is fear holding me back?
    Am I avoiding a difficult, but necessary confrontation?"

    I can really relate to these two. Also I ask, "What are my motivations?" If my priorities and motivations aren't right, that leads to difficulty, and ultimately lead me to wanting to "go the way of the ostrich."

  4. It's so easy to forget the importance of exercise and healthy eating. When I get busier than normal, I find this an area where I make a few sneaky trades. Less of the good stuff for more of the less-than-good. I made a list this week to remedy some of the bad habits. Thanks for the encouragement. Great tips. :)

  5. Ah, the confrontation one. Definitely the confrontation one. I hate confrontation. When I have something I need to say, but don't want to, I just feel like burying away. Also, when I've been hurt, my first instinct is to duck and cover. To withdraw. I have to fight this one a lot.

  6. When I feel like putting my head in the sand, I usually do the opposite and take some sort of action. It motivates me, and by taking action I usually work out whatever the conflict might have been.

  7. Oh bummer....I wrote a comment but then I hit the wrong button and it got erased.

    I'll be briefer this time! Love this post. Love having a list. I'm bookmarking this for the next time the Ostrich urge strikes.

  8. My questions usually are some form of

    "Is this what God wants me to do?"


    "What Would Jesus Do?"

    While I like to base my actions on these questions, it's too easy to forget to ask.

  9. Great list, Wendy. I KNOW exactly how you're feeling. Blech. I'd love to hibernate and come out once or twice a week. I could live in my own head just fine. *grin*
    Questions I ask are similar to yours. Do I need more sleep? How can I avoid making any commitments next

  10. Great list of questions! Sometimes I want to bury my head in the sand when I have unrealistic expectations - either too high or too negative. Letting things unfold naturally and doing the best I can do right then helps me avoid the ostrich trap. :)

  11. This is so good! I don't have a list of questions, but I did recently read a book in which the author talks about how important it is to think about what I'm thinking about...and how what I'm thinking about affects my emotions...

    So, since I don't currently have a list of questions, I think I might need to steal, er, borrow yours. :)

  12. This was so right for me today. Thanks.

    Life has been really overwhelming lately. I have my four kids to take care of (The laundry! Oh the laundry). They're all getting busier as they get older. And in the past few weeks devastating things have happened to close friends. Right now, I feel like the answer to all the stress and sadness is service. I always feel better about my own life when I'm able to help someone else.

  13. All great questions to ask.

    I usually bury my head before a confrontation...I put it off as long as possible, or until I can't stand it anymore.

  14. "Pulling an ostrich" - I LOVE that! Hahahaha!

  15. Your post was just what I needed today, Wendy. The closer my release date gets, the busier I get and the more my anxieties intensify. Sometimes I want to run and hide. I ask myself questions such as those on your list, and the answers can help me shake the inertia and get moving again.

  16. Oh how funny that you wrote this on the day I posted about hiding from your kids. The "rest" question is a big one for me lately. Yesterday afternoon I literally couldn't hold my head up. My brain kept begging for a chance to dive into my manuscript, but my body collapsed on the couch. Sometimes our bodies know best, don't they?

  17. Love the Ostrich analogy! When I'm feeling that way, I usually have to ask myself if I'm in the middle of a pity-party. When I'm tired and overwhelmed I begin to tell myself that no one has it as hard as I do (ha, right!) and that I am not getting the help or support I need/deserve. I walk around crabby and frustrated when I have to do things for others or follow through on committments I made when I had more energy. The biggest question I ask myself at that point is: have I over committed myself? The answer is always yes.

  18. Rest is the big one for me. Which, of course, I don't get nearly enough of with two babies. I tend to zone out, wig out, burn out much easier when I am overloaded and poorly rested. I force myself to lay down when the kids are napping. It seems like a waste of perfectly useable time, but I have found it is the key to my sanity. :) great post!

  19. Jessica & Julie, Yeah see, that never influences me at all. Not in the slightest. Not even a wee little bit. :D :D :D Laughing yet?

    TC, The negative things one is important for me to ask. It impacts me greatly, maybe more than I should let it.

    Heather, Chocolate does one thing and one thing only for me--leaves me wanting more! ;)

    Julie, Love that motivation question. Seems like we're giving ourselves the same treatment we're used to giving our characters.

    Dorothy, It always blows my mind how much a good run throws everything back into perspective.

    Lindsay, Where did I hear that when people are hurt they either tend to lash out against others or themselves. I like to turn it inward. Yeah, fun...good times. It's still just as perilous and nasty. So much to clean up afterward.

    Joanne, I do that a lot for the sake of this business and where I hope to get--to honor my vision. Lots of pushing past stuff.

    Katie, The ostrich deal hits me at least once a week. Hope it helps you in the future.

    simplicity, Questions like that often throw me. They're good and solid and necessary, but my brain has a field day playing both sides of that Tug-O-War. There is a great verse I refer back to for this...the one that talks about whether it's holy, truthful, just, etc.

  20. Jessica, This is truly when the introvert in me shines brightest.

    Stacy, Gold, your point it golden. So many times when expectations have baffled me or stymied (just felt like writing that) me I need some time to process.

    Melissa, I think that's in Romans 12...something about taking every thought captive. It's an oldie but goodie. ;)

    Natalie, Such a beautiful point about serving others! And I'm thinking of you as you're heart goes out to your friends. I'm glad this I 8 Wed. spoke to you.

    Loree, I think this is a human gig. I'm hoping to get straight to it sooner so time isn't wasted. But I get ya here.

    Donna, I had fun coming up with the title. I scratch my head still about how it could possibly come across, but I appreciate everyone got exactly my intention.

    Sarah, I retweeted some powerful verses yesterday about how God restores us when we're tired. They shouted at me--HOPE, there's hope.

    Gabrielle, Happy Birthday. Pity party for one. Yes, I've been invited to that party more than I'd like to admit. Good thoughts.

    Amy, I've been a little baby crazy lately seeing as I'm all out of those. ;) I'm a napper! And usually miraculously I have an internal clock that can make it happen in 20 min.

    My computer is on the wonk again folks. Thanks for making it a conversation here. Saw some gorgeous rainbows tonight. Think how rarely that happens in life.

    Pretty. Cool.
    ~ Wendy

  21. Hi Wendy -

    When I have those yucky feelings, I try to identify what triggered them. Is something reminding me of a difficult time in my life? Is it a fear? I recently had to confront someone, and it almost wiped me out.

    Thanks for making me think!

    Susan :)

  22. Like Susan, I try to identify negative feelings. I think the idea of a list of questions is a very good one. Thanks so much for the inspiration. I needed it. :)


  23. Ugh! I am so bad at pulling an ostrich when I'm overwhelmed, too! Usually it's because I have so much to do that I can't decide what to tackle first and what to ignore, so I just don't want to do any of it. Doesn't help matters much! I love your tips and will have to use them next time.


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