Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: saying no

Recently

Finishing up work emails and projects before our vacation tomorrow.

Rolling with the lack of routine. And up and down energy. And weird heat + humidity.

Going to the beach path on Saturdays for a run while H takes Carter on a walk via longboard, then heading to a new coffee shop called Amelia’s.

Creating more Project Life spreads – so fun to spend weekend time printing photos & playing with paper.

Buying sorely needed gym clothes, running sneakers and hiking boots. Much of the clothing and the running shoes (above) are hot pink. Not my usual color but seems to be the cheaper option most times.

Becoming more in-tuned to my over-done strength of being good in a crisis. And saying no.

Watching Orange Is The New Black Season 2

Reading All The Light We Cannot See (finished), The Giver (for fun) and books about Alaska & the Iditarod.

Quitting devaluing my own projects / creativity for things that aren’t the work I’m meant to do in this world (that’s the goal, anyways – probably will be more of a transition than cold turkey).

Learning so much about inspiration & design from the Here & There class at Big Picture Classes.

Smelling the surprise of rain in LA this weekend.

Celebrating OH MY GOSH OUR ALASKA TRIP STARTS TOMORROW.

Loving having H home for summer break with time to talk and be together. And life coaching sessions with Heidi.

Working on our money goals with a financial planner. And co-working with Billye.

Eating healthier and a little less at times, trying to fuel my body with good things.

Drinking less alcohol (win) and enjoying coffee more and more lately. Like, a lot more.

Wearing my hair a bit too short. And new clothes / boots (see above).

Listening to H play video games, to the drizzle of rain outside, to Carter clickety-clacking around on the vinyl floors (he needs his nails cut).

Feeling TOO EXCITED TO SLEEP

Obsessed with AnnMarie’s blog (and baby watch) and Alaska, Alaska, Alaska, Alaska, Alaska, Alaska

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Not Responsible For Other People’s Success

We know that I care a lot about self-care. That self-care seems to be the best way for me to make myself happy, to have enough energy to deal, to feel my feelings and to be present in my days. I think a lot about how, when my reserves are low, I feel like a screaming 4 year old. And if my reserves are high, I feel like Superwoman.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been dealing with anxiety. It’s coming from feeling really out of control with my salaried job and from not having enough down time, even with vacation.

I’ve spent the past 6+ months feeling like “life is steam-rolling me and going with the flow is gonna get me sucked out to sea.” And I wrote about wanting to make a change. To create boundaries and understand what my priorities are, instead of just going with the next thing…and the next thing… and the next thing.

It seems that, to dig out from the back log, to create space, to feel in control, I needed a new tool.

So, I’ve started saying No.

It began with the hand-to-heart practice that Heidi taught me. That little action began to give me pause.

Then, I decided to clear my meetings for the next few weeks. Meetings take up tons of energy for this introvert, they suck up time and create even more work. I needed a buffer. I needed to go through the back-log from months of chaos. I needed to feel relieved and focused when I woke up, not dread.

Then, I listened to Tiffany Han on Elise’s podcast (episode 17) where she speaks about taking a social media break, being bored, and saying no.

“You are not responsible for the success of anyone else’s business endeavor…people need to be strict preserves of their sanity, because no one else is going to look out for you. Cuz no one else cares that much, honestly. We’re all trying to do our own thing.”

What?!

I am not responsible for other people’s success?

Of course I’ve heard this before, but for some reason, Tiffany’s no bullshit attitude coming through my headphones was like a sermon. I felt the grace of good advice run through me.

Because that’s how I feel. Often. That I am responsible for everything. And to start saying no, to separate myself from other people’s needs, to create some space to think about how I feel and what I want – this has felt like a game changer.

So, I said no.
No, I don’t want to go to Six Flags.
I don’t want to leave my apartment.
I don’t want to cook tonight.
I don’t want to host that event that maybe only 10 people will show up to.
I don’t want to stay up late.
I don’t want a glass of wine.
I don’t want to travel for work right now.
I don’t want to meet up on a Saturday.
I don’t want to go on a 10m hike.

These things are all awesome in the general context of life. I am not turning down bad things, if anything, I am saying no to things that seam unreasonable to say no to. But, it has to be done.

Because each time I said no to one of these items, I created space for downtime, for refueling, for quiet.

(We know, I need so much downtime to function.)

But also, each time I said no, I was able to say yes to something awesome too. Going to the beach for lunch, going for a run alone, meeting a friend for coffee, spending time with H, working on a cool project, blogging, reading. Or doing nothing. Things that refuel my reserves. Things that I deem worthy of my time. Things that matter to me.

So – as the deep summer is upon us – I encourage you to say “no” to something this week. Open up some space in your life. Maybe it’s something you hate, or something you said yes to once before and now feel obligated to keep it up. Maybe it’s something where the other person will be disappointed or you’ll feel guilty. Go listen to that podcast and try out that two-letter word. No.

Because you are not responsible for the success of anyone else.

You can be selfish, in the very best way. You can say No.

Piqued

Missed 2 weeks there due to my parents being in town + crappy wifi at the vacation house. The week went fast – H was down with a stomach bug and we were just coming back from family vacation and celebrating our two year anniversary. This is the first weekend in weeks where we are not scheduled by the hour and I plan on loving every empty minute of it.

My sister is a big Colbie Caillat fan. I feel a tad jealous that someone can have the looks + the voice + the songwriting skills etc buuuuuttttt I do love this story and new video: Colbie Caillat Is Tired of Being Photoshopped: Here’s What She Did About It

And if you’re into cute music videos that totally rock pop culture / hot topics by female singers who are great role models, watch Sara Bareilles help these kids get engaged:  

“To become a runner you must run. There is no other way.” – Hannah Marcotti’s post On Becoming A Runner.

Found Kyla Roma via Instagram (isn’t she the cutest??) and am loving reading through her posts and her Podcast Recommendations, but the most important thing is that she just adopted a HEDGEHOGI die.

Speaking of podcasts, listening to Tiffany Han on Elise’s podcast this week was just what I needed to hear  – Saying No to Say Yes (podcast will play in window). If I’m going to really own my time, if I’m going to prioritize what I want to do, I need to say “No” 100x more often. And remind myself that I am not responsible for anyone else but me. (Why is this so hard?!)

And this also helps, Born Hatin’: Why Some People Dislike Everything – b/c while I have a critical eye, I’m learning that there are just people who flip the f-out when presented with a new idea. More and more I feel if you’re not presenting a different idea or approach, if your criticism is not coming from a place of making an idea better, but instead to just keep us from trying something new, I have no time for you.

xo

Finally, Fall

This photo was taken a few weeks ago, but it’s really chilled out here in Los Angeles. Thank goodness. My running is back, the leaves are on the ground and I even wear a puffy vest when walking the dog at night.

And have you felt the shift in sunlight?! It’s gets dark so early these days. I am kind of loving it. October this years seems to be very much about a cocoon, a pulling back in, a saying No. It’s working. I can feel my physical energy returning (went running 5 days this week with two 3 milers!) and ideas are percolating in my brain. 

How’s your month been?