Yesterday I declared that this upcoming mom calendar year (which runs from September to August ) was going to be The Year of NO for me.
Until I can regroup and recharge and re…. everything, I am not taking on any new projects, new ventures or new anything.
I am going to strip my life down to only the basics needs.
Then I will take a look at the wants, and I will add them back in one at a time on a reasonable time frame.
Up until, well, like today, my normal operating procedure has gone something like this:
1) Get idea in my head.
2) Immediately act upon idea, no matter how complicated/time consuming/disruptive/overwhelming it is.
3) Cease acting upon idea once it is no longer exciting (usually between one and five days).
4) Have unfinished idea lingering over my head/taking up space in my brain/crowding my desk or some other area of my house.
5) Complete execution of idea for fear of feeling like a failure or out of stubbornness in a half-assed way and to the detriment of my mental health/happiness/family/marriage.
6) Regret taking on responsibility/project/task/whatever because it wasn’t executed to the level I wanted it to be.
7 ) Get idea in my head.
8) Immediately act upon idea…
It’s a cycle that keeps repeating itself.
Sometimes these ideas I get are pretty good. They are things that could be really, really successful if I had the time and energy to devote to them.
But the problem is I have no strategy. I have no plan. I have an impulse and I act on it without thinking it through.
And then that idea is not nearly as successful as it could be. Because I’m juggling like fifteen ideas at once.
So I am giving myself permission to let go of every single project I have started in the last couple months.
I have not been thinking clearly. Up until recently, I was making impulsive decisions about, well, pretty much everything.
And now that I have removed my head from my behind and am seeing things with a little bit more clarity and more of a level head, I am giving myself permission to quit before I am finished.
I may come back and finish some of these things at an other time.
But some of them may be put to rest forever.
And that’s okay.
So first, what I need to do is establish what my needs are. It’s not that hard.
These are my needs :
1. I need to exercise.
2. I need at least six hours of sleep an night.
3.I need to earn money.
4. I need to devote more time to my marriage.
5. I need to spend more time with my children.
6. I need to keep things at home running smoothly, I need to make sure everyone gets where they need to be, and I need to feed my family.
7. I need to set aside time for me to rest or relax or have fun or whatever it is I need to do for myself.
And these are my wants (some of them, anyway):
1. I want to learn how to knit.
2. I want to write a children’s book.
3. I want to volunteer in the kids’ classrooms.
4. I want to complete an Iron Man triathlon.
5. I want to host Not Your Average Weekend.
6. I want to direct the 5K for Christopher (the 5K race I started in my brother’s memory).
7. I want to run the Boston Marathon and the Philadelphia Marathon and the Hartford Marathon and the Chicago Marathon.
8. I want to learn to speak Italian.
9. I want to build a greenhouse in my backyard.
10. I want to get chickens.
11. I want to join a local running group (or maybe even start one of my own).
12. I want to play tennis.
13. I want to get my black belt in karate (I’ve never even taken a class).
14. I want to get goats.
15. I want to swim with the Masters swim team…
These are just some of my wants. There will be more added to that list, I know.
But what I realize, finally, is that I cannot take on all of the things on the list at once.
I can’t even take two things on that list on at once.
That’s how I get myself into trouble.
I need to pick one thing, give it a whirl, and then decide if it’s something I want to continue doing.
If it’s something that makes me happy, I’ll keep it in my life. If not, I’ll cross it off the list and move onto the next thing.
So what I need to do right now is declutter my life.
And I started doing that this past week by saying NO to the two following things:
1)I hastily agreed to be a member of my town’s Democratic party in January. And even though the meetings for that committee are only once a month, I realize now that I just don’t have the time to devote to it that I’d like to.
So this past week I removed myself from the committee.
I’ll get back on there at some point. But now is not the right time.
2) A few months ago I embarked upon a 100 Days Project, and I was doing 100 consecutive days of yoga.
Along with this project came the added responsibility of documenting what I was doing on Instagram.
And what started out as something I was going to do in order to relieve stress turned into something that was causing me more stress.
So I’m officially stopping that.
I’m not stopping practicing yoga. But I’m not going to stress over how many consecutive days I do it (or I don’t do it). And I’m not going to worry about making the time to take pictures and document what I’ve been doing.
That one wasn’t thought out very well.
Or at all, really.
Allowing myself to let those two things go has already released a weight off my shoulders.
I literally feel lighter.
The Year of NO has officially begun a couple weeks early.
My life is a little bit simpler.
And it feels really, really good.