Monday, April 25, 2016

I'm not doing it all, and you probably shouldn't either.

Socrates once said, “Beware the bareness of a busy life.”

This post is so good. I too deep dive into current projects and neglect self-care. I'm getting better at preventing or treating it. I think this series of posts is more of a "How I'm Growing" set of posts. Read, don't read, skip ahead to linked posts to other, better writers, or determine this isn't benefiting you and go get some rest of your own. Find your own boundaries.

I have such a difficult time quitting things. Lists of books, shows, etc. If I start to watch a show, I will almost always have the urge to watch the entire show. If I watch a show that has full seasons or is part of a series, I will have the rest of it on my MUST WATCH list, even if I get bored a few seasons in or it's too much drama. There is a sort of sadness when a show has a finale, but there is also a sigh of relief that it is off my list. It is weird. I am cognizant of it, but I just haven't changed it completely. Still, I'm finding the empowerment to quit things that just aren't contributing to who I want to be, giving me rest and life, or adding much to my day. This is a great post encouraging that.

Because, hello! I just can't do it all. People sometimes tell me I am doing it all. Not true. Either I am doing what you can see, or what I allow you to see, well. Or there are some tasks and activities going undone, people unseen, sleep unslept. For a while, I've been living the "do what you can and don't take on the responsibility or guilt for what you can't." That's been a breath of fresh air. I've also been living the "work smarter, not harder," and I am totally cheerleading this mentality! Not only can't I do it all, but I shouldn't, and I should pick and choose what gets my time and attention because otherwise my people and my God get sluggish, frustrated, don't care Andrea.

Take short cuts! Delegate! Is there someone better-suited for a task? Is the amount of money I'd save doing X really worth the amount of time, energy, and effort I'd expend doing X...and sometimes REDOING X because I've also realized I'm not skilled at everything, though I want to do it all? I cannot cook every night, but I can plan meals ahead so some leftovers can be eaten or remade into another dish. I can put stuff in the oven and slowcooker because those beautiful appliances mean I can Walk. Away. and come back to dinner. My kitchen doesn't hate me; I'm just making it work for me a little better. I can find coupons or deals from the weekly papers and make the grocery list, but then hand it off to my husband, who likes to stroll the aisles while listening to his podcasts, and I can scrub toilets or write my paper. I can be lazy about the right things, and I love this post from The Lazy Genius on (not) doing it all.

So, nope, I'm not doing it all. I'm prioritizing, saying no, and doing good enough. And maybe that's actually how we give our very best.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

I Sabbath at the Salon.

I have begun taking rest seriously. I try to get it where I can. Reading a book at the bus stop, restful. Saying no to a request or activity because I need an unscheduled evening, restful. Sitting on a bench on a beautiful 70ish degree day to watch some squirrels when I have a few minutes to kill, restful. And Sundays, restful.

Sundays are for church and fellowship time. Sundays are for naps and leisurely laundry. Sundays are for catching up on tv shows or meeting with friends for lunch. Sundays are also when I most often schedule hair appointments.

My stylist works on Sundays, and since I am already off, it is preferable to schedule an appointment for that time. There is no rushing back to the office or feeling guilty that I am using paid time off for a haircut (instead of vacation, doctor appointments, sickness, etc) or having to explain to a supervisor why I am taking time off (not so much in my current job, but in previous jobs it seemed necessary). There are usually no other stylists working at the salon on Sundays so often, I am the only client during my session. I am greeted warmly, have the first chat about how my hair is behaving and what we should do, and then I get a little lavender on my temples and a light neck/shoulder massage. She foils or highlights or colors in some way (now that I have started getting color again after becoming "I love Lucy" two Halloweens ago. I would say it might end soon, but I have more grays today than yesterday so who knows.), and then I go sit in the room with the comfy seats. I usually have a book, but half of the time I leave it on my lap and close my eyes for a moment. Thinking. Remembering the day, the weekend. Thinking ahead to the week. Thirty plus minutes later, she comes to tell me she's ready to rinse, and I realize I have been napping sitting up. I get a wash with wonderful scalp massage, a cut, and style. It feels amazing, and it's hard to think about life's responsibilities when someone is blowing your stress out with a little volume spray and round brush. All the while we have chatted about her children's school and sports, family vacations, and my world. It is a chunk of time that is so restful and rejuvenating. It allows me to take a break from the lists, nap, connect with someone, and be present.

Hair time is holy. So, every ten to twelve weeks, I Sabbath at the salon.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Links I like

Hello, friends! I have so many things for us to talk about! But right now I'm not going to be able to get any of it out so I'm going to share a couple of articles from the past few weeks I really liked.

This was a great post about not saving your good stuff but using it now. I've been a big believer in this for a couple of years and had to fight for so long to get there. It was good to be reminded. Use the good stuff:

A really great, short post on how to decide when to say no. So empowering. On saying no:

Then there's this post on being brave enough to love others. So good. If you don't read the article, read the excerpt below.
Heartbreak is not a mistake. It’s not a problem. Heartbreak is a holy gift — an invitation from God.  Heartache is a signal to you that you’ve stumbled upon something worthy of your life. Do not run, do not turn away: follow your heartbreak. The broken road is the road less traveled. Take it, walk it, it will make all the difference. Everything beautiful starts with a broken heart....
My friend stopped by five hours after I started this love project and she said: lord. You are so loving to do this for them. And I said No, no, no. I don’t do these crazy things because I’m loving. I’m loving because I do these crazy things. Love is not a feeling. Love is the result of hours and days and years of using your hands and heart and mind to show up in a million different ways for other people. We don’t wait to act until we feel loving — we act so that we will feel loving. You don’t wait for love – you create it.