April 30, 2015

when to say what

When I was in Seminary, a wise man who's job it was to help us to have good life/work/school balance gave me some advice. He told me to quit things that weren't life giving. He told me to say no, sometimes. He gave me permission to not always do everything. As a professional extrovert and recovering people pleaser, this was a hard thing for me to learn. I felt like I had to say yes to in order to maintain my popularity and friends and status as an ENFP (personality type by Myers-Briggs, which I embody to a T), etc, and that saying no would send me into a tailspin where I would inevitably be alone in my apartment with nothing to do, ever again. Never mind that I was doing too many things and having trouble keeping up with everything - it was more important to be busy and well-liked. He helped me realize I was saying yes to all the things at the expense of quite a few very important things. Like my sanity. Like my close relationships. Like my day planner which was tired of the abuse of overbooking. So I started taking stock of what was life-giving for me, and started saying no to what wasn't. 

It was glorious. Saying no was hard in the way that lets you know it's the right thing. Saying no gave me space to dig into what I really wanted instead of running late and leaving early because I had 4 other things to do that day, too. It was a practice that has also helped me to prioritize my husband and daughter, now that they are a reality of my life balance too. Though once I thought it impossible, I got pretty good at saying no, at cutting back when I needed to, at knowing when I needed to slow down.

In that season of life, saying no was what I didn't know how to do. It's what I needed to learn. It was so helpful and freeing to understand that I didn't have to do all the things. But here's the trick - now that I'm good at saying no, now that I have a life that's manageable and time for the things I think are important, it's time to re-learn how to say yes. It's time to take what I know about things that are life-giving and remember to embrace them when the opportunity arises. It is just as important to say yes as it is to say no. The balance is the trick - and there will be times when the scale is off, and I'll have to remedy it when it happens. But the yes is as important as the no. If not more so. While it is important to say no to things that are not life-giving, it is perhaps more crucial to learn to say yes to what is

And so, I am saying yes, with caution, to things that I discern will give me life. There are big things - like marriage, mom-ing, and job opportunities. There are big-ish things, like applying to blog on a bi-monthly deadline at Denver Metro Mom's Blog, and as such, allowing lots more people than I am used to read my inner workings and family details. There are smaller things, like asking my husband to cover for me for 43 minutes while I take a free online calligraphy class. There are also very minor things, like knowing when I need to replace binge-watching Law & Order: SVU or endlessly scanning my phone with reading a novel, listening to music, or writing. And sometimes, it means saying no to all of those things altogether so I can say yes to reading a book, "doing art," playing at the park, or singing a duet with the munchkin. Life. Give it to me.

Say no. Also, say yes. Do the delicate little dance that is balancing life, work, husband, home, child, personal sanity. Take a couple steps forward and a couple steps back. Start over when you have to. Fill your life so that your life fills you.

Denver Metro Mom's Blog

Hello my lovely blog readers - my posts may have become slightly more infrequent, but never fear!
You can find me as a contributor at Denver Metro Mom's Blog writing a bit more regularly!

My first post is up over there - check us out!

March 20, 2015

hello, spring

It was recently brought to my attention in a very threatening Facebook post that it had been a while since I’d written anything. Which is true. And the threat was very cute and welcomed, frankly. So to you, my sweet and faux violent followers, I thank you! Both for threatening me, and for not forgetting about me even though I straight up abandoned you. You’re the best people.

A quick life update, in lieu of excuses. Since August, I have: planned a wedding, started a new position at work, moved out of my tiny, downtown dollhouse apartment, executed said wedding (I got married!!), honeymooned on the gorgeous Caribbean, and adjusted to full time wife and mom duties all while continuously scrolling through wedding pics basically on the daily because it was the best day ever. So. It’s not an excuse, but it’s fun! And I’m hoping that will distract you adequately.
Now, as it is the first day of spring, I would like to write a love letter to Spring. Ohhhh myyyyyy you guys. I had no idea how much I missed the sun! I had no idea how I deeply longed for temperatures above 60! It’s not that it’s been so bad of a winter, though per the norm this time of year, I’ve had enough snow for my lifetime. But the minute the weather turned, when it started being warm enough to sleep with the windows open and wear short sleeves outside for a minute, holy moly. It rocked my veritable world.

I mean to tell you that within a 24 window of this change in the weather I had no lie knocked out my entire to do list, including approximately 1000 wedding thank you notes [hear no disdain in this – we are the most fortunate family in the whole entire history (as Ella would say) – there aren’t enough thank you notes in the world to convey our gratitude!]. Needless to say, spring hit me with a heavy dose of glorious joy and motivation. This has GOT to be where the whole idea of spring cleaning first came from. People sit on their bums all winter, begrudgingly donning a pair of reasonably fashionable Sorels and trying your darnedest to forget how glorious a cute pair of sandals feels on newly pedicured toes, and trudge out into the snow. Sad and frumpy. That’s what winter feels like after a few months. And then Spring – a glorious relief from all that blah. Makes people want to live clean, happy, sandaled and pedicured lives once again.

This has to be why there are seasons, in general. I get as excited, if not more so, about the thrill of putting on the first jacket of the Fall. So, maybe it’s me? Perhaps I just have weather ADD – I get sick of any extreme after a few months… or minutes. All these years I’ve thought I was bad at change, and it turns out I crave it quarterly! And good golly miss Molly have we had a little bit of change since August – and I think I’ve come through it pretty well, all said and done. What I have to show for it is a husband who cooks lasagna from scratch for my friends, a daughter who writes love notes and makes up a new funny voice on the daily, a job that keeps me busy and challenged, and the world’s best friends and family (new and old) – our wedding was both the proof and the pudding on that – and on top of all that?! The weather is positively FABULOUS.

This has been a superficial and borderline ridiculous foray back into the blogging world, but it’s what I had to offer to you, today, so there you go. There will be more coming – along with other exciting projects I’m going to be working on soon – so the internet hasn’t heard the last of me yet!
Happy Spring!