Things I Do and Things I Don't

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Lately, I feel like I’m pulled in a million different directions. I’m sure you’re like “yeah, it’s called the holiday season, welcome to the club”, but I find myself in this predicament often not just during the blissfully chaotic months of holiday celebration. I blame my Enneagram Type (I’m a 2 in case you wanted to check on its incredible accuracy). That’s a thing, right? We can start blaming our Enneagram test results for our problems now? Okay cool.

Yes I am the helpful one: the Enneagram 2. The “basic bitch” of the Enneagram. I avoided that damn test for so long and here I am, sitting in my super 2-ness like “SHUT UP ENNEAGRAM YOU DON’T KNOW ME.”

But, in all seriousness? I like being helpful. I made a career out of it (kinda). I like bringing people together and throwing parties. I’m the first one to sign up for a Meal Train when someone has a baby; I like surprising friends with Starbucks gift cards when they’ve had a rough week. I like brightening people’s days. I do these things without asking for anything in return because it truly brings me joy to make other people happy.

With this comes a downside: I am a “yes person”.

Yes I’ll help you with your project!

Yes I’ll write you a blog post!

Yes I’ll meet you for coffee on a Saturday morning!

Yes I can take on another project, no problem!

Yes let’s schedule a call! I’ll take it on my commute home!

I suppose even “yes people” have their limits and perhaps I have finally found mine. You guys, I’m tired. It’s seeped into my bones. It means I have less time for the things and people I love and less time for my own health. I’ve been thinking about this a lot, especially as the holiday season approaches when the parties are plentiful and the rest is not. I also started re-reading Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist (which I highly recommend), and the chapter where Shauna details out her “I do” and “I don’t do” lists and I was like “YAS SHAUNA THAT’LL PREACH”

So that being said, here are my lists. I have them printed out and keep them in my purse in case of emergency.

Things I Do:

  1. I prioritize my marriage. I work to be a supportive, kind and patient wife: to grow and learn in our marriage everyday. When we got married, I told Kyle I would choose him everyday and, I make that choice a priority. Even if we only see each other once a week (because of our work schedules) I make that quality time a priority.

  2. I try to be the best version of myself that I can be. Meaning: I move my body in a way that feels good to me, I eat as balanced as a pizza/breakfast burrito loving person can and I go to bed at a reasonable hour (i.e.: 8:30 p.m.). My health has become a pretty big topic this year, and I have learned the importance of caring for myself inside and out.

  3. I write. I carve out space in the day where I sit and write. It’s my time and I treasure it. Writing is like a muscle: it must be exercised daily in order to get stronger and I want to be a better writer and so, I write. I keep a “joy journal” where I jot down the things that made me happy during the day and things I’m thankful for and I make that a daily priority. Writing time is my time.

  4. I cultivate real, authentic and close-knit friendships: the ones where the lines between friend and family get blurred. We sit in the mess together and celebrate wins together. I give them my time, my listening ear and the occasional Starbucks card.

  5. I introvert. I take one weekend a month and I stay home. I do it for my mental health. I make my home a cozy, safe, inviting place and I keep it a safe haven for me and my family. I take the time to make my home feel this way because, for many years, I did not feel safe at home, so now I work hard to make my home the kind of place my family and friends want to be in and feel at home in. Yes I have hygged the shit out of my home: this means way too many candles, blankets and more wall decor than my husband prefers but the moment I step into our home I feel happy and safe. And, I prioritize time there.

  6. I pray. I pray in the car on the way to work, I pray on the way home. I pray before I go to bed at night. I speak to God daily. I don’t talk a lot about religion on here or on social media but it does play a role in my life and I make time for it.

And now, the much harder list…..

Things I Don’t Do

  1. I don’t craft. Every time I have tried the end result looks like the work of a drunk sloth. I so badly want to be good at crafting but, sadly, it’s not in the cards for me so I’ll just buy the better version on Etsy.

  2. I don’t spend time with people who make me feel like shit. Shauna said this much more eloquently but I’ll just repeat myself: if you generally make me feel like shit about myself or make the people around you feel like shit or make the people I love feel like shit it’s gonna be a no from me, dawg.

  3. I don’t make elaborate meals. I can cook but I’m no Pioneer Woman. I keep it simple, which is right about where my cooking skill set ends. So, if you want a fancy meal you can meet me at a nice restaurant. I’ll be the one suggesting we order an appetizer.

  4. I don’t drink on weeknights. It’s a rule I adopted when I started event planning and went out drinking one night with friends. The next day I realized I could not do my job hungover and gave up drinking on weekdays then and there. As my friend Kate says, “no drinking on a school night.”

  5. I don’t wear make-up on weekends unless it’s a really special occasion. And if we are in Tahoe I don’t wear make-up ever.

  6. I don’t compare myself to people on the Internet. Everyone has their own shit, some of us (i.e. me) just talk about it more than others. Comparing yourself to people on the Internet is like sitting at the airport waiting for a train: pointless.

If I’ve learned one thing this year it’s this: life is too short to worry about shit that doesn’t serve you or do things that don’t bring you joy. So, I keep these lists with to remember the things I will do and the things I will not and sometimes I will slip up but mostly I will keep my boundaries and remind myself I cannot be all things to all people, especially before coffee.

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