Thursday, October 24, 2013

No? Don't you mean, yes?!

For four and a half years, I went to OCU - Oklahoma City University -- more affectionately known as Overly Committed University.

::Fellow alumni, can I get an amen?!::

In those four and a half years, I learned how to multi-task, how to juggle, how to say "of course I can do that too," how to burn the candle at both ends and how to function on very little sleep. Want to know what I didn't learn how to do?

Say "no."

I'm sorry, no? I think you mean, yes!

No.... no... say it with me now... "nooooooot a problem!"

Okay, we'll get there.

My mom has also never been one to say no. She is everything for everyone. She's an amazing mother and wife, a phenomenal math tutor, a confidant, encourager and cheerleader for all! I could keep going and going, but I'll pause for now.

I'll never forget the many times my mom has said to me, "I worked three jobs when I was first out of college. I did what had to be done." I could never wrap my brain around it... I loved my free time. I loved doing whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. It was all about me and my schedule.

My parents are workaholics - and I mean that in the best sense of the word. They take so much pride in what they do and they are extremely successful. I think because life was so easy growing up, I had an attitude of "I'd rather be happy and have my free time."

Both of my parents will tell you they're motivated by money, but not this girl. I always said, "I'm motivated by quality of life." I valued hard work - and of course I worked hard to make good grades, to be the kind of person my family would be proud of, to excel in my extracurriculars, but beyond that, I coasted.

Fast forward a couple years post-grad, I work three jobs (like mother like daughter), and I can't say "no." I absolutely adore all of my jobs - so somehow I've managed to maintain my quality of life.

Side note: I just accidentally typed "my quality of time" in that last sentence. I think that was a fortuitous typo... It leads me to my next point.

I'm not sure how quality my time is, even though my quality of life is exactly how I'd have it. I over-schedule myself. I fill my evenings with work (sometimes into the wee hours), with social outings, with work events, with barre3 classes, with time spent with friends, with networking with work contacts, with... with... with...

I have to wonder though, how quality is that time that I'm giving to my friends, to myself, to (fill in the blank)? Am I always rushing through the time to get to the next reminder or appointment in my phone?

I don't know the answer. I'm just thinking aloud. This week has been pretty calm for me, but somehow I have still scheduled something for myself every evening. Although, last night I did schedule "me time." That meant catching up on some DVR'd shows (even if I still have at least 15 episodes on there) and getting in bed at 10:00pm.

We are entering our really crazy season at work, and while I love it, I really want to be intentional about how I spend my time. I don't get to talk on the phone to my parents hardly at all. (Imagine that, three workaholics can't find the time to have a phone conversation) And even the text messages are few and far between! It makes me a little sick on my stomach, if I'm being honest.

This may just be a season of life, but it's a season that I don't want to go rushing by me. I want to remember 25, to cherish it, to nurture the relationships in my life and let the people I'm with know that they are more than just an appointment in my iPhone.

Am I the only twenty-something who feels this way? Maybe this feeling goes beyond age -- any advice for how to handle it? Or where to go from here?

I think I'm saying "no" to continuing on this way - and "yes" to healthier, more intentional choices and plans.

::confession - I stopped typing this post just now to answer some work emails::

I think I'm saying "yes" to ATTEMPTING a healthier, more intentional way of living.

Thanks for letting me do a total brain dump!

And as a reward for making it through this crazy post, here's a little Throw Back Thursday love for you. Yeah, that little red head looks like she'll grow up to be a ball of sass, am I right?  xoxo, E

1 comment:

  1. Some of the greatest rewards come when you don't say "no" or you say "yes" to someone and you see the sparkle in their eyes!