The older I get, the more I lean.
I lean towards pleasing myself over pleasing others.
In other words, I’m learning to value my time.
It’s not selfish.
It’s smart. It’s healthy. And it’s necessary.
These days we busy ourselves volunteering, serving, and saying yes way too much.
When my kids were in school, my weekly volunteer hours amounted to a full-time job. I coached the running group and the cheerleaders. In addition to being the PTO president, I was on hiring committees, search teams, and on the board of all the major fundraisers. I made time for all this while I was busy doing all the mom things—cooking, cleaning, laundry, dr appointments, driving to practices and games, you name it. At the time, my family really could have used some additional income, but I was too busy giving my time for free.
Now don’t get me wrong, I did find some joy in what I did. But I gave way too much.
I was so busy giving.
Before I realized it, I was 50 years old, and I still hadn’t zeroed in on MY passion or MY purpose.
Four hundred thirty-eight thousand hours I had “yesed” away without consciously planning any of my dreams or goals.
Here’s how I got started.
I learned not to say “yes” when the voice in my head is saying “no!”
Think of the word no like it’s a raincoat—a thin layer of protection from life’s storms that might sweep you away like a flooded river.
I required my relationships and my work to be genuine and meaningful: no more “busyness” or one-sided, unsupportive friendships. No more jobs that were simply a paycheck.
I knew who I spent my time with and what I was doing would either motivate me to up my game or keep me down, uninspired, and simply checking off life’s boxes.
I learned to turn away from stress and drama. Turn and RUN! It’s not only a time sucker, but it’s exhausting! When you get caught up in someone else’s bad vibes, it can stain you like a glass of spilled sangria. And don’t massage your own stress or drama either. Take a breath and keep going.
Think of it like dumping a brand new puzzle from the box onto the card table.
The edge pieces go here, the blue ones there, etc.
Before you can start building, you have to sort all the pieces.
Life IS a puzzle and works the same way.
Sort things out first, so you can get building.