The end of 2011 was kind of a mess for me.
It was filled with great things yet I sensed in my heart I was teetering on the edge.
I felt thisclose to being someone who gave lip-service to what was important in her life & lived otherwise.
I felt thisclose to being the blogger who, while writing a post about the fabulousnessment of family time & family exercise!, snapped at her child “you need to WAIT. I’ll play later. Mamas working!”
I did not like how being even *close* to reacting like that person felt.
As a result I spent lots of time formulating my 2012 mantra.
I needed something which wasnt only about or for me (Id grown a little too mememe by the end of 2011) and words which would constantly remind me of who I aspired to be.
I chose the phrase living my priorities. It felt fitting and, only 27 days into the year, has already challenged me in ways I couldnt have predicted.
Ive been reminded how difficult it is to say NO.
I have a hard & fast rule about never saying YES! in the moment. I always sit with an opportunity/make certain something is a fit before answering in the affirmative. I do this with fun things, I do it with volunteer-stuffs, and I do it with work.
Many of the things Ive NO’ed to in the past 27 days looked *very* alluring at first glance, but when mashed up against my mantra were easily declined because they didnt ‘match up.’
Ive been reminded I still have a bad case of Freshman Year Syndrome.
When I was an undergrad I went out a lot. Like every.single.night a lot for a while.
It wasnt so much I craved socializing & late nights and more the fact, at age 18, I feared something *amazing* might happen and I wouldnt be there.
Ive NO’ed to stuff in the past 27 days where Ive paused and thought “…but what if theres some great! connection! to be made and Im not there?!”
But when Ive mashed the opportunity up against my3-word mantra Im reminded it’s ok. I know all I need —truly need—I already have.
Ive been reminded how easy it can be to slip into fear-based living.
Ive let go of & said NO to opportunities which could have been amazing…for me.
Opportunities when mashed up against my mantra clearly fell outside the realm of living priorities *outside* of myself.
I felt the fear. I felt the panic of “what if I say no now and no one wants me later?” I almost caved. Frequently.
Ive been reminded how my life is not all that unique.
Im writing this post not to preach or be ‘recognized’ for doing what I feel is a basic responsibility to those things we love & are important to us (be they people, passions, or causes).
Im writing it in response to so many of you who have reached out and asked how things are going now that we’re 5 months into the Garten of the Kinder.
Im writing in response to your collective responses of “I had to step back and decide what was important to me and only focus on that. It all is too much if you dont.”
Im 27 days in.
It’s more challenging than Id thought.
Im stilling living my priorities—one long no-filled, boundary drawing day at a time.
Pictures by twentyfivetwentysix studios.