Yesterday I had a conversation with a family member who reached out to me in response to my posts about anxiety. She shared personal stories with me about bouts of anxiety she’s had from time to time and how she’s dealt with them. It was a lovely, thoughtful and enlightening call. I appreciated every single word of what she shared. During our talk she said something that really resonated with me-
“Honey, you can have it all…just not at the same time.”
Truth is, I do want it all. I’ve always wanted it all. I’m quite possibly even a perfectionist. Currently, I want…the perfect wedding. I want to be an amazing partner to Brian everyday. I want to sell my book. I want to blog everyday. I want to write for my favorite sites every week. I want my career as a writer to keep growing while also focusing on my business as a fit model. I want to be there for my friends & family when they need me. I want to practice yoga or workout everyday. I want to do things that inspire me (like ballet classes and artists dates). I want to cook Sunday night dinners. I want to do everything.
Most importantly I want to see movement everyday. The kind that I can track. And when I don’t or I fail at crossing things off my to-do list, I’m pretty damn hard on myself. No wonder I feel anxious! I’m constantly riding myself.
It was an important realization for me about myself.
As it usually goes I was given a little test by the universe on “lightning up” soon after. I got home from a day of fittings and my nearest and dearest friend Rachel came over for a visit and to talk over our upcoming engagement shoot this weekend. Rachel is an insanely talented photographer and when I was thinking about who should shoot our engagement photos she was the only person I wanted.
When she walked in the door I could tell she had had a crap day. I offered her something to drink…diet coke, water, ice tea? And she said, “how about a glass of wine?”
I looked at the clock. It was 4pm. I immediately thought of my to-do list. I wanted to finish a new piece for Mind Body Green. I had my bar method class at 5. I wanted to get to the market to get salmon for dinner. I had to do a bunch of invoices. I needed to order our save the dates….blah blah blah. But instead of be ruled by my to-do list I said, “Sure!” And guess what happened?? We had an amazing few hours sitting around talking about life, love, marriage, work, family and everything in between while drinking wine. It was the kind of afternoon I will remember for a long time and it was much more full-filling than my bar method class or Gelsons.
My first exercise in being kinder to myself, staying in the moment and saying “screw-off” to my extensive to-do list was a complete success!
“That’s the key to having it all: stop expecting it to look like what you thought it was going to look like.”