I’ve spent a lot of time strategizing about what to add into my life to make it better and more “me.” It turns out things have gotten better, a lot better, from taking stuff out, removing what’s not me, and actually saying no to things.
What kinds of things? Things like lunching with friends, helping someone out with a project, cooking from scratch, attending a new art gallery, wooing investors, enrolling in graduate school, having another child, moving, traveling, flirting with jobs, homes, retail opportunities, investment opportunities, rearranging furniture, buying new furniture, coloring my hair, getting mani/pedis, flying to Italy, developing abs, hosting and attending parties, get togethers, ladies’ nights, book clubs, brunch. Crafting. Email. The gym.
The list goes on. None of these things is inherently toxic and it’s not like I’m completely abstinent on all of it. I’ll hit Zillow from time to time for fun. I’m down to eat an omelet with friends every once in a while. It’s the dosage.
I need a certain amount of time not doing any of that stuff to be ok being me, to figure out what being me even means. And I’ve only recently figured out that the amount of time I need to be not doing that stuff is way more than I’ve been willing to give to myself. In other words, I’ve been overdosing on doing stuff.
The flipside is that I’ve been totally depleted on quiet contemplation time, alone time, time in nature, that kind of thing. I thought if I didn’t do stuff all the time I’d become untethered from the earth, float off into space, and never come back. I’d be alone, unlovable, and unhappy.
But it turns out I’ve radically reduced the amount of stuff I do and I’m still here. I’m having a better time than ever, and I’ve had a lot of good times. I have a husband, a child, a home, a remarkable cat, community, and a connectedness with myself, with my own inner voice, that enables me to enjoy all of it. I have a sense of calmness and spaciousness I didn’t know was available while I was running around filling my life with activity. It is wonderful.