For me, part of living a sustainable life that is happy, joyous, and free is making space. There is the idea of holding space for others, but that is advanced work compared to where I am now. I cannot give to others what I am still trying to give myself (insert cliche about oxygen masks here). I am a beginner at this, and I have no shame in my beginner game. Emily Freeman writes about being a beginner in her book and it is one of the roundhouse kicks to the head that her book delivered for me. In a good way delivering a truth bomb, not in a Chuck Norris kick that kills you.
For so many years I suffered from FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out. I did not want to go to your party, but I was devastated you didn’t invite me. I had to drink to manage anxiety about that event, but damn the torpedos I had to be there. Welp, I am in the middle of a conscious uncoupling from FOMO so that I can create a lifelong union with its more enlightened sister, JOMO.
While there is a physical part of it where I get to wear sweatpants on a Friday night instead of Spanx, heels, or a bra, JOMO goes even further for me. There was a phrase that stuck out to me when I was reading my SARK book recently.
OVERWHELM FEELS VERY CROWDEDGolden nugget from the book Make Your Creative Dreams Real
What this looks like from a practical stand point is ruthlessly paring down my activities. Even ones I know are “good for me.” For example, the only thing I love more than making a list is time boxing the things on that list. Then crossing them off?! SWOON. I fill these lists with exercise – an hour each day, varying between cycling and hiking and PT exercises to maintain my creaky knees; chores, errands, and meal planning to make the week go smoother; an hour of crafting, gardening, reading, and napping each day – because those are relaxing so by God I will be scheduling in my relaxation.
Then come Monday my tank was empty, and I felt like I was escaping to work to recover from my weekend. This was not sustainable. It is not happening overnight, but I am cutting back. Over Labor Day weekend my assignment was to get bored. And let me tell you – I CRUSHED that goal. On Saturday of that long weekend, Bixby and I watched 12 hours of TV. Like, in one day. We finished the sedan series of Mindhunter and watched most of Chernobyl (both of which we recommend BTW. I did not even multitask while watching, just laid like broccoli. And it was a delight!