On Peace, Courage + Getting Things Done


As we were falling asleep on Sunday I said to Garrett that this weekend had been perfection. If I had made a checklist of Weekend Items That Equal Awesomeness, we would have OWNED it. One part fun, one part restorative, one part social, one part productive while not feeling rushed — it really was just so peaceful!

Weekends lately go one of two ways: they’re either great and I’m absolutely energized on Monday, or they fly by so fast that my head is still spinning as it hits the pillow Sunday night. Regardless of which way they go though, the weekends are usually the best part of my week.

Though it might seem counterintuitive, I’ve been feeling a little conflicted about that lately. I’m not trying to make a mountain out of a molehill or trying to worry about something when there is nothing there, but I’m just feeling a bit of conflict around the great exhale that I take every Friday afternoon because it reminds that I’m doing a whole lot of holding my breath.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it is really important to me to try and create a life that needs no escape. I don’t want to be a person who spends an entire year waiting for that one week of scheduled vacation. I don’t want to always be waiting for Friday to come. Constantly looking for the light at the end of the tunnel feels like a giant recipe for burnout. I know that everyone needs a little break sometimes, but as I get older, I become more and more determined to put my energy toward making my daily life as enjoyable and intentional as possible.

When I say that out loud it sounds a little hippie woo-woo, but it actually comes from a really practical place. I think it’s is a consequence of losing a loved one too soon — because thinking about my dad just being done with life in his early 40s BLOWS MY MIND. I think when you lose someone so young, and so unexpectedly, you become hyper aware of fickle nature of time.

So. While the perfect weekend is always welcome at our house, it has really highlighted for me that lately I haven’t been making an effort to really “enjoy the journey.”  I know, I know — The Journey, GAG. I may as well hang up my poster of Mt. Everest with inspirational quotes right below it. But I really haven’t. I’ve been beating myself up a little bit for all of the perceived “failures” I’ve got going on — working out less than I want, seeing friends less often than I’d like, eating crappy food because it is convenient, staying up super late and having “just one glass of wine” after a long work day. Sure, all of those things are less than ideal, but honestly every day I still get up and try to do my best. And I am realizing that I need to enjoy the process of “doing my best” more instead of just focusing on all the things I am NOT accomplishing.

This is so hard for a goal oriented person like myself, especially when I feel like the energy I am expending is not accelerating the forward progress, but I did read the quote above in an old issue of Oprah magazine last night while sitting in the bath tub and something about it just made me exhale a bit. (YAY, breathing!) There is part of me that becomes a little bit scared when I can’t quantify what I’ve completed. When I can’t check something off a list, you know? But I keep forgetting that I’ve been developing a whole new skill set this year, and it’s one that I’ve been writing through as I’ve struggled with it. 

Being present.

It’s fine to have goals and plans, but the only thing I can manage are my intentions in the moment.  I know in my heart that the more I can let go of my expectations of the outcome, the more present I can be. And honestly when I am just showing up and being present, it is when I feel most capable. (And peaceful!)

I think part of what I need to do is re-frame the meaning behind that little voice in my head who tells me I must get up and try again tomorrow, and I really identified that while reading this quote. When I’m being fearful, that quiet voice can sound like a judgment that I’m just not doing enough, and therefore failing to Get Things Done. But in reality, I’m starting to hear that little voice as my biggest cheerleader. Taking a stab at something new, doing the best you can, hell even just thinking about how to make something better — ALL are acts of courage. And if I can still hear that voice, and if I’m still waking up everyday and giving what I can, then I think in the end it doesn’t matter what actually gets accomplished.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

12 Responses to On Peace, Courage + Getting Things Done

  1. Cass says:

    I loved this. It’s right in that sweet spot of pushing and living that I needed some time to sink into today!

  2. Pingback: Screaming EUREKA and the Good Life | Cass. Just Curious

  3. Steph says:

    Beautiful. Like you!

  4. Kelley says:

    Oh my goodness, watch this:
    Basically, its about making your emotional well-being your goal. Let how you want to feel drive what you do, instead of what you do driving how you feel. I’m still thinking about what she said and how to switch things around for myself. Its a fascinating way of thinking about goals; so completely different from being task driven.

  5. Erica says:

    Ha ha I breathe a sigh of relief when the weekend is OVER and I can get back to my calm routine.

  6. sizzle says:

    I used to be very goal-focused almost to the point of detriment. Then life got crazy and I kind of threw all that out the window. It’s been rather liberating even though sometimes I stop myself and wonder what happened to that former me. But this me is a lot more laid back and living in the present so I think I will keep her. 🙂

  7. K says:

    Posts like this are why I really truly like you.

  8. Alex B says:

    I LOVE this. I am a planner and a list-maker and a goal-setter and honestly, I’ve sucked at following through with all of those lists and goals this year. But guess what? In May I will be a NURSE and have my Bachelor’s degree at age 22. I know this isn’t a crazy out of this world accomplishment, but it IS an accomplishment, and it’s a lot of the reason I haven’t checked a lot off of my goals and to-do lists. So here’s to being happy with the present, and with what HAS been accomplished!

  9. Nicole says:

    I relate to this so much. I am a stress-prone, high-strung person and have a huge amount of trouble trying to just enjoy the ride and make the most out of every day. Have you thought of keeping a 5-year journal? It’s a journal where you write down just one sentence every day of something that occurred. I started doing it at the beginning of the year and it has helped me 1)make a point at the end of each day to note something that happened, 2) remind myself to be conscious throughout the day and 3)during the harder times, remember that life does keep going and if I’m feeling bad, I won’t necessarily be feeling like that forever.

  10. Jillian says:

    I totally relate. I used to be the person who lived for Friday and that week of vacation. It’s really hard to enjoy every single day, but I think it’s possible to enjoy the majority of them. I started reading The Miracle Morning a few days ago, and am getting pretty excited about implementing the ideas in it. I can’t remember if you’ve read, but if not, I would give it a shot. Would love to hear your thoughts on it!

  11. Kel says:

    My dad used to tell me “don’t wish your life away”.

    I have been practicing yoga, and if there is a constant reminder of his words it is that. Being in the moment, being in the breath, is so important. It is great to make goals and dream, but if we are not present as you so eloquently stated, you look back and realized you missed out on so much.

    Very beautiful thoughts that I appreciate you sharing with us.

  12. Pingback: A Refreshing Approach to Goal Setting