Attention please, alert the presses, there is a new contender for the 2014 Mother of The Year Award.
Who? Why, yours truly of course. Duh.
Me. In pajamas. Driving my children (all) two blocks to school, five minutes before the bell rings.
Yeah… so that just happened, and no by pajamas I don’t mean my yoga clothes, I mean puh-jam-uhs. I straight up rolled out the door in tiny ruffly shorts and a cami paired with a hoodie and flip flops. Wow. #stayclassysandiego.
But, besides confirming my membership to the Humbled Mothers Club (and narrowly escaping the total and complete humiliation of my children that only a parent can create), I also got a pretty decent dose of satisfaction out of that moment.
The funny thing is, I kind of sort of don’t care that I didn’t make it to the status of “fully dressed by 9 a.m.” today (as if that wasn’t totally obvious). Actually, quite the opposite is true; the fact that at 8:50 a.m. I was sitting working at my kitchen table, in pajamas, is kind of… awesome.
Why? A year ago that couldn’t have happened. A year ago at 8:50 a.m. I would have been two hours into my workday, but sitting in my office, in business wear, putting out fires with my right hand while my left hand directed traffic, my shoulder held the phone up to my ear and my feet kept the pedals turning so the whole contraption didn’t come crashing down. I would have spent at least eight more hours on site, picked my kids up two minutes before childcare closed and had just enough time to get them home, fed, bathed and put to bed before I crashed out on the couch ten minutes after I finally sat down. Sounds fun, no?
Today? Today I slept until I felt like waking up. I had about two hours to work in total (blissful) silence at my kitchen table, with my coffee, my spotify “Flow” playlist, and my amazing sleep attire. I made my kids a hot breakfast, woke them up to music, chatted with them while they ate, supervised them getting ready, then sat down to work again while they played. That’s just the tiniest bit different than last year. Smidge.
My life is still crazy, I run in more directions in one week than I used to in an entire month and my google calendar makes the rainbow jealous. I still have fires to put out. I still have traffic to direct and objects to keep in motion. The difference is, it’s on my terms. I choose my fires. I decide in which direction to drive, who’s on the road with me and what kind of transportation I’m using. I have never been happier with my life’s direction. Ever.
A year ago I couldn’t have imagined this would be my life. That the suits in my closet would slowly be replaced by “lifestyle wear” in the form of yoga pants, running shorts and sarcastic statement tanks, or that I would have the time and energy to devote to my interests and passions that I do now.
I had no idea that at this time I would get to be doing three things that I LOVE, and with considerably flexibility on where and when I do each of those. This means I sometimes work on the beach (I kid you not), on the green, on the mat, in the box, on my couch, in a coffee shop, or on the trail. Sometimes “working” actually means “eating lunch and drinking cocktails with clients,” and sometimes it means “cracking jokes while serving as a catalyst for growth.”
A year ago I wouldn’t have guessed that only twice a week I would be encouraged (not even really required) to wear professional attire, and that even then, it wouldn’t feel like work. And, even on those two days a week I lecture, I would have a three hour break in the morning that I would fill with exercise and assisting. Assisting. At a yoga studio. 18 months ago I didn’t even know that studio existed. Now I’m there 6 days a week. I repeat – WOW.
I am filled with gratitude for my life. I’m overflowing with appreciation, eager to maintain that momentum, and most of all, to share that joy with others, because what good is happiness if not spread?
To that end, when I reflect on why I am where I am right now, besides the fact that I was willing to take a risk (a really really big one), I can narrow down the contributors to this reality to a few key shifts in paradigm.
When I decided I was ready take charge of my own happiness, I left my job, moved, cashed out my entire life savings and then I :
- Let go of expectations, predictability and routineness. I got out of my comfort zone. Way out.
- Removed “should” and “have to” from my long term goals. I replaced them with “get to” and “want to” and “will.” Simple change in vocabulary. GIANT change in result.
- Visualized what I wanted, I put positive energy to that end, then watched for opportunities for that to become a reality. I took ownership of my own fate and got out of my own way.
- Saw people, and myself, differently and I applied that power in my life with renewed effort. I stopped being concerned with what others expected or thought of me. I sent out grace and compassion instead of judgement and anger. I learned to manage my time and energy more effectively and how to leverage my resources, including my emotional reserves. My lens changed, permanently.
- Calmed the fuck down and the let universe provide. And provide it has.
Does this mean my life is perfect now? Nope. Negative. Not even close. I’ve just improved my ability to
hide my crazy hold it down. I’m still getting my game tight, I’m still learning, I’m still failing, and I’ve got plenty of room for improvement. Miles and miles actually. However, I’ve got a pretty good toolkit at the ready, so I’m um, ready for the bumps in road, whatever they may be.
Ready to take charge of your own happiness? The first step starts with you; lace up and get moving already.
Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone,
Kindness in another’s trouble,
Courage in your own.
~Adam Lindsay Gordon
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