I had a conversation with a colleague yesterday about how we all end up doing so much — to the point of are we doing too much?
We probably are, and I am definitely one that falls into that camp. I like to help, I like to solve problems, I like to make things happen. Sometimes when you have your hands in too many pots, what suffers most is your own personal life. I mentioned how I love the weekends because somehow I feel like a person again. It is my time to recharge, refresh, and relook at the world in new ways. Yet, I wonder if I really should be doing that every day? My first inclination is to say: “Who has the time?” Partly that is true, and partly it is about making the time.
One of the ways that I do that is in the morning. I am not a morning person. I would rather drag out starting my day in more ways than one. I usually leave for work two hours after I get up in the morning. Unless of course I have an early meeting in which I either have to get up crazy early, or I have to give up my me time. I like to slowly get out of bed (you know, have the alarm go off a zillion times and hit snooze each time) rather than wake up by immediately taking a shower. Chris (the amazing husband that he is) makes our morning green smoothie while I shower, then I take my time drinking it while catching up on personal emails, articles, and maybe a dabbling of Facebook. That quiet time can be anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, and I generally push it as long as I can. It is my “me” time.
Eventually he drops hints that it is time for me to get ready for work. I do, but often want to just finish that next thing or to hold those last few moments for me before I give myself over to a day of back-to-back meetings often without even time for lunch. When I get home, if I am not incredibly wiped out, my hope is that I get one more hour back to me for my run and to catch up on the book that I am reading. Then dinner, catch up on more work, and finally some blogging. Not much time in the day for much else.
Chris and I had the conversation over the weekend — if I was going to cut something out, what would it be? A tough decision. I want to do it all. I want to love it all. I want more hours in the day. Since that is not possible it often means less sleep, which is also not always the best answer.
What do you do when you are doing too much and you either do not want to edit or you do not know where to edit?
Three things that are constants in my life on an almost daily basis are: exercise, vegetables, and writing. An odd amalgamation of things, but all critical for a bit of balance and inspiration in my life. You might wonder how these three have anything remotely in common. Their only commonality is that they ground me. On the days when I have the opportunity to run, eat a good amount of vegetables, and take the time to write, life just feels better. It may not mean that I have had an amazing day. Lots of shit could have happened, but these three stable aspects of my life help me to get through the shitty days and make the good days even better. Call me crazy, but it is true.
The ironic thing is that all three require discipline and none of them happened for me overnight. Consistent exercise was a gradual habit that happened over many years. My craving to run each day is the euphoria of pushing myself to the limits, having an hour that is just for myself, and the feeling at the end of a run when I am dripping in sweat and knowing I got through it. There is nothing else in my life that gives me that feeling and my day does not feel complete without my run.
How I feel when I run matters and, often, I can tell that if I feel horrible while running it has to do with some crap I ate earlier in the day. I am usually an evening/after work runner, so what I had for lunch and any snacks or junk food I ingest during the day matters. Which is why I have become a fanatic of eating vegetables. I have them in my green smoothie in the morning (usually spinach, kale, carrots), a salad for lunch, then for dinner, a vegetable, protein, and brown rice. Some sort of yummy concoction, but there is always a vegetable go with it. How far I have come from trying to get away with no vegetables as a kid and little to none in high school and college. Why have I become such an addict? I can now tell the difference in my body when I do not have these natural nutrients. More sugar + less vegetables and my body shuts down earlier in the day. More sugar = more exhausted. Since I know this about myself I do all I can to eat my veggies.
Writing. The final aspect to balance in my life. I write five blog posts each week and used to write in a journal too. My journal writing has waned in the past few months. It felt like work and I was not inspired to do it so I stopped. I know I will pick it up again, as that has been the ebb and flow of my life. There have been times when I needed to write, and write, and write to figure out my thoughts and unravel my world. Writing random olio keeps my mind open and aware. When you know that you are going to write a blog five days in a row you look at the world differently. It makes me more creative, have more wonder, and investigate the world.
What is not to love about my three life disciplines? A random olio of balance that is the core of who I am today.
I like to have freedom. I like to do my own thing.
What does that mean at this moment? I want to be able to customize and do whatever I want on my blog. I feel constrained by what I am able to do within my free WordPress.com blog. Each time I try to expand and add functionality, I find I am not able to do so because I am using WordPress.com. So I have decided to figure out what I need to do to switch to WordPress.org.
Do I need to learn CSS? I found an online site that has exercises to help you learn CSS. Am I am able to easily do it without learning any new technical language?
Can I easily shift my content from WordPress.com to WordPress.org through my domain provider?
Do most domains have an easy interface connected to WordPress.org?
If I switch to WordPress.org, will it be hard to customize my site? Should I hire someone to customize it?
Is there anything I would miss if I move to WordPress.org? Should I stay on WordPress.com?
Those of you that are bloggers out there in the blogosphere, what are you doing? There seem to be so many different widgets and functionality I can partake of if I expand my horizons away from WordPress.com.
Please share what you know and have learned. I need tips, ideas, and comments on taking this leap.
A recent article from Fast Company inspired me to think through my brand: Brand Tami. Not just for 2013, but beyond. The following excerpt from the article is what specifically stood out to me and will give you a bit of context to what I am referring to:
“Be yourself and be courageous. You don’t have to follow the crowd. Take courageous steps to define the brand of you in 2013, reminding yourself of who you are, what makes you tick, and why you get out of bed every day. Don’t feel compelled to follow the crowd. Be courageous and proud of being yourself.”
Have you ever thought about that? Brand You? Reid Huffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, has a great book out called: “The Start-Up of You.” He discusses at length how to plan out your future as though YOU, your life, job, and future were a start-up company. It is definitely a book I would recommend reading if you are thinking about your future and next steps.
Over the holidays I was thinking about Brand Tami and decided the first place to start was to update my: “About” page for random olio. That was my first step. If you have read it before, you will see a bit of my past version, with more specifics this time. Since I have this blog, I can cultivate my Brand on my About page, but also through my writing, photos, and content. I also continue to share my Brand in how I interact and treat others, and what I stand for, and what I will not stand for. I want to continue to think about how I am going to cultivate Brand Tami as the months fly by in 2013 and beyond.
You might find that you create a bit of Brand YOU by what you post on Facebook, or what you share on Twitter. What does your Brand YOU look like? Does it have a smell? Texture? Does it glow? Is there a word that defines you that you can speak to that sheds light to others of what you are about? An image? The fun part about Brand YOU is that it is a constantly evolving Brand and you get to update it, edit it, and brush it off any time you wish.